Introducing The Gratitude Challenge At Work
Most workplaces are high on stress and low on the positive energy that encourages acknowledgments. A gratitude challenge or activity can help create a more positive work environment in a company, leading to more loyal employees and better productivity. A powerful acknowledgment often makes a huge difference.
Incorporating or encouraging gratitude in the workplace would only be fruitful. Many studies indicate that people want to work for a company with a culture that regularly recognizes and rewards the efforts, work, and achievements instrumental to the company's success. Employees and executives alike can be involved in a series of activities in the workplace to help build a culture of gratitude.
This article will discuss more gratitude challenges and how to practice them in your workplace.
What Is A Gratitude Challenge?
Gratitude is a small word with a big meaning, and it is about showing kindness, being thankful for what you have, or appreciating others. And the challenge helps everyone deeply reflect on gratitude and what you're grateful for.
Even if you're not a person who is grateful or finds it hard to express your appreciation for others, the challenges can help you learn to practice it. It allows you to foster a new attitude of gratitude by pushing yourself to look for the good around you and express thankfulness.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
The challenge helps you create a moment of reflection and changes the negative thinking pattern in your brain. Also, it's easy to do and follow. If you're new to this journey, a more structured challenge like a 3-weeks challenge will help you get past the basic affirmations and encourage you to look beyond that. It will push you to pay more attention to the world around you and cultivate a state of mindfulness and appreciation towards the simple things in life and recognize the positive aspect of life, which is often the most difficult part of the self-challenge.
The great thing about this challenge is that there is no right or wrong, and it's a journey towards molding yourself into a better person.
Suggested Read : Top 5 Benefits Of Gratitude On Workplace Wellness
Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude
Practicing gratitude daily has numerous benefits. Researchers have proven that being thankful or more aware of the present moment helps you cultivate a more positive attitude and outlook on life.
With stress and anxiety being pillars of the modern world's problems, it is difficult to be thankful for the simplest things. However, you eliminate all the negativity around you with appreciation by making positive affirmations.
There are more scientifically-proven benefits of gratitude listed below -
Suggested Read : 21 Positive Thinking Ideas For A Workplace To Encourage
What Is The 30-day Gratitude Challenge?
The 30 day gratitude challenge focuses mainly on recognizing, verbalizing, and contemplating all the things, people, and events you are grateful for. Even the simplest things that you overlook in your day-to-day lives are important. It is simply 30 days where you challenge yourself to practice gratitude every day without overwhelming yourself.
It is natural to struggle to find goodness or positivity in a challenging situation. Nonetheless, that is not the purpose of this challenge. You can appreciate even the simplest of things like a cup of coffee or the sun on your face on a cold winter afternoon if you find happiness in these things.
“Being thankful is not always experienced as a natural state of existence, we must work at it, akin to a type of strength training for the heart.” —Larissa
Again when you practice self-gratitude or whether you're expressing thankfulness for others or spreading kindness to your community at large, there is a ripple effect of gratitude. The practice doesn't require huge time commitment or elaboration. Practicing gratefulness for 30 days, in theory, has long-term benefits of being thankful such as improved mental health, and it also gives you a chance to form a habit. Studies have also shown that turning it into a positive practice is the key to your long-term happiness and a better quality of life.
The 30 days gratitude challenge also works because of the following reasons -
It teaches you how to practice the art of gratitude.
It encourages you to take time out of your day to do/ think of something positive.
The duration of the practice is long enough for you to feel the true benefits of it or the change that it has on you.
Because it is not a far-fetched idea, it prevents you from feeling overwhelmed with long-term goals.
It gets you in the daily habit of being thankful.
Suggested Read : 10 Significant Benefits of Positive Emotion in Corporate Wellness
How Do You Start The Gratitude Challenge?
The best thing about the gratitude challenge is that you can start it whenever you like, and it doesn't necessarily have to be on the first of the month like most challenges. Moreover, being thankful takes just a minute so that you can start it anywhere, at any time.
The first step is to ensure that you follow it. Sticking to the challenge in your busy life can be difficult, where most people fail. But here are a few tips to overcome this challenge:
Set the alarm or reminder
Make a note either on your phone, or you can even use the sticky notes around your mirror or fridge.
Keeping your journal by your bed
Remembering why you started to practice gratitude in the first place
"Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices." Robert Braathe
10 Gratitude Prompts To Get Started With The Challenge
Making a list of what you want or are grateful for in advance can help you practice gratitude more structured. It can help you if you have a list of appreciation prompts to help you.
Here are ten examples of gratitude prompts you can use during the challenge -
Who's the one person you can always rely upon?
What made you smile today?
Which songs bring you peace?
What incident or who made your belly laugh recently?
Pick one thing in nature that brings you peace or is thankful for.
Eating a nourishing meal and feeling grateful about it.
What are the two traits that you like about yourself?
What are the two things that you like about your community?
What are the favorite habits of your friends?
What are the skills or talents of yourself that you are grateful for?
