Every Thursday at work, I take a few minutes and think of someone I would like to thank publicly. Then I write a short post on our enterprise social network and tag it with #thankyouthursday. Over time, more people at work are offering thanks that way too. It’s not an original idea. There’s a thankyouthursday.org and a Facebook group and, of course, the fourth Thursday of every November in the US.
My hope is that this post will help you implement your own version of #thankyouthursday at your company or with your friends and family.
Solving the recognition paradox
Inside large organizations, there’s a recognition paradox. Everyone says there should be more recognition of people and their good work, but few people do anything about it. Instead of thanking and recognizing each other, we limit ourselves to Recognition Programs created by Human Resources.
But in an era of self-publishing, it’s easier than ever to change this.
In a recent session on twitter, people who work with social networks inside companies came together online and one topic was about the simple contributions people can make. That reminded me of #thankyouthursday.
Steal Like An Artist
About 18 months ago, I wrote about another idea I hoped would spread. Inspired by Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist, I adapted a kind of discussion on Reddit called Ask Me Anything for use inside our firm.
Since then, over 80 executives have participated in open online discussions where anyone at the company can ask them anything. Those discussions are often rich and authentic, with dozens of questions and thousands of people looking on.
Better still, many other firms now use the same technique. They too stole like artists, further adapting Ask Me Anythings to suit their particular organizations. Now I hope the same thing happens with #thankyouthursday.
Creating your own culture of gratitude
Every week, reading all the different notes makes me feel better about where I work and feel more connected to the people there. The small investment I make thanking someone is repaid 100-fold.
To get this feeling yourself, you don’t need to wait for anyone to give you permission or create a program. Just start by scheduling a few minutes every Thursday. Then say thank you in a way that’s convenient and authentic for you. Here are simple instructions from thankyouthursday.org:
“Every Thursday, take an intentional moment to acknowledge those who you are thankful for. Send an email, post a note on Facebook, send them a message on Twitter, give them a call, stop by their desk… etc.
Simply take the time to thank those who have impacted you in big or small ways.”
Say thank you. Whether you do this with friends and family or at work, you’ll be creating your own culture of gratitude that’s good for everyone.