This week, my friends in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, and while we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the United Kingdom, the attitude of gratitude can go a long way wherever you are in the world to help you to be a wildly effective compliance officer.
In most working environments, people are so busy handing out criticism they hardly ever receive praise. Yet people thrive in environments where they feel appreciated and acknowledged for their contributions. Knowing this, you can strongly influence your corporate culture by consciously choosing to acknowledge those around you when they uphold and embody your organization’s values. By verbally and visibly appreciating those around you, you become part of the positive feedback loop that will make your organization not only more ethical, but also a nicer place to work.
Here are four tangible ways you can use gratitude to ramp up your effectiveness:
- Publicly praise managers and employees when they have done the right thing;
- Champion your organization’s charitable contributions or employee charitable giving;
- Notice the simple kindnesses people around you employ, like holding the door for someone with too many packages, then say out loud that it’s people like them that make the company a nice place to work;
- Write a note to people on their birthday specifically calling out an attribute that you like about them.
When you choose to see the good in people and show them appreciation for their positive character traits, you create an innate desire in others to reciprocate. Social mores teach that when one receives a gift or compliment, it is appropriate and often expected to reciprocate. Therefore, when you show others that you value their ethical character and their example of living the corporate values, you give them the opportunity to see you in a personal way, which will go great lengths in your capacity to help them when they are dealing with an ethical dilemma.
Will Rogers said he never met a man he didn’t like. While it’s true that it is easy to find something we don’t like about everyone, it is equally true that if we look for it, we can find something to like and appreciate about everyone with whom we interact. If we spend our time looking for the good and appreciating it, we’ll come to find that there is much good to be seen.
It’s been said that what we focus on expands. By focusing on the good in people and publicly appreciating it, we create the impetus in others to look for the good as well. Gratitude and appreciation influence corporate culture and increase morale, reinforcing positive values and ultimately, the health, self-esteem and well-being of the employees. Now that’s something for which to be thankful.