Think about the last time you received a thank you note. It probably felt good, right? When we are thanked it makes us feel appreciated and valued. It sparks a desire in us to want to help more. As the late Randy Pausch put it, “Gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” 2020 has been a challenging year. Quite understandably, all the change and uncertainty of this year has caused many of us more stress than usual. Research shows that expressing gratitude can help balance us out and make us feel happier. In organizations, practicing gratitude is a culture changer.


Our partners at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) in Wisconsin are a shining example of this. The WCTC team commits to creating a people-first culture every day. One way they live that out is by recognizing employees when they do a great job. Team members deliver hand-written thank you notes in the mailboxes of employees who do great work. However, when the pandemic hit and employees at the college had to shift to virtual work, staff quickly realized they needed to come up with a way to recognize employees that worked in a remote work environment as well.

The Engagement Team implemented a virtual Wall of Thanks as a way of hardwiring reward and recognition. One striking aspect of the virtual wall is that it collects the expressions of gratitude posted by team members and the comments are saved on display for others to see.

As you view the video below of Jennifer Hagen and Jonathan Pedraza explaining how the Wall of Thanks promotes a culture of gratitude, reflect on your organization. As a leader, how do you encourage gratitude across your organization?

Leave a Reply

Start typing and press Enter to search

Person walking down roadChild being grateful