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Gratitude in the Workplace Evaluation Criteria


Leading Ideas for this Challenge should help employees surmount some of the psychological and structural hurdles to gratitude at work. They should meet at least one, if not all three, of these criteria: 

  • Internal to Organizations // Internal and Intrinsic Change. Ideators should propose ideas to be implemented inside organizational and workplace cultures, not concepts to help organizations express gratitude externally, such as to their customers or shareholders. 
  • Authentic // Authentic Gratitude over Obligatory Gratitude. Ideas should try to facilitate genuine feelings and expressions of gratitude, not mandate or force them. This is rooted in clear recognition and appreciation of the many types of gifts that an individual or organization has provided to others, whether they be gifts of time, effort, material goods, or social or emotional support. It recognizes the intention that went into that gift, the effort or other cost that went into the gift, and the benefit or value it provides to those who received it.
  • Systemic // Think Big, Think Broad. Ideas should consider the complexities of organizational structures and experiences, and design solutions that can be implemented broadly, perhaps even system-wide. 


Top Ideas will elicit a “Yes” in response to the  following questions:

  • How Might We: Does the Idea answer our Challenge question?
  • Internal: Does the Idea seek to inspire gratitude internally within an organization? Concepts should be designed to be implemented and impact internal organizational and workplace cultures. 
  • Authentic: Does the Idea foster genuine and authentic expressions gratitude? This feeling is rooted in a deep appreciation of the many types of benefits we receive from others, whether from colleagues or from an organization as a whole. These can include different types of gifts that they give us, including their time, effort, social-emotional support, or material goods. Authentic gratitude recognizes the effort and intention that went into the gift, and the benefit or value it provides to those who receive it.
  • Systemic: Does the Idea consider the complexities of organizational structures and experiences, and design solutions that can be implemented broadly and systems-wide? 
  • Human Centered: This is at the heart of the Design Thinking approach. We look for ideas that lead with empathy, showing evidence of prototyping solutions and incorporating user and market feedback. In the end, Top Ideas should be poised to make life easier for users.
  • Innovative: Are the Ideas new? We're eager to think beyond current conventional wisdom around gratitude and explore new ways to experience, express and receive it. This could still relate to an existing Idea or practice, but ideally it innovates beyond it. 
  • Contextually Relevant: Does the Idea solve a real barrier to gratitude  identified within your intended organization? We are mindful that while there could be many great innovations that are universally applicable, there are significant regional and cultural differences influencing how gratitude is considered, shared, and received. The participants should therefore be able to convincingly show what kind(s) of regional complexities their Ideas are able to solve.
  • Scalable: How could the idea be accelerated and scaled up? Starting small and local is often an essential need and can be really powerful – but participants are also asked to describe how they anticipate their Idea will grow, systemically, geographically as well as operationally. Special consideration is given to Ideas that are mindful of the complexity of organizational structure and Ideas which might adapt as they grow. Top Ideas are expected to provide a compelling outline of how winning the Challenge, together with corporate mentorship, could be used to advance and implement the solution.


  • Individual Practices: What can individual employees do to help them notice and appreciate the people, events, and things that increase the good in their lives?
  • Interpersonal or Team Practices: How can we encourage more people to express gratitude to their colleagues, particularly for the ways those colleagues have contributed to their success?
  • Cultural Shifts: How can we create shifts in organizational culture that make gratitude a more reflexive and common response?