Practicing Gratitude: A Guide to Being Thankful


As the leaves start to change and Halloween has waved goodbye for the year, we start to prepare for our next holiday on the calendar: Thanksgiving. This holiday typically brings more gratitude in the month of November than any other month in the year, but it shouldn’t be that way, especially for Leaders. Employee appreciation and high morale is key to successfully navigating a thriving business. If you don’t engage with your employees, or show appreciation, there’s no doubt your ship will start to sink.

Don’t think that you personally have to write out hundreds of thank you notes, although that would be quite a feat, and greatly appreciated by your Team! Entrepreneurs and CEOs can show their appreciation in various ways with tokens of thanks. By simply thanking an employee for a job well done, you’re reinforcing the behaviour you’d like to see again. When your team members feel like their efforts and hard work are noticed, they are more likely to go the extra mile in future projects.

Be Thankful

One of the simplest things that I do at Advantage|ForbesBooks, is to write my Team Members thank you notes as a sign of appreciation for the hard work that they’ve done to help our company grow. I aim to be specific about what projects or tasks my Team Members accomplished that really knocked it out of the park. Additionally, I encourage everyone in the company to write thank you notes to each other as a sign of appreciation.

While writing thank you notes really don’t take up a lot of time, you can also (and should) give out praise to your team members. And often. If you give praise, make sure it’s sooner rather than later so employees know you’re paying attention to their hard work.

Another way that Advantage|ForbesBooks says thanks is to give out a small gift on each Team Member’s anniversary. Whether someone has been here for nine years or nine months, we want them to know that we value them and their work.

Additionally, every Team Member gets a “Dream Board” created for them after their first 90 days where they identify in a visual and keepsake form their personal and professional dreams. At least twice a year, I grant a ‘Dream On’ award to one of our hardworking Team Members. The best part of this is seeing their face when they realize that they get to have one of their dreams come true. It also builds a sense of organization pride as other Team Members share in the recognition of an outstanding colleague. We actually have standing ovations from our Team when these awards are presented. This is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of being a CEO!

Other examples of showing gratitude throughout the workplace can include giving A-players a special parking spot, passes for an exercise class, sticky notes, free lunch, upgrading office spaces, a bottle of wine, special tea or coffee, training opportunities or a post on the company’s website or social media.

The possibilities in which we show gratitude through little acts of kindness and recognition are endless, and much needed to enforce positive attitudes and moral throughout the office. Giving thanks to the people who keep your business up and running all year long will truly go a long way. Remember, while November is the season of saying “Thanks”, keep the gratitude coming all year long.

Adam Witty