• A gratitude wall is an open wall space for publicly sharing things to be grateful for
  • Expressing gratitude creates an upward cycle of happiness and positivity at work
  • Starting a wall of gratitude is simple, easy and fun
You’ve heard of the term “Hall Of Fame” used in a variety of sports. It’s an exclusive club of top performers that have made a big impact on their team and the sport over their entire careers.

The term has also morphed into “Wall Of Fame” for more modest recognition of top contributors in all walks of life, not just professional sports.

Now, the term has expanded beyond just recognizing specific people but to showcase thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc.

You may or may not know this but there’s a thing called “Wall Of Gratitude” which broadens the concept of recognizing people and takes it up to a higher level. One that is more about the spirit of gratitude and being happy.

And, when you’re in a shitty mood and just trying to get through a rough day at work, having something to cheer you up is just the thing you need to help you cross the finish line at the end of the day.

Here’s what it’s all about. 

What Is A Gratitude Wall?

A gratitude wall is a dedicated wall space that is used to promote and stimulate happiness and joy at work through the simple act of sharing positive thoughts publicly.

It provides a space for coworkers to reflect on what they find special in their lives, whether it’s work-related or not.

Everyone is given the opportunity to add something that made them happy or thankful onto the wall and share it with others so everyone can be reminded of why they should appreciate life more every single day.

It’s the simple little trick to triggering happiness that not many people know about.

And, it fucking works.

It's simple. Everyone takes a few minutes out of their day to write down something they're thankful for and posts it up to the wall for everyone else to see. It creates an upward positivity cycle.

And reading other people’s happy thoughts makes managing work stress so much easier.

The gratitude wall is a simple office DIY project that has really taken off over the last few years. It's super easy and costs next to nothing to set up, but it can have some seriously big positive effects on happiness at work.

The Benefits Of A Gratitude Wall In The Workplace

Sitting at your desk, you’re probably feeling the stresses of work. You’re thinking about all fires that need to be put out, all the shit that needs to get done and how many hours are left before clocking out for the day.

But have you ever thought about practicing gratitude at work?

Yeah, us too.

It’s something so simple yet nobody ever really does it on a consistent basis. It’s very much an “out of sight, out of mind” thing.

It’s common knowledge that we all need to eat healthier. But, not all of us do for a variety of reasons. However, the intent and desire are there.

Several years ago, there was an experiment that was done in an office where they placed a big bowl of fresh fruit next to the office donuts.

And guess what happened?

When the option to eat healthier is easily doable and it’s right in front of their face, more people opted to take that apple, banana, orange, etc than the sugar-coated lard bomb.

The end result was that the healthy vibe spread.

This same principle kinda applies to the wall of gratitude.

When you see everyone’s unique comments, thoughts and feelings on all sorts of things in their life that they’re grateful for, you can’t help but do the same thing.

It stimulates your thoughts on what you can be happy about no matter what bullshit is happening in your life.

And when you and your coworkers share gratitude openly, it creates an upward cycle of positivity that makes everyone happier, more productive, creative and collaborative than before.

In fact, this study from the Academy Of Management Review, shows that organizations that practice gratitude have significantly higher engagement and job satisfaction than those that don’t.

It’s so damn obvious, right? But, so few companies really take advantage of this. It’s bewildering really.

By letting happiness at work happen more often, it creates an environment where people actually enjoy being a part of it.

How To Build A Wall Of Gratitude At Work

This is an uber-simple office DIY project that anyone can do.

The gratitude wall is simply an empty wall space that is dedicated to sharing and showing gratitude sticky notes from everyone.

Here are some basic steps to get you going.

1. Introduce The Idea To The Team

While you may have grand ambitions to have this concept adopted by the entire company, it’s always better to start out small first.

At your next team meeting, share the idea with your manager and teammates. Explain how it can help boost everyone’s spirits and create more positivity in the group.

What really helps is to take a few minutes and have everyone share just one thing that they’re grateful for right now. Take turns and have each person say something.

You’d be surprised at how much more buy-in you’ll get when people experience the joy firsthand.

2. Find A High Foot Traffic Spot With A Big Empty Wall 

Whether your office is cubicles or an open office layout, there’s gotta be a high foot traffic zone somewhere. It could be along the back wall aisle, by your boss’s office, down the cubicle alley, etc.

Find a spot where everyone walks by or through. It could be on the way to the restrooms, break room, elevators or stairs etc.

It’s in this area that you want to find a nice big empty wall.

