As we prepare for Thanksgiving, there’s no better time to reflect on gratitude at work and what that emotion can mean for your employer brand and culture communication efforts.
When a team member experiences gratitude at work, it points to an employee experience that exceeded expectations. Smart culture communicators follow this emotion — stories of gratitude are nearly always proof of how your culture has positively impacted team members’ lives personally and professionally.
TL;DR: gratitude stories are a goldmine for employer branding content.
In the spirit of the season, we’ve gathered a few of our all-time favorite employee stories that capture gratitude at work. And, tips for how you can uncover these stories in your organization, too.
Gratitude Moment #1: “I felt like everyone had known me for years.”
Moving to a new company isn’t easy. On top of tackling a new role, you are adjusting to a new team and new cultural norms. It can take some time to know for sure if you’ve made the right decision.
In this story, Shanerical shares how her new colleagues at Interactions made her feel especially welcome early on in her tenure, and how much it meant to her:
To find stories like this in your organization, we love the question, “When did you know you had made the right decision to join?”
Gratitude Moment #2: “It makes me feel like I’m still in the fight.”
Times of transition are hard. Whether you are a veteran transitioning to civilian life or a new graduate entering the workforce for the first time, structured programs can be a life-changing opportunity to make that transition with great opportunities and resources at your fingertips.
If your company offers any programs — think early career rotational programs, veteran transition programs, leadership development programs — members and graduates often express immense gratitude for the impact these programs have had on their lives and careers.
In the example below, you hear how Sergio’s plan was to serve a 20-year military career as a recon sniper. When he suffered a career-ending injury, that plan changed. He didn’t know what where to turn for the rest of his career, until he found the Warrior Integration Program at BAE Systems:
Gratitude at Work Moment #3: “I was so impressed that they wanted to keep me.”
How a company treats employees when times are tough speaks volumes about the company culture and the character of leadership.
In this story from Labcorp, Jill shares how her conversation went when she told her manager that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would no longer be able to uphold the travel requirements of her role:
To find stories like this, we love to ask storytellers, “What’s something you’ve experienced here that probably wouldn’t happen at any other workplace?” Also, “Can you give me an example of a time that you have felt supported by a manager and/or company leadership?”
Gratitude Moment #4: “They were willing to give that much time and effort in me, to do something great.”
When a team member is given an opportunity to expand their skills, it shows that the company is invested in team member growth. We love hearing storytellers talk about the opportunities they’ve received that have especially surprised and challenged them.
Chris pitched an idea to his managers at BAE Systems: he wanted to go to Japan for a week to study lean manufacturing techniques from the best of the best. He never thought they would say yes:
To get to stories of professional growth, we love to ask, “How has the company invested in your career growth?” And, “Can you tell me about a time you overcame a challenge at work? What happened?”
Gratitude at Work Moment #5: “She had just come to say thank you. And it felt like such a life-changing moment.”
You don’t always get to see the person who benefits from your work: the recipient of the drug you researched; the child playing with the toy you marketed; the candidate who discovers their dream job because of videos they watched (!). When team members get to hear gratitude from the people benefiting from their work, the experience creates a lasting impression.
In this video, 24 Hour Fitness manager Arezoo Zand shares the special moment when she got to hear a member say, ‘Thank you.’
To get stories like this, we love to ask, “Can you tell me about a time you’ve been able to see the impact of your work?”