Embedding apprecation

We may claim our organisation has a culture of this or that, but how can we be confident? What is the tangible evidence? Our organisational culture is a mix of our policies and procedures, what we find acceptable and not acceptable, and so on—these are all tangible things.

Many years ago I worked at a company where being grateful was, to some real degree, institutionalised. The stationery cupboard had a stack of Thank You postcards. Staff were encouraged to write each other cards to say thank you for small things; sometimes they were given out directly and sometimes quite openly in team meetings. The management team took part, too. It wasn’t the biggest thing in the world to receive one of these cards, but it was meaningful. Many staff kept a collection of cards they’d received stuck round their monitor. It reminded people to say thank you, and to do things that others might be grateful for.

In more recent years I’ve worked in places where we have had a Slack channel dedicated to saying thanks, or where it’s part of a regular company or departmental meeting. Appreciation is a human characteristic but it can be encouraged more or less by the organisation. Just as an organisation can help us have difficult conversations with each other, so it can help us be more appreciative. It all helps distinguish one kind of organisation from another.

Photo by Patrick Breitenbach