Last month we set ourselves on a quest to develop a new feature that would enhance positive wellbeing amongst the students and teachers using Pulse. We asked ourselves, What do you do that makes you and others feel happy? And the answer was clear, being nice, kind, and caring to others. Our research led us to the same conclusion as our intuition and we landed on the concept of Gratitude:
“Affirming that there are good things in the world—gifts and benefits that we’ve received—and recognising that these sources of goodness come from outside ourselves.”
Vicki Zakrzewski, Centre Director of Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley
After weeks of testing, we’re very excited to bring this new feature to all our Pulse customers, in the hope your students and staff will benefit from the act of being grateful.
The role gratitude plays on wellbeing and engagement
Growing research shows that Gratitude –a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness, has a very strong link between academic outcomes and wellbeing. Studies show that practicing gratitude promotes a series of positive benefits from the development of self-control, experiencing more positive emotions, and having a higher Grade Point Average (GPA).
Gratitude for us was more than just saying thank you. It’s an opportunity to share your feelings, emotions, and hopes with others. It was paramount for us to develop expressions of gratitude that embodied the ethos of the schools we work with. Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Love, Relationships, were amongst the values that kept appearing over and over again.
The next step was to translate these values into emotions that could easily be shared through the Pulse App. These values translate into: Kindness, Fairness, Humor, Determination, and just saying Thank You.
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Determination helps people achieve their goals, especially when things are challenging. It sets an example to others.
Saying thank you lets other people know that you appreciate their actions.
Fairness is quality of passing judgement free from discrimination or bias.
Humor can make people feel better and strengthen friendships.
Make it easy whilst making it meaningful
Exercising gratitude in practice isn’t always straight forward, especially for young individuals where the concept of being grateful is often not front of mind to them. We carefully designed the Gratitude feature in a way that naturalised the act of sending gratitude –almost like a virtual high five with a value attached. And of course, we had to use emojis 😁, it was a natural decision.
After four weeks of releasing Gratitude we were stoked with the results*:
- There have been 17535 expressions sent
- Kindness and Humor are the top emotions shared
- % of students receiving gratitude is higher than % sharing
- On average 60% + students are receiving expressions of gratitude
- Students are sending expressions of gratitude weekly
* Last updated 17 November 2020
In our eyes, these numbers indicate a pathway to a positive culture where a simple action like expressing gratitude is driving engagement across the school.
We’re on a mission
We’re working hard to help schools better support the wellbeing and mental health of their students and staff. Being grateful and sharing it with others is just the beginning –we can’t wait to see how Gratitude unfolds in your school.
We encourage you to use this data to start new conversations with your students about the importance of being grateful and help students identify why they’re grateful for something or to someone. And it’s never too early. Students as young as in 1st grade get it, in fact the younger the better. The more you practice it the wider its impact.
As always we welcome your feedback on Gratitude and invite you to see how it works by expressing gratitude to someone.