10 Ways to Bring Thanksgiving Into the Workplace

How to express gratitude to your team throughout the year.


As we approach Thanksgiving, most of us are grateful for the jobs and careers we have. Give your team reasons to be thankful year-round with the following ideas.

1. Create Meaningful Work Opportunities

Check in regularly with employees to learn what could make their work more energizing.

2. Encourage Positive Work Relationships

At a time when many teams are working remotely, give them the opportunities to have fun, break bread, exercise, play, and celebrate together, in person or virtually.

3. Be A Good Boss

Never take this for granted: A great boss appreciates and values employees. Working for an uncivil, toxic boss has been proved to negatively affect a person's health.  If you are a bad boss, it's time to rethink your ways. 

4. Show How Gratitude Promotes Good Health 

Well-deserved thanks and expressions of appreciation make an impact on people's health. The Institute of Heart Math found that individuals who received appreciation and gratitude had greater harmony in their heart rhythms. 

5. Stop the Negative Comments

In high-performing teams, researchers found the ratio of positive to negative statements directed from manager to team members was nearly six to one. These managers gave five times more positive statements than negative ones.

6. Foster Relationships With Teams

Focus on the relationships with and between people. Build your team up and really connect with them.  

7. Put It in Writing

We are becoming a cryptic, impersonal society in how we communicate in any form of written text. Use the polite social graces of writing "please" and "thank you" and state clearly that you are grateful for their contributions to the company.  

8. Thank the Boss

Here's an interesting thought from the John Templeton Foundation: 74 percent of people never or rarely express gratitude to their boss, yet they want their boss to express gratitude to them. Start emulating the actions you want to receive from others.

9. Give Gifts With Gratitude

No matter what tangible form of appreciation you might give someone, always add a card or note to share your feelings and thoughts for the recipient. Specifically acknowledge the employee for what she has done and share your heartfelt appreciation for her contributions.

10. Begin Each Day With Thanks

Start off each day by thanking someone who has made a difference to you. Put praise and acknowledgments at the beginning of each meeting agenda and have people share the great things that are happening. If you start right, you will end right.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Practicing Recognition. He is also a recognition strategist and the chief learning officer at Engage2Excel.