16 - Grow Live - Happy Thanksgiving! 3 Ways to Build a Culture of Gratitude at Work.jpg

Matt Johnson joins us for a very special Grow Live: Thanksgiving Edition!

Watch, listen or read now and learn more about:

  • Recognizing and publicly acknowledging employees’ good works
  • Taking a moment to acknowledge an evidence of grace before diving into meetings
  • Why you should never operate from a place of scarcity, but from a place of plenty
  • Remember to celebrate the wins—big and small
  • Listen in on what the Safety Marketing Services team is thankful for this year

“When you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of your customers,” Matt Johnson, SMS CMO & Managing Partner.

Matt has a challenge for you. Simply acknowledge an evidence of grace before each team meeting for 6 weeks. Then, let us know how your company responded. Does your team seem happier and more fulfilled?

Thanks for joining us on our Thanksgiving special! We’ll be back next week with more of the helpful marketing advice you’re looking for. And, make sure you tune in next week for a very special guest appearance from Ergodyne.

Safety Marketing Services is always looking for industry rockstars to join us on the show! Maybe you’ll be next!

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Read the Grow Live transcript...


Hey everybody, welcome to Grow Live and happy Thanksgiving Eve. I'm your host Matt Johnson. I'm the CMO and managing partner here at Safety Marketing Services. And I have a special episode for you guys today, I'm excited about this. I am missing my co-host Renia, she's on vacation. But it's just me, it's a solo cast episode and we're going to have a special Thanksgiving episode for you guys.


Today, I'm going to talk about three ways to build a culture of gratitude at your workplace. It's a little bit different, it's not strictly a marketing subject, so my marketing managers out there, bare with me. This might be for your boss, this might be for leadership or ownership at the company, but some good tips that I think we're going to pass along for you guys, and I hope that you enjoy it.


I just want to say welcome if you're new to the show. If this is the first time that you've come onto Facebook and you've seen us live and you're watching this for the first time, or if you're listening over the podcast, welcome. So glad to have you. If you could do us a favor and subscribe and leave us a comment and a review, that would be fantastic. Helps us get this show out to more people who could benefit from the content.


I also want to say that you can view us later with the high quality version of the show at YouTube/growwithsms, and at our blog at growwithsms.com/blog.


So as I said, today we're going to talk about something a little bit different. Three ways to build a culture of gratitude at your workplace. I'll jump right in, I'll start by saying that the number one way to build a culture of gratitude is by recognizing and publicly praising excellence on your team. This seems like a no-brainer, but many folks assume that their staff understands how much they're appreciated, which simply is not the case.


There has been a report that 43% of your employees are frustrated because they feel like they're under appreciated in their workplace. That's a shame, because I know that ownership, and I know that management doesn't feel that way. I know that you're really grateful for your staff, especially those ones who bust their butt. They come in early, they stay late, they get their projects done on time, and those are the people we really want to acknowledge on a regular basis.


The way that we do this here, is we started doing what I call an evidence of grace. An evidence of grace is basically where every staff meeting that we have, before we get into the nitty gritty, before we get into the details and all of the stressful things that are happening in our job, before we get into all of that crazy stuff, we stop and we acknowledge an evidence of grace.


What this looks like is, everybody taking a turn and describing and articulating what they feel, how they feel about their staff. Who did a great job on a project, who really pulled through at the last minute to help them out. Things that are happening in their life that they're grateful for. "Hey, I had a new baby this week and it went great, and everyone is healthy, and I'm just so grateful I wanted to share that with the team." Or just things like somebody going above and beyond, or if it's just a matter of some great work that we recently published. Those are all great things to acknowledge publicly and verbally with each other.


So before we start our staff meetings, we ask everybody to take some time, acknowledge the good and then move onto your work. And that's a practice that we've doing for quite a while here, and it's been trickling down through the ranks, which is really fun to see. And one of the ways I know that, is because we use a communication tool, and before we used Slack but right now we're using Facebook Workplace, which is a really fun app. If you're looking for a way to communicate with your team, bring people together on projects, and bring remote people together as well in-office people, Workplace by Facebook is a fantastic app. They don't pay me to say that, I just like it.


