It’s the season for gratitude.
The holidays are the time of year when we say thanks to vendors, employees, teachers and community leaders – a period where we take pause to show appreciation for our business position, our personal lives and our future opportunities. These acts of gratitude don’t have to start and stop during the holiday season. They can be hard-coded into your daily business activities year-round, and for good reason.
Why Gratitude In Your Business Matters:
- Psychologists have determined that a practice of gratitude is proven to overcome symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronically negative thinking.
- Harvard Health reports that a practice of gratitude helps us improve their health and build stronger relationships.
- It has also been shown that gratitude practices can help with performance, collaboration and motivation at work for both the giver of gratitude and the receiver.
5 Ways To Jump On The Gratitude Bandwagon
1 Avoid BS thank you’s. Opportunistic gratitude or even worse, fake gratitude can have a negative effect. Your gratitude efforts should be a true reflection of who you are, what your business stands for and administered without expectation; in other words, for the right reason. Keep it real, or it might be best to do nothing.
2 Be consistent in your effort. Just like consistency matters in your marketing efforts, a one-and-done gratitude strategy is not enough. In fact, when timed with certain seasons, it can appear gratuitous. Make it a tenet of your organization that permeates from department to department, out to vendors and even forward to customers. An ideology that is contagious to foster the positivity and gain the true impacts that gratitude has to offer your business, your career, your personal life and our society as a whole.
3 Give yourself permission to be vulnerable. As business leaders, we train ourselves to hide our emotions, think strategically and stay laser-focused on goals, not nuances. When it comes to creating a practice of gratitude for our team, our vendors, our customers or even the community-at-large, it may force us to drop our armor for a few moments. By tapping into our hearts (and letting others see it), we can express true and authentic gratitude to those around us.
4 Don’t be afraid to let the world know. As a marketing consultant, I often speak with business owners who perform outstanding acts of gratitude on a daily basis, but they keep it a secret. They don’t want to “toot their own horn.” While I understand (and appreciate) humility, it’s okay to let others know that gratitude is your ‘jam.’ It won’t seem like bragging and it might inspire others to take on the same mission.
5 Examine your gratitude-to-complaint ratio. When you sit at the helm of a business or department, it’s easy to get frustrated. Projects take too long to get completed. Sales are not where they should be. Customers have complained about this or that. The list of negatives sometimes seems unbearable, but often there are some really good things go in concert with the bad. Those good things are often overshadowed and left unappreciated. Like other objective metrics and KPIs that you use to measure your business performance, examine this number to make sure you are not focusing too much on the negative side of your business.
During Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, gratitude is on our minds. We send end-of-year gifts to our vendors, offer special savings to our loyal customers and reward our team’s efforts with bonuses. Gratitude practiced on a year-round basis could be the hidden tool where you find a competitive edge and become a happier, healthier person – all in one fell swoop.