Chris Murchison of the HopeLab has been working on gratitude rituals in workplaces — non-profits, corporations, and education.
He talks about how to make more nourishing, compassionate, emotionally supportive cultures at work. He’s found a link between thanking and other gratitude rituals, and people’s satisfaction at work. Especially supervisor-employee gratitude rituals can be enlivening and nourishing.
Instead of Performance Reviews, there are annual conversations to reflect on what brings joy, pride, and community at work. The goal is not just what an individual is doing right/wrong — but rather a chance for employees to ask for nourishment and resources they need.
There are also special Thank You cards, that align the companies’ values and the employees’ values.
There is an Honoring ritual, a Box of Blocks, that has physical cubes embedded with compliments for the employee — to give them and show gratitude for them.
When new employees join the organization, they have a Beginnings ritual, to express appreciation and welcome.
There is a post-milestone Debrief, to see what has been accomplished, what people had done, and to bring people together.
Pre-meeting Check-ins, to say what we are here to accomplish, what we’d like to do together — grounds the group and lets each other express appreciation.
When people are leaving — being laid off or not — then the group celebrates them with a customized ritual (in this case a Thriller Flash Mob for a Michael Jackson fan who was leaving the company.
These rituals help people feel ‘seen’ — that the organization is paying attention to them, and that it is practiced, sustained, and regular throughout the lifecycle of the employment and the org.