I like it because everybody knows how to use it intuitively. It's a very short ramp up time. You don't have to train anybody how to use the Workplace app, because it is essentially the Facebook app just made for a workplace. So when we're in Workplace and I look at what's happening in the communication, I see our staff acknowledging each other's good work, thanking each other, being grateful for each other, celebrating wins. So you can post gifts in the threads on Workplace, like people celebrating or parties, that sort of thing. It's a really fun way to acknowledge each other's hard work. And those little things go a long way towards building that culture of gratitude. That's my first tip, is to recognize and publicly praise excellence when you see it.


Number two is to stop and celebrate the wins. How often do we just put our head down and keep pile driving forward if we have a goal that we've set for the year, or quarter, or monthly goal, when we hit that goal we just keep on marching along like it's no big thing? But you should stop and you should say to yourselves, "Wow, guys we set a goal, we wrote that thing down, we committed to making it happen, and we did. That's not something to take lightly. That's something we should celebrate together. We should at least pause briefly to acknowledge the fact that we did accomplish something together as a group." That builds morale, that builds momentum and it helps you accomplish those bigger rocks that you're out there trying to accomplish as well.


Stopping and celebrating the wins. Often this can mean a sales team, if you land that big account, if you get that big deal it's like, "Oh, great job, all right back to work everybody." Let's slow down and let's enjoy the moment, because if we can't enjoy the wins, what are we even doing? This should be fun. If it's not fun, then we're really missing something, I think, in our work.


So stopping and celebrating the wins, and this can look like simple gift cards, like you'd maybe just throw out some gift cards to the team for doing a great job. Buying lunch for the team, taking people out to lunch, having a small party. These little things are the things that keep momentum going as you go about achieving your goals for the year.


That's my second tip, is to stop and celebrate the wins, and I feel like if you do that, you'll be on track for a lot of success this year to come. So be sure to stop and celebrate those wins.


The third one here is, it may be slightly controversial. I'll just warn you right now. But my third point is to defend your team from bullies. And what I mean by that is vendors, and customers, and prospects who are not a good fit for your team. Everybody knows that there are customers that are too big for you to manage, and they cause a lot of stress and strain on your team. Or maybe they're too small and they don't pay you as much, they have higher demands and they order less frequently, and they demand more from customer service or from support. Those are clients who we say yes to, because we feel like we need to say yes to everything, but in reality maybe we should stop and say, "Is that the kind of customer that I want, because they're ultimately causing more harm to my team than good?" Not all revenue is equal in other words.


You know that there's probably customers that you have right now who have lower margins, because they require a better deal from you. They demand a lot from your team, you bend over backwards for them, and honestly they're causing the morale in the company to suffer from that, and that's unfortunate. And it's a tough decision as a management team, but sometimes you have to realize that those kind of customers are not worth it. And defending your team from those kind of bullies will earn a lot of respect from your team. They'll go out and they will make your customers very happy, the ones that you do want to do business with, those are the ones who your team will go above and beyond for.


And that also goes the same for vendors. You know there's vendors that you work with as well, who they don't support you, they don't back you up in terms of the way you go to market. They require a lot of you, they're always asking things of you. You have to stop and ask eventually, "Is this really the relationship that I need to be in?"


In terms of relationships with outside companies, you should examine that carefully as you go into this next year and think about how can I protect my team? Because you are like the team shepherd, as the leader, as the manager. You need to make sure that they're taken care of, that they're safe, and that they are in a position to perform well for your customers. And if you do that, your existing customer-base, the ones who you know that you delight, you'll continue to win more of their business and ultimately lead to bigger victories in the year to come.


