Thanksgiving is a time of year when many of us eat too much food, watch too much football (though my husband would say that’s not possible), and spend too much money on Black Friday sales. The busyness of the holiday makes it easy to forget what the purpose of the day is all about: gratitude.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the past year at work: the customers I’ve visited, the projects I’ve worked on, and the co-workers I’ve collaborated with. And if you’ll allow me a moment, in the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to share some of the things I’m most thankful for.
The value of gratitude
According to Psychology Today magazine, gratitude is, “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed to, for instance, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants or thinks they need.” For many of us, it intuitively makes sense to express gratitude in our personal lives to those we love. But what about in the workplace?
Here is some perspective on that part of the equation from an article in UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine:
“Researchers define appreciation as the act of acknowledging the goodness in life—in other words, seeing the positives in events, experiences, or other people (like our colleagues). Gratitude goes a step further: It recognizes how the positive things in our lives—like a success at work—are often due to forces outside of ourselves, particularly the efforts of other people. But this kind of thinking can seem countercultural in the realm of hierarchies and promotions, where everyone is trying to get ahead and may be reluctant to acknowledge their reliance on—or express emotions to—their co-workers.”
While people may be reluctant to show emotions in the workplace, researchers say expressing gratitude to those you work with helps promote a positive loop and can lead to deeper connections to our co-workers and to the work we do. That in turn leads to better business results.
So what are some of the things I am most grateful for at work? Here a few.
Promoting a culture and a product I believe in
Nearly 30 years ago, Dimensional Insight’s co-founders, Fred Powers and Stan Zanarotti, created a company that they hoped would do good for other people. This has been their mission from the very beginning, and it’s one that they’ve stuck to.
While many other companies prioritize profits and shareholder value, Fred and Stan have prioritized the needs of our customers and employees, knowing that that is where the true value lies. That’s a mission I can get behind.
Of course, it helps that our product, quite simply, works for our customers. It’s easy to promote the product when you know that it’s getting demonstrable results.
Over the last year, I’ve visited several of our customers to learn about the results they’re seeing from Diver. My travels have taken me to New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, Michigan, Washington state, and California (San Francisco and Salinas Valley). While the particulars of each customer story are different, one thing tends to remain the same: our customers are “all in” on their Diver deployments.
It’s so nice to engage with customers who are passionate about their jobs and the roles they play in helping other employees make better sense of the data in front of them. I also love working with them to quantify the results they are seeing from Diver. In addition, they help me see issues in a new light, or they raise business challenges that I hadn’t previously fully understood. In short: I’m thankful that I learn so much from our customers, and that they are a delight to work with!
Collaboration with co-workers
Finally, I feel so grateful to work with co-workers who both challenge me to think better and smarter, and also leave me alone when I need to get work done. The Dimensional Insight offices are scattered across both the country and the globe. Our team in Burlington, Mass., where I work, is a close-knit group of people. We lunch together as a team twice a week and get along well. My marketing group is particularly tight; we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and support each other in our work and in our lives.
This year, I was able to visit two of our other offices – one in the Netherlands and one in San Diego. (Hoping to eventually visit all of them!) What I was struck by is that even though our offices each have their own cultures, we are still united by the Dimensional Insight mission and spirit, and that was great to see.
As you all start your travels either near or far for Thanksgiving, I’d like to wish you all a safe and restful holiday from me and the entire Dimensional Insight team. And, of course, whether this is your first time here or you’re a long-time reader – thank you for reading this blog!