EP 44: Cultivating Gratitude in the Workplace with Traci Scherck

Cultivating Gratitude in the Workplace

The practice of gratitude and appreciation has started to infiltrate workplaces—and rightly so! While it might feel awkward to express gratitude to your colleagues or employees, building a culture of gratitude can impact business outcomes and lead to deeper connections with each other and to the work we’re doing. So, in this episode, I will be sharing how to cultivate more gratitude within your organization so that your team feels engaged and recognized.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • How expressing gratitude can impact individuals, as well as organizations as a whole. (2:30)
  • How to create a culture of gratitude and build a better workplace. (5:35)
  • How to use gratitude and appreciation to motivate and retain your staff. (10:25)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals

  • Lead by example. (18:33)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives

  • Create a culture of gratitude and tie it to your business results. (19:17)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“You can build a better workplace by saying thanks.” - Traci Scherck Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Thank you, I want to thank each and every one of you for listening and each week to our podcast which is talent optimization.

Traci Scherck: My name is Tracy Scherck and I am the chief talent officer here at elevated talent consulting so thank you for listening, thank you for your insights.

Traci Scherck: Thank you for your engagement on our linkedin posts, and thank you for showing up and doing that magical thing that you do every single day at work and at home.

Traci Scherck: So today we’re going to chat about gratitude and let me tell you this month, we have some amazing guests on our podcast that you’re going to want to catch throughout the month.

Traci Scherck: And that specifically includes Quint studer on and it includes Jen Zahari, so please be sure to.

Traci Scherck: pay attention to that was as they drop every Thursday so with that Why is gratitude so important and what the heck Is it right so um.

Traci Scherck: here’s the gratitude effect, it is a ripple of acknowledgement and appreciation that surges forward transforming and inspiring us.

Traci Scherck: It improves business outcomes, the more gratitude going around the for the more human connections are being made.

Traci Scherck: And the more collaboration engagement and innovation across the organization, moreover, when recognition is given frequently throughout the year.

Traci Scherck: The impact of that positive reinforcement is even greater.

Traci Scherck: And then it came from a recent forbes article called the business impact of gratitude and I just thought that that definition was so beautiful right this gratitude effect it’s this ripple.

Traci Scherck: And we never know by saying thank you, the impact that has that can be that defining moment on someone’s day.

Traci Scherck: That thank you especially to the mundane tasks that individuals are doing, day in and day out, and feel like, no one is paying attention to that.

Traci Scherck: That gratitude that is specific to the person and to the impact that that thing has.

Traci Scherck: is going to propel them into the future, because when we remember those key things in gratitude can be done in so many different ways, it can be a thank you note in the mail and you know, one of my.

Traci Scherck: Friends Jamie shibly at the express read does an amazing job of sending out the handwritten cards for businesses are really showing that gratitude to clients and to staff for what they do for you in your business.

Traci Scherck: So you know, one of the key things that I am so incredibly grateful for, is my husband and my two boys, so my husband has this amazing way.

Traci Scherck: of making sure that things are done in a very, very specific order and that everything is done pretty much on time.

Traci Scherck: And I have to tell you, we make such a perfect team, because we really complement each other, so if you follow predictive index at all.

Traci Scherck: i’m a maverick which means i’m take charge take action very sociable out and frank get things done and on relentless with a note right.

Traci Scherck: Whereas my husband is someone that is very, very thoughtful he really thinks things through, he is going to check in with the team or check in with me before he makes the decision, so I feel you be included.

Traci Scherck: And then he’s going to check every single item in every die I in cross every T before something gets done so we had been working on a project this fall.

Traci Scherck: And within that project we were looking at some drainage tile on some of those kind of things and we had a contractor working with us in the contract or miss so many things that Ryan, was able to catch and make sure didn’t cause issues later so i’m so grateful.

Traci Scherck: For his attention to detail and he includes me on what he’s doing.

Traci Scherck: And I share this example not only just to give him kudos but also really to show how impactful gratitude can be when we really do that in a way that engages the other person.

Traci Scherck: And in the way that they want to be recognized now my boys Q and E, let me tell you they want to be recognized in private and never in public so.