This wall space will be your designated area to post up your gratitude sticky notes.

3. Make And Hang A “Wall Of Gratitude” Banner

Having a bunch of random sticky notes on an empty wall will spark some curiosity. But, if you really want to grab some attention, make a long “Wall Of Gratitude” banner to informally mark the area.

Since most offices don’t have long rolls of paper, just use standard sheets of paper and print out each letter of the banner - one letter per sheet. Or, just handwrite big block letters using a fat black sharpie.

Or if you’re a creative type, add a bit of pop and pizzazz to the banner title. Use some of these whiteboard tips to make it more fun and appealing.

Then, tape the entire thing on the wall, a bit higher up to leave enough space underneath for the stickies.

4. Enlist 3-5 Core Active Contributors

The key to making this work is to recruit at least 2-3 people to be active contributors. They’ll be the ones that will help start and keep the momentum going.

Consider yourself one of the core contributors. You’ll need at least 2-3 more contributors to get the variety and volumes up at the start.

If you’re part of a very small team and you know that they’re probably not going to be into this, you’ll need to expand your search for other contributors from other groups or departments.

Check with your work BFF and see if they want to join in on the fun and if they know of others that would be interested.

5. Seed The Wall With “Starter” Gratitude Notes

Once you have your core gratitude brigade assembled, it’s time to start seeding the wall with positivity.

Ask the core team to post up a new gratitude note daily. It can be a great way to kickstart the day.

When other coworkers see and read the new notes every day on their way to the toilet, breakroom or elevators, they’ll be encouraged to post up and contribute their thoughts too.

Activity breeds activity. It’s exactly like social media posting - only this is with real paper.

As the core contributors keep adding new content, it’ll continue to seed the wall with new gratitude notes and attract more to do the same.

Before you know it, in just a few weeks, you’ll see the wall blossom with post-it petals all over.

Want some thought starters now?

Check out this list of 101 reasons to smile right now and you’ll be on your way to even more things to be grateful for.

Tips For Maintaining A Gratitude Wall And Keep It From Getting Stale

A gratitude wall isn’t a build one and done kinda thing. It does require some minor maintenance to keep it from getting old and stale.

It’s not a labor-intensive thing. It can easily be done during your morning coffee meditation or as a stress-relief break during the day.

Here are a few key tips on maintaining your gratitude wall.

Prune The Gratitude Wall Occasionally

The gratitude wall is very much like a low-maintenance cubicle desk plant. It needs just a little bit of care and attention to keep it healthy.

Just like when a plant gets too bushy and overgrown, the gratitude wall needs to be pruned every few weeks or months depending on how fast it grows with sticky notes.

When the designated wall space is reaching capacity, it’s time to trim things.

If you’ve got a fast growing wall, you could just clear it completely knowing that once you do, the sticky notes will appear soon thereafter.

If you’ve got a slower growing wall, maybe pick out a few “gems” and keep them on the wall and remove the rest.

Find a good balance that works to sustain the interest. 

Leave Colored Stickie Notes & Sharpies Nearby

If you want to ensure high participation, you gotta make this super easy and convenient to do for people that are just walking by.

If possible set up a small table nearby and stock it with colorful sticky note pads, sharpie markers and pens. The easier you make it for people to jot something down as they’re walking by, the more participation you’ll get.

And then eventually, it becomes a reliable source of happiness that people can depend on day in and day out.

The nice bonus of having a colorful assortment of sticky notes is that you’ll end up with a wall full of bright colors. It’s such a great visual mood booster.

Do Shout-Outs To Specific People

Getting recognized for your efforts is such a huge morale booster. It does wonders for your motivation and job satisfaction.

When you know that somebody has been bustin’ ass or has recently crossed the finish line on a major project, give ‘em some props!

Call them out on a gratitude note and thank them for their contributions.

You’ll be building positive office karma galore and chances are really good that the person receiving the kudos will return the joy by doing likewise to you and others in the office.

Start A Gratitude Wall This Week & See Happiness Flourish

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day work routine.

Endless emails, back-to-back meetings, overlapping deadlines, multiple conference calls - it can be hard to find time for anything else.

But what if you had a wall of gratitude to rely on when you feel like quitting and tossing in the towel?

It’s the perfect motivational happy fuel that you can use to turn things around for the better, get in the zone at work and keep on going.

With this newfound focus and determination, you’ll be able to take yourself up to new levels.

And just like professional sports hall of famers, you and your coworkers will reach new heights in happiness and joy at work.

It’s time to get started today.

Feel Better,

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