This time of year we routinely reflect on what we’re thankful for – and while that’s common at Thanksgiving, one question we should be asking is “Have we created an Organizational Culture (OC) of gratitude?”

The OC Equation™ reinforces that our actions are borne out by what we truly value. Do your employees feel you go through the motions of gratitude at Thanksgiving, but ignore their efforts the remainder of the year? Do your actions portray a “what have you done for me lately attitude?” According to Gallup, 65% of employees don’t feel their efforts at work are appreciated.

Take a look at your values and philosophies – where does gratitude fit in? Here are 5 ways to create an OC of gratitude:

  1. Reinforce an attitude of civility in the workplace where employee treat each other with respect and dignity and say THANK YOU when someone does something kind for you. Remember, how you treat your employees, is how they, in turn, will treat your customers.
  2. Communicate in a way that is transparent and honest – if you feel under appreciated say so. It’s not uncommon for employees at all levels to get busy and “forget” to show genuine appreciation. Speak up rather than getting cynical and gossiping.
  3. Be gracious in accepting gratitude – when someone shows appreciation, learn how to accept it. Don’t brush it off in the spirit of humbleness, recognize it and say thank you. Practice saying it so it’s not a shock to your system.
  4. Instill an attitude of thankfulness for your customers. Let your employees know you genuinely appreciate their business. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers how much you appreciate them trusting their business to you.
  5. Make Gratitude a Focus – remember, employees follow your lead. If you value gratitude and appreciation and genuinely and routinely demonstrate it to your team, your employees are more likely to repeat that behavior.

Creating an OC where culture is a competitive advantage isn’t hard, but it has to be intentional and supported by actions – not words. Happy Thanksgiving!