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Spark the Chain Reaction of Gratitude

Barbara Thompson

Several years ago, I delivered a keynote presentation at a Midwest healthcare marketing convention. As President and CEO of The Roberts Group (TRG), I talked about igniting the spark and shared research findings that showed one of the ways high performers

light the flame is by seeking out mentors. Something in my message resonated with an audience member, and years later, it led to a Client partnership that has been one of the most rewarding of my 35(confirm?)-year career.

Practicing what I preach, the TRG family ignites the spark in several ways. And this time of year, we look closer at what this can mean by exploring a simple yet powerful thing: gratitude.

According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, being grateful:

  • Makes you happier
  • Builds resilience
  • Gives you a sense of accomplishment
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Improves your health
  • Reduces stress

There are many ways in which we spark a chain reaction of gratitude at TRG and here are a few of my favorites:

Mentor Program

Our mentor program offers a support system for new employees to orient them in first six months. This creates a safe space for them to absorb the TRG culture, structure and mission in an informal setting. Every 3-4 weeks, mentors and mentees meet for lunch/coffee and discuss the newbies questions/concerns.

SuperStars Recognition Program

With three tiers of recognition, employees are acknowledged for exceptional work and rewarded with one or two $25 gifts cards, to Target or Amazon. Since its inception in January 2007, TRG has awarded approximately $32,000 in gift cards.

515 Proud Moments

In a weekly email to senior leadership that is intended to take 15 minutes to write and not more than five minutes to read, employees recap what they have accomplished, what they will accomplish the following week and their proudest moment. With this prompt, leadership provides team members with a built-in sense of accomplishment.


We give back, boosting nonprofit organizations like the Food Pantry of Waukesha County and the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation. Between volunteering, fundraising, and pro bono marketing plans, our combined efforts help to build awareness and bring results.


Gratitude in the workplace contributes to our success. It boosts your employees emotional and physical well being and sense of pride. The best ways to spark it are by starting at the top with leadership and offering individual recognitions and team events to reinforce your values.

So what can you do to spark a chain reaction of gratitude today?

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