Traci Scherck: boys, thank you for so much for what you’re teaching me as an extrovert and the two of you being very much introverts I appreciate that.

Traci Scherck: So, as we kind of chat today, I do have a couple things that I want to share, as you are kind of looking at.

Traci Scherck: You know how do you create gratitude in your organization and let me tell you, you can create a culture of gratitude.

Traci Scherck: So again, what is gratitude gratitude is a feeling of appreciation are things there’s three stages of gratitude, the first is recognition so recognizing what that is acknowledging another person and then showing that appreciation.

Traci Scherck: And so you know we can build a better workplace by saying thanks and there’s a lot of different things that we can do, by doing that and this actually came from a Harvard Business Review article.

Traci Scherck: And in that you know Harvard Business Review Article one of the things that I thought was so impactful is that, as they were digging into the research.

Traci Scherck: here’s the quote the student describe how their work funded a scholarship and how much he appreciated their effort, one month later.

Traci Scherck: These employees spent 142% more time on the phone and raised 171% more money than those who didn’t meet the student the implication.

Traci Scherck: organizations should hold events where employees can meet people positively affecting their work because they’re able to give them that gratitude and emphasize the importance of expressing thanks and appreciation for the work.

Traci Scherck: So when we think about that as human resources and as leaders when we’re giving gratitude to our staff or to our clients or at home to our kids and our spouses right.

Traci Scherck: How are we linking that to those outcomes that we’re creating you know, and what we kind of saw in jumping them to this article there for a second is.

Traci Scherck: really looking at when we can hear the story and feel the gratitude of the impact of our work we’re going to be much more motivated so.

Traci Scherck: A question how exactly are you impacting the motivation of your staff, by not only sharing your gratitude, but connecting them with specifically.

Traci Scherck: That end product or result of what they’re doing, and if you listen back through the podcasts and I don’t remember the number, but it is Christina metcalf.

Traci Scherck: christy specifically tells a story about going and how a leader was walking through the organization and they asked.

Traci Scherck: One of the individuals on the line hey what is it that you’re doing, and she said hey i’m just putting electrical parts together no big deal boring right.

Traci Scherck: Well, that leader went out to figure out what exactly the impact of those electrical parts were that this employee was putting together.

Traci Scherck: What it was is those electrical pieces that this employee was putting together actually turned on the emergency lights in the airplane.

Traci Scherck: And she then took it a step further and really found how that impacted the end user, meaning.

Traci Scherck: The customers that fly in these airplanes right so when we can tie these things together and share the gratitude for the work that our folks are doing.

Traci Scherck: we’re going to increase their productivity, which means we’re going to increase their engagement which means we’re going to increase the profitability on the organization.

Traci Scherck: So one other thing I wanted to kind of bring up here is gratitude and mental health, so we are coming off of you know it feels like 10 years but more like 18 months, plus of covid right and here’s the impact of covenant mental health and this came from a Berkeley study.

Traci Scherck: The article is called have gratitude changes, you and your brain and so gratitude and mental health gratitude unshackled us from toxic emotions.

Traci Scherck: gratitude helps even if you don’t share it and gratitude benefits take time gratitude has long lasting effects on the brain and so here’s.

Traci Scherck: another kind of note from the American psychological association, and this is that researchers found that 93% of employees.

Traci Scherck: Who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88% reported feeling engaged.

Traci Scherck: So among the group only 21% plan to look for a new job in the coming year.

Traci Scherck: So we all know how expensive employee disengagement and turnover is especially in the midst of the great resignation right, so if we can turn that around and say hey you know what we are going to live the great retention.

Traci Scherck: And one of the best ways we can live and create an amazing culture inside of our organization is to show gratitude for our employees and then guess what we can retain staff at a much higher level, and so, when we can.

Traci Scherck: show what we’re doing with that we’re going to increase our employee engagement and impact productivity in a very positive way, so.

Traci Scherck: So often, I hear from leaders gratitude why the heck should I go tell an employee, thank you for doing what i’m paying them to do and I just kind of looked at him and i’m like well how is that attitude working for you.

