The Gratitude Toolkit will be an engaging and accessible starting point for individuals to learn about gratitude and why it should be considered and cultivated in the workplace. It will offer content, ideas, examples, and exercises for those wanting to learn about and practice gratitude at work. The target audience for this toolkit would be individuals and organizations new and/or somewhat skeptical about practicing gratitude at work. They have an inkling as to what gratitude is but they have never considered it as something appropriate at work.
The toolkit is a starting point, a gateway to exploring gratitude. However, it is up to the individuals within an organization (“gratitude ambassadors”) to use those tools as they fit to shape and form what their organization’s unique gratitude practice looks like. Specific examples of formal (e.g. driven by HR, top down) and informal (grassroots) gratitude initiatives will be shared for inspiration not prescription, recognizing that each workplace has its own unique culture and that a gratitude practice needs to be informed by that context. Cultivating a culture of gratitude is emergent, hence the need to provide individuals with a framework to start from, allowing for growth and adaptation over time. The goal is to enable these ambassadors to nurture a gratitude culture that fits within their organization while building employees’ capabilities to express and recognize gratitude, as well as the motivation and opportunity to do so.
Preliminary Toolkit Outline
1. Introduction to what is gratitude in the workplace and why it matters (introduce event level/episodic, persistent, collective as per Academy of Management Review journal article – “The Grateful Workplace: A Multilevel Model of Gratitude in Organizations”)
2. Information on benefits for both individual employees and organizations as a whole
3. Examples of how gratitude can be expressed and recognized. Some ideas that were generated at an internal co creation workshop included
- Take a colleague out for coffee - Provide a $10 gift card (or coffee) per employee for which they take someone to whom they are grateful for out of coffee. Include a rule that you can't pick the same person for at least 3 months.
- Gratitude tree - Stitch a leaf onto the office tree about why you are grateful. Quick & easy (located in central place in the office) and a visual cue to trigger reflection and expression of gratitude.
4. Ideas for gratitude initiatives (categorized into appreciation programs, beneficiary contract, development feedback and more). Some ideas that were generated at an internal co creation workshop included:
- Speed meeting to get to know your colleagues (goal: gain Insight into how to express gratitude in an authentic and meaningful matter). This would be an opportunity to get a sense for one another’s personalities and what may be the best way to express gratitude to them.
- A rotating team will be responsible for hiding Gratuity Reminder Objects (GROs) around the office in unexpected locations. This will result in GROs being randomly found, brightening someone's day, and reminding them to give thanks.
5. Generating ideas - Suggestions for how to run an internal co-creation workshop to identify current barriers to recognizing and expressing gratitude. How to generate opportunities to overcome the barriers.
6. “Light” introduction to designing for a behaviour change – using Susan Michie’s Behaviour Change Wheel (capability, motivation, opportunity) as a starting point - http://www.behaviourchangewheel.com/about-wheel
Stage 1 - Prototype, test and refine the toolkit
We will produce the toolkit and test it with colleagues (those who have not worked on the OpenIDEO Gratitude challenge) in our office to assess if it the toolkit is:
Our goal is to assess if the toolkit is perceived as a valuable resource to individuals and/or teams who take on the role of gratitude ambassadors. Does the toolkit inspire reflection and action amongst those who are exposed to it?
Stage 2 – Online community to discuss and evolve the Gratitude Toolkit
Recognizing that gratitude in the workplace is not a temporary initiative with an end target date, that it needs ongoing nurturing, the second stage would see the creation of an online community/space where individuals can pose questions, provide suggestions, etc. on their gratitude journey: what have they tried, what was the efficacy, what would they do differently, what would they not do again, and so on. The community could potentially become a valuable resource on the efficacy of various gratitude initiatives, including qualitative evaluation of experiences as well as quantitative before and after survey results: what is the impact on employee well being, satisfaction with work, retention rates, etc..
We’d like to explore if there is a way to build off of the community that has been started via the OpenIdeo Gratitude Challenge.