It is an important part of employee wellness to share and make a meaningful practice out of gratitude. At the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program, the team implements several practices to create a joyful, collaborative atmosphere.


  • Thanksgiving Tradition: A holiday already focused on sharing gratitude with family, our team places emphasis on this tradition with a special activity. About a month before our scheduled celebration, each employee is giving a list with each employee’s name, where they write what makes them grateful for each team member. We then create special letters to each person filled with all the appreciation shared anonymously by their coworkers. The end result is that each employee feels recognized and honored for their hard work and the whole team gets to actively practice sharing their gratitude to positively impact others.
  • Slack and Thankful Thursdays: Sometimes our offices can feel like boxes. We arrive at work sit at our desk and sometimes never hear from our coworkers about what is going on around us. In an effort to bridge this communication, we have enlisted Slack, a group chat app, as a method to keep our team actively engaged. In an effort to continue our practice of gratitude all year long, we have created a specific chat channel within the app for our Thankful Thursday practice. Each Thursday, employees are prompted to share gratitude for different aspects of their lives. Just last week, we shared our thanks for three different foods. It was great to see employees embrace this by sharing stories about their own family’s tradition around a favorite dish or their gratitude for having access to clean water and healthy food.
  • Trojan Huddle and Employee Recognition: Each month, our entire team gathers to celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries and other joyous news during our Trojan Huddle. As part of the huddle, each month we recognize one outstanding employee for their contributions. Team members take turns passing our office mascot, which is named to represent the qualities of being Motivated, Open-minded, and Justifiably Original — MOJO. As part of the hand-off ceremony, the previous month’s recipient shares why they have chosen the next person to honor and the team is able to recognize their colleagues through this simple exchange.


Small practices such as these can bring a team together and create a bond of gratitude. We hope that others can institute practices such as these to improve wellbeing.


By Claire Norman, Dept. of Family Medicine