Traci Scherck: They kind of look back, like you’re going to challenge me on that the answer is yes, because here’s the thing.

Traci Scherck: We all want to be appreciated, we all want to do meaningful and fulfilling work and the smallest Thank you doesn’t cost anything it just means we’re paying attention.

Traci Scherck: And should we be thanked for doing what we’re supposed to do, every day, what does that hurt right.

Traci Scherck: So what are the unintended consequences for showing your gratitude and thanks Oh, we just read what the science and the research shows us right.

Traci Scherck: it’s 93% of employees who reported feeling valued and said that they were motivated to do their best work and 88% reported feeling engaged guess what.

Traci Scherck: that’s 79% of that workforce that’s not going to be looking for work that’s pretty amazing.

Traci Scherck: So with that we have gratitude and what does it actually look like to create a culture of gratitude.

Traci Scherck: And you know how do you do that in your workplace, so there was an amazing article in the in business magazine and Madison so I know we have listenership across the country and i’m located in the Madison Wisconsin area.

Traci Scherck: And you know, one of the key items that really came out of this, how do you show gratitude is train managers on what gratitude looks like and then hold them accountable for it.

Traci Scherck: So for those leaders listening in today have you trained your managers on what gratitude looks like in the workplace, are you holding them accountable for.

Traci Scherck: Creating that culture and actually saying thank you and guess what if you’re not doing it and loving it they’re not going to either because they’re going to look to you to say well.

Traci Scherck: You haven’t said things lately, and yet we have some of the most amazing leaders in our organization that send handwritten notes right.

Traci Scherck: And those handwritten notes so so incredibly far so as leaders are you sending handwritten notes at thanksgiving or Christmas or on just because days, because you notice someone doing something great.

Traci Scherck: That goes so far and.

Traci Scherck: Are we creating communication channels, whether it’s in slack or linkedin or internal communications, where we can truly share the great things because.

Traci Scherck: As humans our brain automatically goes to the negatives, and yet our brain is going to look for whatever we tell it to look for.

Traci Scherck: So, to create a culture of gratitude, we have to plant those seeds.

Traci Scherck: Inside of our organization and intentionally plan what that looks like so we can always bring ourselves back to that what are some things we’re grateful for.

Traci Scherck: So let me just share with you, I am incredibly grateful for you as our listener, I am so grateful for my clients and our clients here at elevated talent, because our clients allow us to do this amazing work.

Traci Scherck: of creating fulfilling work for individuals inside of organizations, they allow us to build dream teams by being a partner to our clients.

Traci Scherck: that’s a dream job, thank you to every single client that’s out there for allowing us to do this work with you and for you and being that partner.

Traci Scherck: I want to thank our our team that is around us, because, let me tell you, we cannot do this without our team and it’s, not just for employees, because.

Traci Scherck: i’m going to get there, and just a second, but it is that support team, it is the team at predictive index the demon clark’s of the world that.

Traci Scherck: really create the connection the context the collaboration is the Dan Corsers, that really take us under his wing and really teach us what we need to do to make talent optimization.

Traci Scherck: Something that impacts organizations it’s the Lisa Furseths of the world that are able to kind of you know guide and lead and coach.

Traci Scherck: Throughout our career journey, it is the Jan Smith’s of the world that become that coach and kind of that parent in your ear to say.

Traci Scherck: hey have you thought about this, and in this way and, what is the unintentional consequences of that so for that support team, I just want to say thank you and for our staff and contractors of elevated talent man.

Traci Scherck: We couldn’t do this work without you and you make it so much more fulfilling for us, so I just want to thank.

Traci Scherck: Each and every one of you, and you know the Terry craiens of the world and the Jen Haracres of the world, thank you for what you do for us in with us every day and our contractors like Eric benet right cash flow podcast.

Traci Scherck: So with that I will stop rambling but the reason why I did my gratitude for you is twofold one, I want to thank each every one of them, but the second piece of that is really.

Traci Scherck: it isn’t hard right What are those things you’re grateful for so with that here’s some tips, as you build a culture of gratitude inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: um again, we want to train our managers on what that looks like and you can do exercises like what we just did or what you just listen to of hey here’s 10 topics I want you to name one thing you’re grateful for, and each of these topics.