How To Run A Gratitude Challenge At Work
Gratitude is not a one-and-done practice,it's an ongoing practice built over time. And practicing it in a workplace is an essential part of workplace wellness as it leads to a higher level of employee recognition, job satisfaction, and engagement.
Recognition in the workplace is like physical strength, and gratitude is the practice that makes it stronger. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association that 93% of employees "who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work, and 88 percent reported feeling engaged".
Since most company leaders and employers often tend to undermine the value of their employees or fall short of appreciating their work which could make their employees feel rather unvalued, leading to low productivity and engagement.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.- Voltaire”
Hence, practicing thankfulness in the workplace as a challenge can help the company leaders to strengthen their ability to show effective recognition through daily practice of gratitude.
A gratitude challenge at work can help to bridge the gap between employees and their leaders. You can even "break the ice" by demonstrating the value of expressing gratification to help employees feel more comfortable expressing their appreciation.
Here are a few gratitude exercises you can run and practice in the workplace to further grow this positive attitude:
1. Introduce A Gratitude Break
“Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” —Albert Schweitzer
It could be as simple as taking a break or some time during your meetings to appreciate your fellow employees or colleagues for their efforts or work. It doesn't need to be work-related always; you can also appreciate them for doing the most basic things like, for example, appreciating someone for bringing up a snack that you like or helping you out with your morning cup of coffee. Making it a practice can eventually turn the environment into a more positive one.
2. Organize A Gratitude Challenge Event
As part of your workplace's ongoing challenge, you can host a gratitude challenge event. It is possible to host your challenge in a platform similar to that of Vantage Rewards, where your employees can share their experiences and thank those who inspired them.
Suggested Read : Vantage Fit: A Complete Solution to your Employee Wellness Program
3. Participate In A Hot Seat For Appreciation
You can organize a session of playing the "hot seat" in your official retreats or day outs as a part of the fun activities. In a "hot seat," you can have members of the team or employees sit one at a time. You can then ask the other attendees to tell the person in the hot seat how much they appreciate them and what kindness they have recently shown to them, or vice versa. It would be a great ice-breaker and bonding experience for both employees and employers.
4. Write Down Small Appreciation Notes
“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”
Writing down small notes of appreciation or gratitude is the best way to show how grateful you're for the person. A little reminder of why or whom you're thankful for can be a great team bonding activity and help to foster more positivity and the practice of daily gratefulness in the workplace.
5. Hang A Gratitude Board Or A Gratitude Tree
The office can hang a gratitude board or a tree where employees can write down or erase what they are grateful for every day. You can even write down appreciation posts or quotes notes around the office and make your co-worker smile throughout the day. It can be done anonymously so that people can see their good deeds and be motivated to do more.
6. Hold Up A Meditation Session
Each employee can participate in an offline or online meditation session during or before the lunch break. Take a few minutes to listen to calming music or positive affirmations in the Vantage Fit app to relax your mind. If you want to reflect on yourself or your surroundings and what you're truly grateful for, a quiet meditation session can be the solution.
Suggested Read: Five Office Meditation Techniques For Employee Health
7. Make The Most Of Social Media
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
—William Arthur Ward
Whether you manage social media platforms or use them regularly, you can make your social media feed more festive during the gratitude challenge. Use your social media channels to show more appreciation towards your fellow users and colleagues for their support and loyalty throughout.
By posting appreciation posts and tagging them, you can express your appreciation. Additionally, you can use your hashtags to make it more interesting and viral by tagging everyone in a challenge.
8. Provide Employees With Gratitude Journals
Writing down things makes it easier for you to remember and appreciate things. You can provide your employees with journals to help them practice gratitude at work. They can document their gratitude journey every day in these small journals.
Suggested Read : Workplace Grief Journals: A Step Toward Emotional Healing
9. Encourage Mindful Behaviors At Work
“Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice.” —Derrick Carpenter.
Mindfulness always goes hand-in-hand with gratitude. Being more mindful or practicing mindfulness at work can help your employees be more aware of their surroundings. By being more aware of your surroundings, you can notice the simplest things or situations that make you happy. This leads to positive work relationships and an enjoyable work environment.
10. Incorporate Random Acts Of Kindness Into Your Workday
Incorporating random acts of kindness into your workday or workplace is a great start to practicing gratitude and even kickstarting the challenge. You can recognize co-workers or employers who go out of their way to help their co-workers. Additionally, you can provide your employees with free printouts to fill in their feedback and what they are thankful for, and later share it with other employees.
Suggested Read : How Employers Can Promote Mindfulness In The Workplace
Summing it up
"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." William James
A basic human need, feeling valued and appreciated is something that everyone wants to experience. When that need is satisfied, both employees and companies benefit. Through gratitude, challenge leaders and fellow employees can recognize and prioritize the efforts they make to consistently show their gratitude to others and further cultivate a gratitude culture in the workplace.
I hope this article helped you understand the importance of launching a gratitude challenge in the workplace and how to go about achieving it.
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