It’s common for businesses to show customer and employee appreciation during the holidays, however some organizations are differentiating themselves by weaving such efforts into their daily and weekly plans. This approach to appreciation is benefitting their bottom line and more.
Here are three reasons to give gratitude all year long.
Showing appreciation increases employee engagement. Sadly, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days according to a Gallup poll. While company efforts to retain top performers by optimizing the workplace through new perks and flexible schedules are often strong, one area in which they lack is showing appreciation and recognition to employees on a regular basis.
Dale Carnegie said, “Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.” No matter how big or small of an achievement, praising employees is an inexpensive yet very effective way to give them gratitude. This form of recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention, according to Gallup. Bonus—the more appreciation an employee receives, the more likely he or she is to show appreciation to colleagues and customers.
Beginnings and endings impact customers’ brains disproportionately. Many companies ‘have their customers at hello’ meaning that new customers are often excited about their purchase and eager to get started. The brain selectively chooses the events it stores, which are typically the ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ for future recall. While the last thing any organization wants is to lose a customer, the ending—the last customer interaction is a moment in time that will linger longer in his or her memory according to psychological research.
There are many reasons these relationships end. Perhaps the client’s organization was acquired by another company and is now required to use that parent company’s software, manufacturing equipment, etc. for example. Dale Carnegie’s 19th principle is, ‘Appeal to nobler motives.’ Since the end of the relationship will linger as long as the beginning—for weeks or even months to come, end it on a positive note by giving gratitude for their business. Consider writing a hand-written note with genuine thanks for their business, or sharing a final lunch. The now former client will be more likely to refer you, write a raving review or return to you should circumstances change in the future.
Giving gratitude fosters trust—when it’s sincere. Dale Carnegie’s 2nd principle, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ underscores the importance of giving genuine appreciation. This generally free and simple action is an effective business tool because, “it is a precursor to develop trust,” says Betsy Bugg Holloway, a marketing professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Al. Whether among employees or customers, trust itself is a dominant driver of loyalty, among both employees and customers.
Bottom line—giving gratitude on a regular basis boosts business.