Showing gratitude is something that is so easy to forget to do, but has such a big impact. There are personal positive rewards from the act of expressing gratitude and also positive impacts on those you express gratitude to. It really is a win-win. If upping your gratitude game is one of your goals for 2016, an article from Inc. provides seven groups of people to make sure you thank throughout the year.
Your employees: Your business is only as good as your employees. Set aside time to thank employees. A simple personal “thank you” from the business owner or manager can make a world of difference. For many employees, feeling appreciated is more important for job satisfaction than a raise in salary. Keep a stack of blank notecards on your desk and make it a point to write a thank you note to at least one employee each week (more often if you have more employees).
Your customers: Find fun ways to let your customers know you appreciate them. Face it; without customers you wouldn’t have a business. Hold a customer appreciation event or simply make it a point to thank people for doing business with you in all of your corporate communications.
Your vendors: These business partners can be easy to forget, but just like the others they can make or break your business. Finding and then maintaining good vendor relationships can be the key to remaining competitive in the small business marketplace. This is another place you can get creative. Hold a vendor appreciation event, or take some donuts over for their employees. Show that you care about their success.
Your colleagues: Who do you reach out to when you need business advice? Are there competitors you are friendly with or other business owners you spend time with? Make sure to thank them for their relationship with you.
Your mentors: There are likely many people who helped you get where you are today. Make sure to reach out and tell them thank you for supporting you on your journey.
Your community: Most business owners didn’t go into business just because they love the industry they work in. Most people want to see that the work they are doing is making the world a better place. Taking the time to thank you community shows that you appreciate what they have done to support you.
Your friends and family: This is another group that is easy to forget, but they are vital to success. They are the real reason we work so hard on building our businesses. They are the ones who are there through the good times and the bad. Thank them for their support and let them know how vital they are to your success.
We would also add that you should thank the friends and family of your employees. They support your employees as they spend a lot of their time working for you. Take some time to thank them at company events and any other opportunities you have to interact with them.
Most of all, remember that your gratitude must be timely and genuine. Taking some time to focus on what you are thankful for this year could make it your best one yet.