Gratitude is Contagious
Septmeber, 21, 2023
Ameseginalehu.” The big smile radiated out from Kebret’s face when I said “thank you” in Amharic after he had helped get my bags out of the back of his cab at LaGuardia airport. Twelve years later, I still remember his joy and the hug he gave me after my simple act of gratitude. Gratitude is a practice that becomes contagious. At Arosa, we have centered our first core value, “Be ambitious, while humble and grateful” around gratitude. For gratitude to spread, it does not require grand gestures or great expense. Rather, there are a set of simple best practices in this arena that I have come to believe are essential.
First, be proactive
If we do not pay attention to all of the good things happening or the ways people are helping one another, we will be consumed by what I like to call “the fire of the day.” While clients who are at a difficult place on their journey or teammates who have concerns are more inclined to make their voices heard, the large majority of our clients and teammates are very pleased with the relationships with each other and with Arosa. We need to spend as much or more time supporting and celebrating the great relationships that are the norm. This takes focus. Doing so requires us to seek out the good, and to commit ourselves to spend consistent time proactively reaching out to teammates and clients who are doing well.
Second, be personal.
A generic “thank you” is as forgettable as a slice of day-old Dominos. Sure, it’s scalable because it is easy, but it is worth little to the recipient. To be meaningful, gratitude should be specific, and to make that happen, we must be observant. Over the weekend, the former mayor of my hometown called to rave about our ninja of a Care Manager, Beth, and so I took notes and passed along some exact quotes to Beth and our entire team. That appreciation should resonate with Beth, whereas appreciation with no context could ring hollow. It can also be the case that if your gratitude is personalized because you know what is important to the other party, that can make a big impact.
Third, be unexpected.
Mix it up. Experiment with different formats. Doing the same old thing is boring and can become forgettable. Some of the different mediums we use include hand-written notes, slack shout-outs, phone calls, Care Heroes rewards, and Jib-Jab videos. One of my personal favorite gratitude gestures for an office team that has gone above and beyond is to get chair massages in the office. When it’s unexpected and a bit surprising, it will be all the more memorable.
Today, September 21st, is Worldwide Gratitude Day. I will be on the road at 6am in my (borrowed) Corvette Convertible, running around town to surprise a number of our amazing Arosa teammates with a fun ride to work. We will be picking up superstars who are there for us day in and day out, as a way to remind them how special they are to us. We will pack their favorite snack or dessert to make the appreciation all the more personal. While the Corvette ride may be short, we hope the sentiment of being treasured endures. Though World Gratitude Day lasts a mere 24 hours, at Arosa, our goal is that we practice it, and believe in it, every day.
Happy Worldwide Gratitude Day!