Gratitude is a Smart Business Strategy
By Ann Elliott
What Causes Low Morale in the Workplace?It is easy to understand how this could happen. When managers have the attitude that a paycheck is appreciation enough, there is no need to do anything to express gratitude. Others believe their people already know the manager and the owners appreciate them. Why is it necessary to express it? For some, they do not know how to express heartfelt thanks for good work. They do not have the language or at least are not comfortable with the language. Work is about work and emotions have no place in business.
What Does a Workforce of Unengaged People Cost?
- Unengaged people come to work to do the very least to get paid
- Giving extraordinary customer service is unimportant
- People who feel unappreciated develop a negative attitude that is infectious
- Helping others on the team is not valued
- Innovation and solutions are not important
- Change is resisted and often sabotaged
- Hiring energetic people who are high performers is difficult
How to Express Gratitude to EmployeesMake a small investment for a big return. If you value a team of engaged, high-performing players, use these simple steps to create to create a culture of gratitude:
Lead the way.
Use creative approaches.
Make it authentic.
How to Express Gratitude to CustomersIt is obvious that your customers are important for a successful business. Without them there would be no business. How do you let your customers know you value them?
1. Customer appreciation event.Two examples I have attended include an oyster roast and open house with tasty food.
2. Corporate gifts.The sales team of one of my clients never calls on a customer without a gift. Pistachios is the gift of choice. Other ideas include a box of high-quality chocolate as a thank you that I receive every year.
3. Referrals.A new client shared her way of thanking you for a referral to new business. Her firm donates to the organization of choice of the person making the referral. A win/win idea with something in it for everyone.
4. Handwritten note.When I received my organic cotton sheets made in the USA, the team who made the sheets enclosed a thank you. They had personally signed the card.
5. Acknowledgement of a gift.For nonprofits, acknowledging receipt of a gift is not only important for the giver to know the organization received their donation but also for tax benefits. My recent experience demonstrates how important it is to appreciate customers and donors. I persuaded my Toastmasters club to donate $697 to a local organization who has a 12-month program to develop leaders in 9th and 10th graders. I personally hand delivered the check to the executive director. The organization cashed the check. No thank you or acknowledgment. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, a second organization donated approximately $300. No thank you or acknowledgment. Despite the excellent program and outstanding results, I doubt that I will support them in the future. Unappreciated customers and employees are hard to retain. Update: an acknowledgment of my contribution arrived hours before publication of this article. It’s important to promptly acknowledge a gift or a donor can draw an unfavorable conclusion.
Gratitude as a Business StrategyAppreciate your people for the unique value they bring to your business. When they feel appreciated, they are more likely to perform their best work in the service of your customers. Customers that feel appreciated enjoy doing business with you. It is more than a platitude. Gratitude is a smart business strategy. What ways do you express gratitude to your team or to your customers? © 2013 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved
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