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Thrive Inside

Gratitude practices at work help employees thrive.

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Thrive. That’s our motto. At our medical center, we work hard to help patients improve their well being.

But how well do we support ourselves?

We encourage a corporate culture of gratitude through involvement in daily huddles, work recognition awards and yearly gratitude notes.

Here in Santa Cruz County, staff and doctors can celebrate a fellow employee by giving them a Groovy Cruz award at any time in appreciation for a job well done.

 In addition, once a year at our physician weekend work retreat, physicians fill out a card for every other physician in the group that details what they appreciate about that particular colleague. Each physician is then presented with a book of gratitude from their fellow physicians in the clinic.

The physician leader who promotes these practices feels that the gratitude notes and Groovy Cruz awards increase happiness on the job.

On receiving her own gratitude book,  she reflected “It is always powerful to read. It validates the work I do and makes me feel thankful to share my day with such great people.”

We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of our gratitude practices by asking staff and doctors four simple questions: Do you feel appreciated at work? Do you feel your contributions help other employees with whom you work? Do you feel your contributions help the patients we serve? Do you enjoy your work?

Thirty staff members completed the surveys - more than half of the workers at our clinic. Administration assistants, medical assistants, pharmacy and lab technicians, environmental services, nurses and doctors overwhelming responded: YES!

There is always room for improvement so we look forward to the next phase – ideas for keeping the good vibe going and spreading what works for Santa Cruz County to other regions.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Expressing gratitude and feeling appreciated = job enjoyment and feeling that work is worthwhile

Tell us about yourself

I am a family physician working in Watsonville, California. I am very interested in the emerging data about gratitude and happiness. I seek ways to bring gratitude into my day and share practices with my coworkers and patients.

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