Here in the US, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving. A glorious day of binge- eating and gratitude. Two of my favorite things.
Gratitude seems to be having a near-paparazzi-worthy moment. It’s walking the red carpet and rubbing elbows with A-listers like grit, resilience, and risk-taking. People are making lists, journaling, popping Post-It notes – doing whatever it takes to keep that magical awareness – the sense of unconditional appreciation – front and center.
But how is this idea playing out in the workplace? In the glam world of Organization Development, accepted as fact is the notion that behavior is strongly and directly correlated with incentives. In other words, people’s actions will follow the dollars. So common sense tells us to align our compensation programs with the outcomes we desire. Makes good sense.
But how about the currency of gratitude? If we look back on that leadership red carpet… the grit, the resilience, the risk-taking… are those the semantic celebs we’re honoring with our non-financial incentives, such as our thank you’s, our positive feedback, our public recognition and acknowledgement?
I work with numerous leaders who are fabulous at remembering to thank their team members who delivered strong outcomes, great results that shifted the bottom line. But how many of them are doing the same for team members who went out on a limb, tried something new, completely failed, but took accountability and learned something from it? Or how about the person who was told “no that won’t work” but then persisted and simply found a new way? Those are your Clooney’s and Pitt-Jolie’s!
Maybe you’ve already discovered this. And if so, my hats off to you. But if not… why not spend this holiday season doing a little bit of reflecting on your gratitude portfolio. Have you effectively diversified? Are you positioned to yield dividends such as innovation and customer-centricity?
What habit or behavior, within your team or organization, are you most grateful for this season?