Productive people and productive teams come from a combination of many qualities. These characteristics can be fostered and encouraged through team building exercises. One often used here at Lake Geneva Team Building Adventures is to end a facilitation by asking participants to each share one thing they are grateful for from a teammate, and one thing they are grateful for from themselves.
Research has proven that the simple act of showing gratitude, as a practice, increases joy. Happy people are more productive, show more determination and enthusiasm, and have higher levels of achievement. All this can be cultivated through simple acts of gratitude.
Foster gratitude within your team with one of these easy activities. Follow the sources listed below to learn more about research into gratitude and its effects on the workplace.
Anonymous Gratitude Tree
Create a space for a posted Gratitude Tree in a shared area. Ask your team to write anonymous ‘shout outs’ to their teammates for things they have appreciated. Take a moment at the start of a meeting to read a few of the entries. This activity can be carried out on a billboard in a common area by posting an image of a tree and providing small squares of paper, pencils and a stapler for entries. It can also be carried out on a shared Google Document by setting up empty text boxes over an image of a tree, or simply using bullet points.
Before you charge into the meeting’s content, take a moment to acknowledge what your team is grateful for in their life. Want to mix it up a little? Use Pictionary rules! A white board or notepad works well for in-person meetings, and the Zoom whiteboard works for virtual meetings. Remember Pictionary rules are 60 second rounds, and no words or numbers. Get competitive with teams or play a friendly round.
Send your team a list of each person’s name. Ask them to write a short ‘thank you’ to each person. These can be for appreciated acts, words of kindness or encouragement, or their general attitude. Compile all the responses so comments about each person are on a single page. Print the pages and deliver them to each team member.
- How to truly feel joy by practicing gratitude, Brené Brown wisdom
- Journal of Careen Assessment, ‘Does Happiness Promote Career Success?’
- The Power of Thanks, by Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine