It's Scott from the Unplugged Gratitude Parties. We traded a couple of messages. I still love your idea. :)
I've put together Gratitude Dinners before (for friends, not work) and other thing we did was give everyone a blank thank you card. Each person wrote a handwritten note of appreciation to someone else. They were then given the option of reading the card out loud. Reading the card out loud adds another powerful dimension. We've done this at retreats, too, and there are usually some tears shed. This could be another idea for your Thanksgiving at Work idea. Looking forward to seeing how this evolves.
Oh, another idea could be that each employee/leader brings a can of food that you collect and deliver to your local food bank. That would be another way to add a social good component to your idea. You could even turn this into a challenge with a prize. For each can of food someone brings in, they get their name in the hat for the prize. So for example, if someone brings in 10 cans of food, they will get 10 entries in the drawing for a prize. This would encourage bringing in more than one can.
Hi Monika Jiang I love your idea and I totally agree. Coming together around a meal for good conversation, meeting new friends, and connecting on a deeper level is something that I've been more and more recently. As a business owner, and working alone all day, I actually just recently pledged to have dinner with friends twice a month, with no technology. I would love to keep in touch with you. :)
Thank you for these thought provoking questions. I aim to create a culture of gratitude in the workplace where entire teams feel appreciated on the most human level. This will take more than just the unplugged gratitude parties and would need to be cultivate on a year round basis. The gratitude parties, at it's core, would provide an outlet so that team members could get to know each other in a fun environment, without technology.
How to incentivize people to participate? Food. :) It also has the element of fun. We also consider that not everyone wants to do something with co-workers after hours, so the gratitude parties can also be done during work, as a pot-luck for example, and the employees and all team members would get paid during this time. When we establish a culture of gratitude within an organization, people are more likely to participate in our parties.
The easiest way to know if the gratitude party has lasting effects is to ask everyone what effect the party has had on them. Again, I'm a big believer in keeping things on that human level and having open communication. If the people are happier, productivity will increase as will retention.
Thank you for the article on culture and ritual. I love it! And totally agree that when collaboration occurs people can passionately get behind an idea which in turn creates that culture.
We can use my gratitude parties as a platform to collaborate and create new ideas 2-4 times a year, that will serve in creating the gratitude culture. That's the beauty of doing these unplugged. Getting away from technology sparks and stimulates the creative mind, collaboration, teamwork and fosters communication.
Lauren, I strongly believe that any organization that wants to create a culture of gratitude should include experiences like our unplugged gratitude parties. In my experience, it's experiences in life that are the most memorable and make long lasting change.
Thank you for introducing me to these other people who are doing great things in the world. I appreciate having the opportunity to spread gratitude throughout the world!