It’s One Simple Word. So, Why Don’t We Say It?
The holiday season is over, and we are excited to begin a new year. Each new year brings fresh ideas and novel concepts, and, along with them, the excitement, joy, and wonderment that the surprise of discovery entails! These concepts catalize design and construction of new products that are introduced to the marketplace, to yield further joy as customers experience using something new for 2016.
However, one important factor that is too often overlooked is theattitude of gratitude. Surprisingly, gratitude is simple and easy to convey, but many individuals fail to share the simple statement, “Thanks.”
The ability to say thanks for a great idea, a job well done, help provided, a gift given or a door opened can’t be emphasized too strongly. This is a workplace issue that needs a boost. Research has shown that many employees simply need to be told that they are important, that someone values their contribution to the enterprise to instill happiness and satisfaction. By telling an employee, co-worker, customer, supplier or other relationship stake holder how you value the contribution of that stake holder, you increase not only their confidence, but your value and the value you place on the relationship.
And in today’s fast-paced, flat world, relationships are key. Often, seeing someone face to face begins a process of knowledge and understand that reveals that person’s value proposition. Knowing what they value is imperative in developing a relationship that will result in a sale, a promotion, or the support that one needs to successfully achieve a personal, professional or project goal.
One could argue that saying “Thanks” is old fashioned or out of date in today’s digital world. To that, we say RUBBISH! Research on millennials indicates that most millennial employees feel very positive about giving recognition for the help and assistance they receive from others. But translating the positive feeling into action takes encouragement and direction.
Good executives model this all the time. Businesses give long-time clients a tangible form of gratitude each year. Obviously, if your business fulfilled or provided a multi-million dollar contract for an entity with whom you’d not worked before, such a gift might be substantially more than a box of sweets. Yet many folks rarely expect anythingother than a simple “Thanks; you helped.” So start there, and make the most of the relationship by tangible and intangible expressions of gratitude.
And don’t forget to provide positive recognition for individuals who do a good job. Most of the time, that recognition is a public, verbal thank you; that may be all that is needed and necessary. But if a team really went out of their way and helped you emerge from a difficult situation, perhaps a gift card or other concrete symbol of gratitude is in order.
I’ve written frequently about the impact that a hand-written note can have, and I want to close with that to kick of the New Year. On fine paper, a card or letter written in your hand and bearing your signature reinforced and confirms the value of the relationship and the action for which you’re giving thanks, a clear tangible expression and what that person’s action or thought meant to you.
In every instance, it’s the idea that you took the time and effort to say thank you, to write a note, to purchase a gift or honor an individual’s efforts that counts. That’s a discovery and often a surprise that everyone appreciates.