What We’re Grateful For in 2020

If there’s one thing we can take away from this year, it’s that we’re happier and healthier when we are grateful.

According to Psychology Today, engaging in grateful thinking helps you sleep longer, be more empathetic, increase your mental toughness, and reduce toxic emotions like anger and frustration. Plus, people who regularly express gratitude are more likely to be physically fit, achieve their goals, and maintain strong friendships.

Even when our work-life balances are thrown askew, and when job security may be an illusion, being grateful for what you still have is always beneficial.

ABCs of Gratitude in the Workplace

Whether you have one employee or one hundred, it’s essential to express gratitude to your staff, especially now. People are battling fears about the pandemic, vaccines, and holidays, all while juggling work from home and e-learning.  Stretched to the max, every employee needs to hear that their dedication is noticed and it matters. What’s more, gratitude is proven to show improvements in self-esteem, achieving career goals, decision making, productivity, and resilience.

So how can you do that in your day-to-day work life?  Thanks to this list from ThriveGlobal, it’s as easy as ABC:

A- Acknowledgement.  Take the time to slow down and see people as human beings with feelings, values, and lives outside of the workplace. Acknowledge their milestones, contributions, and efforts with a verbal or written show of appreciation.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

B- Behavior.  Reward positive attitudes, contributions, and interactions of those around you at every level.  Being supported and acknowledged helps employees to feel valued and “safe” in the workplace, and is the foundation for employees to share ideas and strengthen relationships. Employees that feel valued and “safe” will generally put more effort into their work, will seek out ways to best support their team and their manager, and will stay in their job longer.

C- Consistency.  Make gratitude a habit.  Whether it’s a daily text, a weekly coffee, or an afternoon Slack message, a recurring Gratitude To-Do List item will help build that gratitude muscle. Consistency is key — according to a classic study, positive feedback doesn’t lose impact even when repeated often!

What We’re Grateful For in 2020

Gratitude may be as easy as ABC, but a gratitude list probably feels like the last thing you want to do in 2020. However, there are still things to be thankful for during this time. Here are some of ours:

A Great Team. Not all businesses have huge staffs, but each and every employee always has the chance to make a huge impact on your business.  We know that first hand!  Challenged by Covid-19, our exceptional team really rose to the occasion, keeping our business moving forward seamlessly.  Even when most of our staff transitioned to work from home, they never lost sight of how to service customers, even when our supply chain was — and still is! — being challenged.  They came together to help one another adjust to new technology demands, literally overnight, never losing determination, and working like crazy to help our business survive and thrive.  Those key employees who remained working on site, or have since returned to the office, embraced new safety guidelines, sticking to them religiously so that everyone can feel safe. Here we are, eight months later, with various states and provinces in various stages of shutdown and recovery, and still, our team continues to get tape to our customers while keeping the environment safe.  We are so grateful and thankful for their dedication and perseverance.

Tech Tools to Make Work Easier. Hello, Zoom and Slack. This year has forced us to try new tools, and it’s been incredible. So many tasks that can be completely automated!

People Helping People. Despite the bleakness on the evening news, the world is filled with good works. Retired medical professionals coming out of retirement to help sick patients. Neighbors helping elderly, at-risk, or lonely neighbors by checking in on them and bringing them food and prescriptions. People organizing car parades through neighborhoods to celebrate milestone occasions like high school graduation, birthdays, and anniversaries.  Look for the good in the world, and you will find it!

Online Connections. More time spent online has allowed us access to so many people, influencers, and followers in different parts of the world. Whether you learned a new art technique, discovered new music or book, connected with long-lost friends, or simply found inspiration to try something new, our online communities are something to celebrate. 

Flexibility. Whether you work remotely, come up with your own schedule, or have time to pick up your kids from school or run an errand, this may be the biggest blessing of the year.

Success and failure. Chances are, your business made some progress this year, whether it be through profits or personal growth, or simply surviving the shutdown.  Now is the time to celebrate success of any kind!  And if, for some reason, there was a failure, take heart.  Learning the lessons from a “failure” is how we grow professionally and personally and how to do it differently moving forward.

Last, but not least, on our gratitude list is that we were considered an essential business and could continue to operate with safety protocols all through the pandemic. We are grateful to serve our core customers (construction and paper mills and corrugators), while even expanding our presence in industrial manufacturing and non-wovens.  We are grateful that we were able to keep most of our staff employed during such a trying time; humbled that we had the team who was willing and able to pivot quickly to make sure we could weather the storm; and eternally thankful that our customers partnered with us during such difficult times, understanding that we were all just trying to do our best.

As we continue adjusting to a new normal, take a few moments to thank the people in your life and workspace for helping make it happen.  Happy Thanksgiving!