The Power of Thankful Thursdays
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Thankful Thursdays are a cornerstone of Big Sky Public Relations employee culture and wellness. Thankful Thursday is an opportunity for BSPR team members to take intentional time each week to connect with our company’s value of gratitude. For many team members, this is a program that stuck with them during their first weeks at the company.
Our Creative Coordinator, Olivia Simas reminisces, “I remember learning about our team's Thankful Thursday tradition during my initial interview with Takami and it really stood out to me,” she continues, “I am thankful for Thankful Thursday! It helps to keep intentional gratitude top of mind and has made me into a better human being and community member.”
Why we express our gratitude
An expression of thanks helps us live out our team values, but this team program is rooted in real research that gratitude improves our employee wellbeing while simultaneously improving our relationships with each other, clients, and the community. According to a Harvard study on the correlations between gratitude and wellness, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” BSPR values this impact on both our team’s overall, dynamic health and the strength of our relationships in our public relations work.
Team members like Katie Klietz, BSPR’s Chief Experience Officer, deeply feel this benefit as she expresses that “Thankful Thursdays, for me, are an opportunity for a breath.” Our Graphic Designer, Amy Yatsuk, shared the relational and value benefits of the program saying, “I've found the more kindness is recognized and appreciated, the more it's reciprocated. Gratitude can strengthen friendships, relationships, and communities. I'm grateful for this tradition at BSPR and to have a team that supports such wonderful values!”
How we express our gratitude
Surprise! Our public relations experts love to express their gratitude through writing. For some team members, writing a handwritten letter is central to their expression of gratitude.
Simas is one of these team members, and shared, “I love using Thankful Thursday to handwrite notes to different people in my life.” She is not alone, as Klietz also stated the importance of writing tangible expressions of gratitude. Yatsuk reflects on her week to “identify situations where others have done me a kindness that wasn't as fully recognized or appreciated as it could have been” and believes this can be accomplished through the power of writing, but mentions that sincere, verbal expressions of gratitude, like “I appreciate you,” can also aptly express thanks.
To whom we express our gratitude
As a community-centered public relations firm, our team members reflect those same priorities and have many communities to thank, as a result. Three of our team members took opportunities to express their gratitude to the individuals and groups that make the places in which they live and work.
Takami Clark, our Account Manager, expresses thanks for “the City of Bozeman's Beautification Advisory Board. The board structure with the city is changing, meaning this group is disbanding. While I'm sad to not see my fellow board members on a regular basis, I have so much appreciation for this group and had so much fun with everyone! Our city representatives were also amazing to work with. I'm looking forward to watching the city grow and progress with new board members and am grateful for this experience.”
For Amy Aiello, she is thankful for the Spokane community, specifically shouting out “Our friends at T-O Engineers, the local chambers of commerce, Horrocks Engineers, and more were willing to chat with me about the area and share their specific knowledge about the sectors we share,” as she elaborates, “Since my move last year, I have been able to explore Spokane's amazing parks with my puppy, eat at some of my favorite restaurants like Izumi Sushi and Asian Bistro, and join local organizations like the Spokane Club. I feel so lucky to call Spokane home!”
These expressions of gratitude can also be internal, as Account Assistant, Paulina Crum shares, “I like to spread messages of gratitude throughout our team. I have learned so much from each of BSPR’s talented, helpful, and encouraging team members,” she continues, “It is so easy to appreciate our unicorn herd.”
Finally, Kristine Fife, our Account Executive, sees community as a dynamic and multifaceted collection of people to be thankful for, saying “Community can mean a lot of different things. It can be those that live around you or the people you work, worship, or recreate with. I am fortunate to be a part of several wonderful communities.” Fife expands on her gratitude for Helena, saying, “Every anonymous donation to a school, every fundraiser event, every high school crosstown collaboration, every kind word and held door are a reminder to me that I live in an incredible community! Thank you, Helena!”
The impact of gratitude
Through our weekly Thankful Thursdays, no matter how we express it or to whom, Big Sky Public Relations hopes to create a ripple effect of positivity and wellness to better the people in our communities.