TBT Series: Valentine’s Day and the Importance of Fostering a Culture of Gratitude
“Thank you” is such a powerful phrase. I believe that to give thanks — to recognize the actions of others and to acknowledge our good fortune in life — is one of the most important things that we do.What better time to show some love than Valentine’s Day? And who better to show it to then the extraordinary women who surround us?
That’s why I spent my Valentine’s Day with some spectacular women including:
- Jen DaSilva, President of Berlin Cameron
- Kim McDonnell, Founder of Thankful
- Rebecca Minkoff, Founder of Rebecca Minkoff
- Piera Gelardi, Cofounder of Refinery29
- Kathryn Minshew, Cofounder of The Muse
- Author Charreah Jackson
We chatted about creating a culture of gratitude with consumers and at work, and had some fun doing it.
Giving thanks is a great mental boost and a time to consciously think about what makes us happy.Giving thanks is also a huge community driver as recognition and appreciation help to deepen relationships and to foster an environment of inclusion and respect.
In a recent poll by Berlin Cameron and Ellevate Network, an overwhelming 79% of respondents believe that women are supporting women now more than ever. Research shows that practicing gratitude increases overall individual happiness and can improve mental health and wellness. Gratitude in the workplace is also important as it drives productivity, employee retention, wellness and engagement. Finally, gratitude in business - specifically with our consumers - is just smart business. In the #Thankful4Women panel, we talked about tactical ways to create a culture of gratitude with consumers, communities and employees.
This is what I learned from the other panelists:
- Rebecca discussed the catalyst behind the Female Founder Collective and why increasing the wealth and opportunities for women-owned businesses can have a significant impact on our communities for the better. Her insights on the importance of joining communities such as Ellevate and FCC that are supportive and action-orientated really resonated with me. I personally have much to be thankful for due to the relationships I’ve built through professional networks.
- Piera’s insights on ways to express gratitude for customers — listening to them and taking action — is something all businesses can learn from. Refinery29 and Berlin Cameron have a joint effort called LLShe aimed at advancing women-owned businesses and women-owned startups through pop-up experiences. Refinery29 and Berlin Cameron clearly listened and took action! Creating LLShe is a clear step towards showing gratitude to the clients, customers, and communities that are doing great work.
- Kathryn shared insights from the early days of building and growing The Muse and the critical impact that expressing gratitude had on employees who were working so hard(and oftentimes for little money) to build a business that they all were passionate about. Sometimes early start-up days are stressful but focusing on creating a culture of recognition and respect is an important driver of business success(and it attracts good people).
- I shared some of the work that we do at at Ellevate Network where gratitude is one of our values. We regularly recognize colleagues on our company-wide Slack channel and give thanks for their hard work, innovation, and team spirit. We also have the bi-weekly Unicorn award where the entire company votes on the employee that most embodies our values that week.
Showing gratitude shouldn’t just be a one time thing — it should be a way of doing business, because in the end, everyone benefits. Thanks to all the great women that showed me this on Valentine’s Day. I’m grateful for you.
I hope you enjoyed this recap of the incredible women I’m learning and growing with through my work here at Ellevate. I’ll be sure to update you more on what I’m up to every week, right here on Linkedin.
Check back here next week for my next #TBT installment, and don’t forget to follow Ellevate Network on Linkedin, read more about Ellevate, and sign up for my Friends of Kristy newsletter to know where I’ll be next.
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Kristy Wallace is the CEO of Ellevate Network, and is responsible for executing Ellevate Network’s mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from. She directs the Network’s staff, is responsible for business growth and strategy, and works closely with Ellevate's Chapter Leaders, Business Partners, and Champions to further Ellevate's impact. Kristy is host of the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations with Women Changing... Continue Reading
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