As we entered October, seven months into COVID-19, I wanted to plan an activity for Ethics & Compliance week (November 1-7) that would be meaningful and engaging for all TTEC employees. I immediately thought about gratitude and wanted to build a place where we could all take a few moments and let our colleagues know how much we appreciate them every day. According to the Harvard Business Review article In Times of Crisis, a Little Thanks Goes a Long Way, “research clearly indicates expressing gratitude is beneficial to our health and well-being.”
One of our first ideas was to leverage our internal intranet, Mosaic, to launch a new Gratitude board on the Ethics & Integrity Management Mosaic space that kicked off this month. If you’re part of TTEC, we invite you to share your appreciation and gratitude on this Space!
I also wanted to dig a little deeper into the practice of gratitude and how it benefits teams. In advance of the Mosaic launch, I met with several leaders throughout the company to invite them to take a few weeks to discuss gratitude, and its importance, with their teams. One leader, Heather Lawrence, Director of Analytics, Digital was one of my partners in this activity. Heather is based in Detroit, Michigan. I had some time to talk to Heather this week to discuss her team’s participation in the project. Over the next few weeks I’ll be providing more detail, but Heather’s initial response was remarkable.
Heather’s team kicked off the project by making sure they took a few minutes every day to jot down what they were grateful for at work. Using those thoughts, the next (and sometimes little uncomfortable) step, was to reach out to a coworker they were grateful for and share that with them. One of the team’s first observations was that: it is not natural to contact a coworker with the express intention of thanking them.
Pretty amazing observation. I wonder, why is it uncomfortable for us to take a few minutes a day to tell the people we speak to all the time, that we appreciate them? Yet, this is a normal reaction. In his blog on Psychology Today, Why Gratitude is So Hard, Dr. Neel Burton questions whether it is difficult to give thanks because it takes away from our sense of control, or that we are programmed to give ourselves credit for success and blame others for failure.
Whatever the reason, it is an important question to consider. But, if you can overcome feeling a bit wary of expressing gratitude, it can have some pretty big benefits. Heather noted that her team was extremely pleased by the response they got to sharing gratitude with others. The more they gave, the more they got in return! Additionally, it was a nice team building exercise to be able to focus on the good, together.
Heather plans on continuing the gratitude conversations with her team. She’s shared a few interesting questions that can help you kick start the conversation:
- What am I grateful for today?
- Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
- What good am I creating or cultivating in the world today?
If you’re part of TTEC, over the next few weeks as we catch up with Heather’s team, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, don’t forget to recognize your colleagues on Mosaic! I’ll also be uploading materials from some of my other partners in this important project to the site.
If you’re new to TTEC or just learning about our company, be sure to check out our Mission, Purpose and Values that guide our organization. This gratitude project supports our commitment to live our values each day.