Attitude of Gratitude

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
-Maya Angelo

One of our most fundamental human needs is to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. However, statistics show that up to 60% of people in the workforce do not feel accepted or appreciated at work. This problem has played a major role in the “Great Resignation” era we are experiencing in the US. While media articles shift from resignations to recessions, the engineering and construction sector are still worried about a labor shortage over the next ten years.  

How do we fill this gap? We need to find and develop new talent from new places and continue developing a culture of acceptance and gratitude for all our team members!

One definition of acceptance is “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.” We all have experienced feelings of acceptance and disrespect or not fitting in. 

As leaders – in the public or private sector – we spend A LOT of time and money to find the “right” person for the “right” job. The employee is investing the same amount of time and energy. So, we are asking ourselves, “from recruitment to onboarding to project start-up, how can we develop a culture of acceptance, where everyone has a sense of belonging and can succeed?” One study shows that when employees have a sense of belonging, productivity increases by 56%, and turnover decreases by 50%. 

We think this is where gratitude can play a pivotal role in our culture. When we express gratitude, it changes our perspective and the environment, and impacts those around us. The attitude of gratitude does not cost us anything, and the return on investment is phenomenal. We are grateful someone is applying to work with us, and we are grateful someone is taking the time to learn more about us. We are grateful for the unique talent and skill set each team member brings to the table.

At MCFA, we are actively working toward a culture of gratitude, and one of our favorite MCFA-isms is the phrase, I GET to  – NOT – I GOT to.” Example: “I get to go to work today,” not, “I’ve got to go to work today.” This tiny little attitude shift can greatly impact how productive we are in everything we do. Another one of MMCFA’sgratitude efforts is during the weekly leadership meeting, where team members have the opportunity to give a “shout-out” to a coworker for going above and beyond to lend a helping hand. The SShout-Out’salwaysdeliver smiles to our team members, and it cultivates an attitude of gratitude for one another. 

These are a couple of things MCFA is doing to help develop a culture of Acceptance, Belonging and Gratitude. We would love to hear from you with any great ideas your company uses to encourage gratitude and acceptance – send me an email!

BJ Kraemer, President

P.S. – Check out this week’s episode of Inspiring People and Places. Our guest, Dan Lester, is the Director of Field Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture at Clayco. Listen in to hear about the Elephant & Giraffe story and more.