Traci Scherck: note that quick thank yous that are specific authentic and personal.

Traci Scherck: Because that’s going to be much more meaningful than a general praise like hey you rock great what do I rock at, is that to me is to everybody there, what does that mean.

Traci Scherck: um you want to see who is not thanked in the workplace and make sure that their thanked so who are those individuals that are doing such an amazing job that they kind of you know, become the wallpaper.

Traci Scherck: um you know I had a leader at one point say to me hey Tracy here’s the thing with hr.

Traci Scherck: Your goal is not to be noticed, because when you’re notice, we end up on the front page of the paper of something that’s not really great.

Traci Scherck: So your job is not to be noticed i’m like well, I want to be noticed but yes, but not in that negative way right so for those people inside your organization.

Traci Scherck: that need to be thanked because you know they’re either on thankless jobs or they become invisible like I can think of the IT folks I can think of a lot of our marketing folks that are behind the scenes, I can think of.

Traci Scherck: The secretarial or the janitorial staff, so thank you right um and then we want the next thing is, as you create the culture of gratitude, how can you embed this into your culture.

Traci Scherck: And you want to start every meeting with something positive at working at home, the question is, will Tracy why at home, too.

Traci Scherck: Because we bring our whole selves to work right, we really do and when we can know what’s going on.

Traci Scherck: At home, and really create that environment where we’re saying yes we’re going to support that and we want to support you.

Traci Scherck: We are going to be much more apt to create a cohesive trusting team inside of our organization and if you listen back to Jason norton’s podcast.

Traci Scherck: guess what we can’t optimize employees, if they are crispy and fried because of things that are going on at home, so we do want to pay attention to that and we want to celebrate those things you remember what we look for is what will actually show up so.

Traci Scherck: And then, as we kind of close this out today I love this quote no one who achieve success does so without acknowledging the help of others, the wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude and that.

Traci Scherck: was a quote from Alfred North Whitehead, so thank you for listening in now we’re not gonna leave today without our.

Traci Scherck: One key takeaway for HR and one are one key takeaway for executives listening in so for HR lead by example, you know start in end every meeting with a positive, you know, three gifts and a grow.

Traci Scherck: Right, so what are those three gifts that that employee has given to you, and maybe what’s one place, that they can grow, but having that couched as.

Traci Scherck: I have a grow in here for you, because I care so deeply about you, and let me tell you there are some days we’re finding gifts and an employee is like oh my gosh I have to dig really deep here, If I can find it.

Traci Scherck: we’re going to dig really deep to find that um and so you can do it and guess what.

Traci Scherck: When you give gratitude it doesn’t just impact them it impacts you because it truly changes your brain, so our next.

Traci Scherck: Key takeaway for executives listening in is create a culture of gratitude and tie it to your business results.

Traci Scherck: You know everything you’re doing needs to be tied to that bottom line we get that right, you can create gratitude that directly tied to those business results and.

Traci Scherck: I like to talk about three bottom lines, we have the bottom line, which is the dollars, we have the bottom line, which is the employee impact to me at the bottom line, which is the client impact, thank you to my nonprofit days right.

Traci Scherck: So with that, how are you going to tie that to your business results and that could be those three bottom lines.

Traci Scherck: And just remember that the smallest one can be the biggest momentum drivers for an individual because they were acknowledged, I know, early in my career as i’m trudging away inside of I think that sounds so melodramatic and it really wasn’t.

Traci Scherck: So I had a an internship and I think I did 650 interviews in the period of six months.

Traci Scherck: And I had a supervisor that would see every day with each of us were doing you know, and she would just kind of poked her head over the top of the cubicle say Tracy you did a great job asking that question, or you did a great job of follow up.

Traci Scherck: She would do that to every single one of us, I think there was eight interns at the time, and when we tell you that was exactly what I needed to keep me motivated.

Traci Scherck: And Sarah Thank you so with that, thank you for joining us, thank you for sharing our podcast with your friends, and thank you for joining our talent optimization community, and I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day.