It was amid the global financial crisis in 2008. Like most businesses at the time, WD-40 Company—an American manufacturer of household and multi-use products—was feeling the heat.
The CEO Garry Ridge, realised that they were coming down with a serious problem - fear was beginning to consume the employees.
"I decided, let’s not waste a good crisis. Everywhere else our people would go they’d hear about the horror; when they came to work with us, they were going to hear about hope."
Garry went ahead and set up a series of policies. No lying, faking, or hiding conversations. No lay-offs or cutting of benefits. Increased investments in employee learning and development.
And most importantly, managers must lead with gratitude.
The leadership began to regularly and sincerely appreciate their team for demonstrating the core values. Some of them even got more creative - a supply chain leader made a presentation on how his people play a vital role in sustaining the company's economy. Garry urged the leaders to acknowledge people not just for exceeding expectations, but also for their most fundamental contributions.
By 2010, WD-40 Company recorded the best financials in its 57-year journey. Over the next 10 years, its market cap has grown over $2.5 billion and the overall employee engagement score as of March 2020 was 93%.
"Gratitude creates feelings of belonging. You and I have left an organization, even a relationship, because we didn’t feel like we belonged. If our people know we are grateful, we are going to create an organization where they really want to come and give their best."
~ Garry Ridge
Gratitude is one of the most powerful sources of joy and motivation, especially during challenging times. The darker the cloud, the brighter the silver lining. And only in recognising and being grateful for those silver linings, do we find the meaning and strength to keep on keeping on.
Here's what we are grateful for at SaaSBOOMi in 2020.