So those are three ways to help build a culture of gratitude at your workplace. I do have a bonus one, and it's not so much of a strategy as it is a mentality. And that is my fourth point, it's the bonus point of the day, and that is to think in these terms. There's plenty more where that came from. That's something that I say to myself a lot, because when you are managing a business and when you are out there, if you're in sales especially, or marketing, you have a tendency to get into a mindset of scarcity. And a mindset of scarcity is not attractive to potential customers, or existing customers.


Operating out of a mindset of plenty, which I think is a great thing for our Thanksgiving episode, is a key to being successful. So when we operate out of a mindset of scarcity, what we're communicating is that we're desperate. There's never enough, we're always having to scrap and scrape, and we're always the underdog. We never have enough resources, and we're complaining. It leads to a feeling of ungratitude all around.


But when we operate out of a mentality of plenty, what we're communicating is that we are able to accomplish our goals, we are able to service those customers that we are prospecting, we are able to delight those customers that we already have relationships with. And when we operate out of that mentality of plenty, it creates a trickle down effect across the whole company.


If you as an owner, or a leader, or a manager at your business, and if you are demonstrating this mentality of operating out of plenty, when the things that come across that are negative, you don't let those get you down because you say to yourself, "There's more where that came from." When you lose that customer who opts to go for the big box store, or for that competitor of yours, you say to yourself, "There's more where that came from." And operating out of that mindset will help you develop the kind of confidence, not only for yourself as leadership team, but for your team that works with you.


They need to know that they're secure, they need to know that the company is heading in the right direction, and that kind of confidence and gratitude that you express, will go throughout the whole company. And I feel like those are really important at this time of the year, to remember that we do have so much more than we acknowledge. We are extremely blessed. And if you look around and you count those blessings, you'll find that you have more than what you need.


You have the relationships you need to be successful. You have the tools that you need to accomplish your goals. You have the mental faculties and the resources, and when we acknowledge that, we start living as if that is true. When we live as if that is true, we can accomplish big things together.


I'm going to do something a little bit different here, this is a special Thanksgiving episode so I was told it was okay. I actually had a chance to go around, I talked to my staff and we discussed what they're grateful for. So if I can get Brandon to cue up the video here, I'm going to share with you a video of the SMS team. And the SMS team shared some of the things that they're most grateful for. So I hope you enjoy. Go ahead and roll that Brandon.


All right we're back. Wasn't that awesome. I love hearing those stories, it reminds me that there's more to work than the work that we do. It's important to remind ourselves of that.


So some of you have already checked out of the office this week, and you're preparing to gather around the table with your friends and family, but I do have a bit of an application for you today before you head out to the grocery store to go grab that last can of green beans.


As you gather with your friends and family around the table this week for Thanksgiving, I'll challenge you to remember the people that you work with at work. And remember that as you gather as a family, that you have a work family that when you operate as a team, you can accomplish anything. And that work family, those are real people with hopes and dreams and aspirations, and I hope that you as leadership, will do everything you can to help them establish their own feelings of gratefulness, and help them be grateful and helpful to your customers, so that they can be happy as well. Remember that when you take care of your staff, your staff will take care of your customers.


Today's call to action is to start implementing an evidence of grace at your next staff meeting. So remember that was my first point in terms of starting your staff meetings, start with acknowledging the good that's happening around you before you get into the stress of the work itself. It's a great way to center your team, and to remember and to acknowledge each others small victories that help you win as a team.


So I challenge you to do that and here's what I would say, do it for six straight weeks. If you have a weekly team meeting, every time you do this meeting, start with an evidence of grace before you talk about anything else. That should be your first point on your agenda. And do that for six weeks and see if it doesn't stick and start trickling down across the team.


Last call to action, have a very happy Thanksgiving. Next week, we'll be back here at the regular scheduled time. Wednesday at 12:00 PM, we'll be here for another live episode, and we're going to have a special guest on from Ergonine. That's right, Ergonine. We have some visitors coming in town and I'm not going to tell you who is it, you'll have to come back to see the episode. So hope that you will make it then, and until next time guys, have an awesome week and a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for joining us.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Grow Live, content marketing, digital marketing, resources