The holiday times bring about a natural time to express gratitude and appreciation and spread a little holiday cheer. This shouldn’t be the only time you express gratitude at work to your team and colleagues.

Gratitude was an important factor for me when I helped create a new team. It was a time of transition where some colleagues were coming to work for me from other departments to work with an existing direct report of mine. Roles and responsibilities were changing and the expectations were for a high. I developed a team gratitude program to help drive collaboration and appreciation for each person’s contribution. The team’s gratitude recognition was done with a fun, little ‘trophy’ that traveled each week to the colleague who went out of their way for another team member. Each week at our team meeting, the current holder of the trophy publicly thanked a team member and passing the trophy on.

Why practice gratitude at work? According to a Greater Good article (Newman) it can increase positive emotions, higher satisfaction with jobs and coworkers, and help with decreasing stress.

Need ideas on how you can approach gratitude at work? Try these:
• Don’t wait to express your thanks – say “thank you” and be specific on why.
• Thank you notes – try a hand written note over an email.
• Gratitude letter – when a short thank you just isn’t enough.
• Team recognition – determine the best solution for your team, launch it and commit to supporting it on a regular, pre-determined basis.
• Employee recognition program – nominate your colleagues/team members in the organization’s program.
• Gratitude journal – this is great for collecting what you are thankful for at home and at work. Don’t forget to celebrate the small things.
• Gratitude jar – write down what you are thankful throughout the year and read them on New Year’s Day. What a great way to start the year!
• Gratitude meditation – I’ve already talked about meditation as it relates to surviving and thriving during change on my blog titled: Learning to Surf. You can also focus your meditation on gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness.


Newman, Kira M. “How Gratitude Can Transform Your Workplace.” Greater Good Magazine. September 6, 2017.


Photo by Amy Mikel: Marco Island, FL farmers market. March 2017.