Building culture of gratitude
Since five years JetBrains holds an annual Hackathon. It gives all employees a perfect opportunity to implement their wildest and craziest ideas. Many cool projects were started as a Hackathon projects and later become full members of the JetBrains family. I’ve already written about Toolbox App, the project we had started two years ago.
At this year’s Hackathon, I had a dream to help people spread positive vibes inside a company. I introduced an idea of a service I called “Thank you.” The idea was simple: let every employee thank their colleagues and display the warm words they send each other on a big TV screen we have in each office kitchen. My excellent team and I implemented this idea and presented it to the whole company.
Programmers are introverts by their nature. Some also can be shy or so focused on getting their job done, so they don’t pay any attention to what’s happening around. They may have difficulties expressing their gratitude. By making it easy and fun, we help people to overcome these small obstacles.
It is worth mentioning that we don’t endorse any competition here, like who is more thankful. Neither do we build any ratings or save history. However, we’ve introduced Thank-o-meter, which shows how many thanks in total have been sent in the last 24 hours. When someone sees it goes down, it motivates to cheer someone, so that overall level of happiness in the company stays high.
Of course, we still have a lot of free room to improve, but I can already see this simple service has had great success. Not only it won one of the Hackathon’s prizes, but people also continue using it a month later. I appreciate very much when I receive warm words from my colleagues sent through this service. What’s even better: watching how other people thank their pals.
To be happy one needs to share happiness with people around.
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