Expressing gratitude helps your business thrive. According to an employee survey on Glassdoor, over 50% of employees said they’d stay at a company longer if they felt more appreciated. When people feel valued and important, they work harder and care more about the results of the entire company.
Showing your employees and clients you care and value them is not only good for them, but has a ripple effect. A great benefit of gratitude is what it does for your overall happiness. There have been many studies done that have shown the direct correlation between happiness and success, as well as positivity and health.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, those that practice mindfulness and gratitude everyday feel more positive and optimistic, get sick less and have less difficulty with illness, have more energy, and actually exercise more. They’re also more likely to help others by performing a service or offering emotional support. It should then come as no surprise that employees that feel appreciated are happier, put in more effort, are more productive, and are more likely to go the extra mile for the good of the company.
The average person spends 90,000 hours at work, or around 1/3 of their life; everyone is healthier and happier overall when they have good relationships with the people they work with. Treating people with kindness and gratitude helps build the foundation for lasting, productive relationships and will cultivate a healthy, inclusive company culture. Not every professional partnership is going to be perfect, but your perspective inevitably influences your results.
Showing your emotion and compassion for others is a strength. Expressing gratitude builds bonds that can solidify your professional relationships, and it builds long-term loyalty, making employees brand ambassadors with a passion for the company. This inevitably leads to happy customers and overall business growth.
Showing gratitude and letting your employees or team know that you value them doesn’t have to cost you anything but a little time, and anything worth doing is worth the time it takes. Practice gratitude with creativity and incorporate some of these ideas into your everyday business rituals.
1. Keep a positivity log that everyone has access to where you track your employees’ successes, shout-outs, or share uplifting affirmations and stories to boost team morale.
2. Use language that’s inclusive and encouraging. Being engaged this way is especially important for remote teams since your face time with each person is limited and they may not pick up your tone through IMs and emails.
3. Be an active listener and show genuine interest in what your employees have to say. Allowing for some personal conversations increases trust and empathy amongst you and your coworkers.
4. Host a regular video chat with your team to act as a “coffee break” where people can catch up in person and share client wins or news. You can even use this time for some quick, fun team-building games.
5. Have a time once a week when employees can share what they’re grateful for that day, and keep the gratitude train rolling. If you work in an office, have your team write it on a white board everyone can read as they pass by. If your office is remote, schedule in a gratitude minute on Slack at the same time on the same day every week so employees can look forward to sharing.
6. Accommodate your team by allowing them flexibility to schedule time to take care of important or unexpected challenges such as doctor appointments or a flat tire. Life happens, and you’ll ensure returned gratitude and appreciation from employees who don’t feel like their job would be in jeopardy if they needed to take care of personal matters.
7. Send a “Thank You” email letting your team know what a great job they did after big projects or tasks are completed to acknowledge the time and effort they put forth to make it happen.
8. Send customers or colleagues referrals, publicly acknowledge them, or give them shout-outs on social media when appropriate.
9. Call out skills or traits in your team that you admire. This may help encourage your team members to reach out to each other more, not just to you, for guidance or support on new projects and challenges. Being specific with your appreciation not only feels more genuine to recipients, but it also encourages them to keep adding value via their unique skill sets.
10. Sometimes an occasion is so special, it calls for a little more celebration than a “Thank you” card can contain. Reward your team with experiences they’ll remember, or personal touches like a bag of gourmet coffee beans for a coffee lover, a beautiful picture frame for a photography hobbyist, a gift certificate from mlbshop.com for a baseball lover, or a pair of movie tickets for a film buff.
When you express gratitude towards your team members and business partners, you build great rapport by showing them you want them to be there and you value what they contribute as a team member. By highlighting their importance and purpose in your organization, you are empowering them to lead in turn.