Did it make you feel bad when there was a decision made in your team and you weren’t included? Did you work like crazy and nobody noticed? Did you share your views on something, and it wasn’t included in the decision making process? We’ve all been there unfortunately. If these situations occur often, it may start to feel like your views don’t matter, your work isn’t being valued and even that your right to be seen and heard has been denied. These feelings and experiences lower your energy levels and wellbeing, and may start to have an effect outside of work life also.
This happened to me as well. It wasn’t until I arrived to Fraktio and found a culture that supports the basic human needs mentioned above, that I realized how big of a role these needs have on a persons professional growth and development, and the whole company culture. I felt seen, heard and understood time after time. Without any exaggeration I can say that it was the first time I felt I was allowed to do meaningful things, in a meaningful environment.
The possibility and probability of this kind of scenarios need to be understood in every organization and work community. But how can these kind of situations be reduced and the general sense of appreciation increased?
Psychological safety as a cornerstone
According to a study about the work environment by the Finnish Center of Statistics, the lack of appreciation is one of the main reasons for not being happy at work. The act of being heard and seen increases the feeling of appreciation, and this in turn is made possible by receiving praise from colleagues. Receiving praise is actually social support and appreciation. The positive feedback, thanks and attention from colleagues increase the experience of being seen and heard on an individual level. Receiving thanks also enhances the feeling that you can really contribute to the collectively meaningful things, which again increase motivation on an individual level.
The cornerstone of a culture of being heard and seen is a safe environment where everyone are allowed to speak up. No one is being judged or blamed. Things are tried and learned from. The feeling of being valued is a fundamental element of humanity, and saying thanks enforces that. And it is a fact that an organization with a low hierarchy, whose CEO you don’t have to be afraid of, makes it a lot easier.
The culture of gratitude at Fraktio is treasured and organically developed
The culture of gratitude at Fraktio is well treasured and organically developed, and we keep on developing it. We start and end the week by saying thanks to each other. I know, it sounds very uplifting in terms of spirit and energy, and it truly is.
We start every week with a weekly meeting, which ends to giving thanks to each other. At the end of the week people thank each other again for all kinds of things that have happened throughout the week, and this happens in Slack. Saying thank you not only tells the person that you value them, but also that you value what they did. Sometimes giving thanks is a part of an experts job; you tell your colleague that you value their expertise and insight. At times, giving thanks can be related to help or support received from a colleague, and then you are telling them that you value them as a person by saying thanks.
As we thank a colleague, we learn to see which things we value in each other and our actions. When the culture of gratitude is made visible, for example in Slack, it simultaneously leads the business to the right direction, enforces team spirit, and most importantly tells an individual that they are valued in their work community - that they matter. Saying thanks enforces inclusivity and makes you feel that you are a part of something bigger.
We are currently using Evergreen app to enforce the culture of gratitude, by expanding the affect of the given thanks outside from our work community to planting trees. Evergreen is a Slack application through which colleagues can reward each other with real seeds of trees, at the same time when giving recognition to each other.
Who could you thank today? Do it, and see what happens.
We create state of the art web applications. Our expertise and commitment is valued by our clients with some of the largest and most demanding online services in the market. We encourage our customers to use the latest technologies and methodologies – we live by coaching mentality, sharing our know-how and bettering not just ourselves but any teams we work with.
We research, design, develop and nurture our projects from their conception to their end – whether that end is the beginning of another iteration or something else entirely.
Alternatively, we are fully capable of taking part in – or taking over – any of these phases. We have experience in working with different partners in different domains, and our strength lies in understanding the complete chain of consecutive and overlapping phases.