‘Tis the season to be kind to all. The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to reflect on all that we’re grateful for, but for some companies, gratitude is not a once-a-year occasion, but is a value embedded in their company culture.
Bristol Mountain, a ski resort in upper New York State, began its “Snow Angel” program last year. Guests and staff who are witnessed performing an act of kindness—such as brushing the snow off their neighbor’s car windshield in the parking lot, helping a new skier up off the ground, giving up their spot in line or picking up a lost pole —are rewarded with a translucent card containing an image of a Snow Angel as a token of thanks.
“[Both staff and guests] love the idea of getting the card,” says Drew Broderick, Bristol’s director of sales and marketing. “It’s almost like a medal.” The snow angel program not only gives reason for guests and staff to be kind to one another, but is good for business, she says. “It instills this warm feeling throughout the entire organization,” says Broderick.
Creating an organizational culture of generosity is healthy for business, says Patricia Thompson, an Atlanta-based corporate psychologist and president of Silver Lining Psychology. Here, she offers the top three reasons to create a culture of generosity in your business:
While being stressed and in a negative mood puts our bodies into fight-or-flight mode and limits our range of thoughts, making us less effective as problem solvers, positive emotions can improve productivity and inspire innovation. “Having positive emotion broadens your perspective and allows you to be more creative and curious,” says Thompson.
A culture of generosity encourages employees to work collaboratively and creates bonding opportunities that translate into creating a more cooperative environment in the workplace.
Thompson says more and more the newest generation of employees are looking for more meaning from their work. Fulfilled employees are more loyal and committed to the company, giving businesses that embrace a culture of generosity a competitive advantage.