Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Cultivating The Under-Appreciated Virtue Of Gratitude In The Workplace (#584)

Michel Gomberg 1 , Leticia Carneiro 2 , Erica Cavour 3
  1. University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Rio de Janeiro Branch, International Coach Federation, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  3. Rio de Janeiro Branch, Brazilian Association of Family Therapy, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Literature supports gratitude as a key driver for life and job satisfaction, pro-social behaviour, wellbeing and organisational resilience. Nevertheless, few studies on gratitude in the organisational environment have been conducted. This case study presents a gratitude intervention aimed at creating trust and a sense of belonging within a team of 16 employees at a large company in the beverage segment. Participants were encouraged to create their own timeline of relevant professional memories, placing pleasant ones above a line and painful ones below. Next, they reflected on the learnings that emerged from those peaks and valleys and shared their insights with the group. Qualitative participant feedback indicated that knowing others’ life journeys instilled a more appreciative and empathetic look that generated team cohesion. There was also a sense of healing fuelled by the opportunity to make peace with the past. Most employees felt strengthened, energised and better equipped for the challenges ahead. Results indicate that this method has potential to elevate individual consciousness and build a solid team bond through shared meaningful narratives. Therefore corporations aiming to become positive institutions should start considering gratitude as a desired organisational behaviour rather than just a personal virtue suitable for private domains.