Giving Gratitude

Let’s be honest about a few things. The world is becoming a difficult place. We are bombarded with negative images, reasons to doubt our own worth, and have to defend those we love. While this isn’t news, the pace at which it comes to our attention feels relentless and never ending. I can’t be the only one feeling this way, right?

We are so busy with trying to stay sane that we’ve forgotten about the need to be kind human beings to each other and to the planet we call home. We work long hours, check emails even when we’re supposed to be off, and the race to reach the “American Dream” is exhausting! We spend more time at work than we do we do at home with our family and those we love.

Company culture is easy to talk about and put on paper, but truly executing successful company culture that leaves employees and customers feeling fulfilled is much harder. Getting off early, having free snacks, and being able to work from a bean bag chair is great. But let’s take it all a step further. What is the company doing to really make a difference in the lives of their employees, customers, and the world we call home?

I have always been committed to building meaningful company culture at Paper Napkin Marketing. While many of the approaches were not typical and required time getting to know each employee and asking questions about who they are, their aspirations, and what they loved, it all resulted in a very important outcome. The people who worked with and for Paper Napkin Marketing didn’t leave, worked harder and longer than anyone I know, and were relentless in their kindness and care for their coworkers. Why? Because we broke the rules and I showed gratitude at every chance I could.

There were opportunities for Paper Napkin Marketing to make more money, which to most seems like a no brainer. But I am not everyone. I believe in the investment of people and their happiness and learned early on that we only get one chance to get it right. Getting to know each other, recognizing and celebrating successes and future goals of those who work for you can only do one thing … make a more loyal employee, a stronger company, and that in turn resonates with customers.

I have an idea, just bear with me. I propose a new position for every major company. A Chief Gratitude Officer (CGO). What does that mean? It’s actually pretty simple … we say thank you, like we were taught, to members of our team, customers, and our communities by making a meaningful contribution, sharing stories, and making resources available that inspires others to do the same.

Let’s make CGOs a trend just like shoulder pads but one that actually stays around. As I have learned from my work through the years, it just takes one great trend or moment of gratitude to make a difference.  Will your company be the first one to hire a CGO? If so, think of me!

Todd Murray