Expressing Gratitude at the Workplace: Rose, Thorn, Bud 2022

March 29, 2022 by Simran Sakshi

When I first came across this term at Niswey, it had me curious. Rose Thorn Bud? What does that mean?! And over the years, as I see new people join in and have the similar curiosity about the term, it sends me back on a nostalgic trail. Of all the ‘Rose Thorn Bud’ (RTB) sessions I have attended. Or read. 

Gratitude at Work

Back in 2018 when I had first joined, there used to be monthly RTBs. Everyone in our team would send an email out as the month ended sharing their:

  1. Roses: what went well in the month
  2. Thorns: what did not go well this month
  3. Buds: what are you looking forward to in the next month

The idea was to take stock of how our month went by, and express gratitude at work for all that went well. And of course, the look-forwards! Here’s one such rose, bud, thorn example of how my month went by. 

rose bud thorn example


At that time, our team used to be small. And the old folks were used to this practice. But over the past 3 years, as the entire team demographic changed, we found it difficult to maintain this as a monthly activity. As the team grew in size, we decided to continue with it as an annual tradition. 


Rose, Thorn, Bud 2022

Every December, when most people are looking for a new beginning, I also look forward to this team activity. It has become one of my favorite gratitude activities for employees over the years. And this year was no different as it started with Suma’s message in our slack channel.

gratitude at work - rose bud thorn


What followed next was a schedule for all the 32 people in the team then, and booked Zoom calls in all of our calendars for the dedicated 4 weeks to join in and listen to each other speak about their year in detail. 

For us, the RTB exercise is a way to know each other better, to tell our stories, talk about our challenges and express gratitude for the year that went by. Most of us take time to prepare and reflect in advance for this. We take stock of the year, go through our emails, calendars, messages, social media posts, diaries, talk to our friends, or look up our feeds and timelines to spark our memories of how our year went. Then we jot down those points as well as the learnings associated with them, to share with the team on our scheduled day. 

We try to encourage everyone to go beyond their work at Niswey so that all of us get to know and connect with each other beyond professional relationships. 

Since the pandemic, most of the team at Niswey has been working remotely. And very few of us knew what was going on with everyone else on the team. So it was overwhelming to see everyone talk about a tough year, so many changes/challenges in their lives, and how they came out of it as better versions of themselves. In hindsight, it felt as if the entire team had grown from these experiences. 

We had great joy during these sessions and decided to share a roundup of everyone’s year in a few lines. 


It turned out that 2021 was a rather eventful year (with the highs and lows) for most of our teammates. And having everyone recall those memories helped us know each other a little better.


The RTB exercise always leaves us feeling grateful for all that was good in the year, and look forward to a better year.

Take our word for it, and do try it for yourself too. 

Our RTB exercise is usually followed by a team offsite. And this year we had quite an eventful one. Check out how it helped us build connections at the workplace.

At Niswey, we are particularly proud of the culture we have built because of the awesome team we work with. Get a glimpse of some of the stories at Life at Niswey!