Whether dealing with employees, partners or contractors, I often took my team for granted. Showing courtesy, gratitude, and care for others might happen in the first couple of months of knowing the person, but that wore off for me. The same person whom, once upon a time, I wanted to do work with and was excited to have on my team, now likely feels unappreciated by me for all that they do for me everyday.
Why is it that today if a new client comes knocking at the door with business, we jump to thank them even before the job is done, and yet, we show little or no gratitude to the people on our team that make it happen?
What we fail to realize is that expressing gratitude benefits both parties in the relationship—the recipient and the giver. When we give appreciation to those that work for us, we often receive even more in return!
Research shows that employees that felt more gratitude feel more attached to the business and are more pleased to come into work even the following day. Satisfaction goes up! Gratitude is a boost to get people on your vision and riding the rocket with you. It will also help employee retention, so people stay with you longer.
The bible says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” God is asking us to be grateful because it takes our focus off of the NEGATIVE (which is our tendency) and places it in the POSITIVE (which is where God wants us).
Every day we have the awesome opportunity to show appreciation to the people that help run your entrepreneurial machine. Here are some simple ways to show employees, contractors, vendors, partners, joint venture partners, and clients well-deserved appreciation everyday:
Thank your employee because they care, not because it’s their job.
When your employee is doing their job, don’t just think “well, that’s what I pay them for”. You may be taking their work for granted just because you’re also doing your job. Appreciate the fact that they are a component of the machine you’re building and without them the thing doesn’t run as well.
Tell them why you appreciate them.
So it’s one thing for your employee to hear “Man, I’m really grateful to have you on my team”. It’s a whole different story to follow it up with “I sleep better at night knowing I have you on my team”.
Be creative in expressing recognition.
Saying the same thing over and over becomes bland. People become numb to it. Try more personalized phrases: “I’m grateful when…”, “I’m blessed to…”. Simply pick a different way of showing the same appreciation. The English language allows for millions of combinations.
Appreciate the time and mindset, not only the results.
Even when your employees goof up and are unable to deliver up to your expectations, thank them for their effort and time. If your contractor forgets to do a task from a long list of tasks, or if he or she burns the cookies, don’t make them feel all their work was wasted. “It’s not a big deal. Thank you for your effort.” (personally, I would also follow it up with how it could have been done differently)
Look for positives to appreciate even in negative circumstances.
My mom is great at seeing the good in everyone, everything, every situation. How many times have you gotten the “I’m running late,” or “I can’t come in today,” or “I’m backed up.” Instead of moaning and groaning, thank the fact that they are even telling you this in advance. This will make them want to “make up” for it.
Surprise “Thank You” notes.
I’ve written thank you cards, sent text messages, wrote emails, posted on employee’s Facebook walls, and left sticky notes on their desk. You don’t have to do this daily. With the 5 examples I just gave, you have one for every week of the month. Then figure out other ways and come back to repeat any later on. These can make their day.
Let them know how important they are to your success.
As an entrepreneur, we are only as strong as the people working in our machine. Even if you’re a solo-preneur, you still count on vendors, affiliates or contractors to help you succeed. Count your blessings and accomplishments in business, and inform your team about the impact they have in your success. Appreciate how your people contribute to the achievement of your personal goals.
Praise in private and public.
It’s nice to be praised at your desk, but it’s even better to be recognized publicly. You can send an email blast, post on the company Facebook page and bring it up at the next meeting. Find ways to appreciate publicly.
Go out of your way when they need help.
The best way to show gratitude is showing up with they need help. Praying for someone who is down, buying their tires and having them pay you back slowly, or just listening when they need to talk. Sometimes you can offer to do their job for them so they can take a break if you see them down.
Give a Gift.
Nothing says thank you like a gift. For some employees this will be the best thing ever, but for others it won’t be as impactful. You won’t know until you try it. The more thought that went into the gift, the bigger the impact.
Your Entrepreneur Compass,
COMMENT BELOW: What are some ways you show your team gratitude?. Sound off below.