With Thanksgiving and the holidays looming near, it’s that time of year when gratitude tends to become top-of-mind.
But it is a practice we can develop year-round and there are a multitude of benefits, both personally and professionally. On a personal level, data from the Mayo Clinic shows that gratitude has been associated with better sleep, reduced symptoms of physical pain, lower blood pressure, and decreased depression. Professionally, cultivating a culture of gratitude amongst team members can help reduce stress and release oxytocin – the “love” hormone that helps people feel connected. Gratitude actually changes the neural structures in the brain to make us feel happier and more content, altering the way we see the world and ourselves. Quite simply, gratitude is transformative. As we all navigate increasingly difficult happenings in the world and the changing landscape of the economy, this one small practice can help us stay balanced even when the ground beneath feels shaky.
At Moxie Sozo, a creative branding agency, we’re a mid-sized group of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We’ve intentionally focused on building a culture that authentically celebrates individual and team contributions. During our weekly all-agency meeting, people celebrate co-workers’ wins, both big and small, and express appreciation for the ways they’ve stepped up to contribute on projects. Our “shoutouts” Slack channel dings regularly with love notes to fellow Moxies. “Congrats to Skyla for signing a new client she met at a recent networking event!” “Thank you, Tess, for watering all the plants in the office!” “Awesome UI features on that newly-launched website, Arlo!” “Way to nail that round one beverage packaging presentation, team!” “Shoutout to whomever cleaned the kitchen – thank you!”
We also encourage our people to volunteer for things that are important to them; in addition to PTO, every Moxie receives five days to volunteer however they choose. And, the group gathers for quarterly volunteering events in the community so that we have quality time together while giving back. Everyone feels good doing it, we get time away from our screens, and it allows people to interact cross-functionally with those who are on teams that don’t regularly work together.
As this year draws to a close, we express deep gratitude for our enduring relationships with each other, our clients, and our partners, our continued success as a small, independent business, and the fulfilling work we get to do bringing brands to market and helping them garner market share. We invite you to express what you’re grateful for, too. Not sure where to start? Try a daily gratitude journal, volunteer your time, or simply say thank you.