If you’re a business exec, most of your day-to-day is likely spent in (Zoom) meetings, sending emails or responding to Slack messages.
During back-and-forth digital exchanges, it can be easy to forget that the recipients of your memos are people too, and a simple thank you can make these relationships even stronger.
In general, expressing gratitude in professional settings means more than maintaining good manners: the right type of thank you sent at the perfect moment is capable of broadening your business.
In this post, we’ll cover how saying “thank you,” looking beyond big wins, practicing recognition, and sharing grateful gestures can help you increase your company’s opportunities:
Why It’s Beneficial to Practice Appreciation
Take a minute to flashback to your elementary school days. You just threw a big birthday party with all of your friends by your side.
The day after the celebration, you’re sitting at your kitchen table, playing with one of your new presents, when your mom or dad walks over and hands you stationary so that you can thank your guests for making it. Out of kindness and an effort to solidify these relationships, you compose “thank you” notes to acknowledge your friends’ attendance.
You’ve already been practicing the art of appreciation for a while, and you know that doing so will increase your likeability.
However, there’s actually a science behind the benefits of expressing appreciation.
According to a study from Harvard Medical School, when gratitude is displayed and communicated, people rise in three areas:
- They begin to feel more valued.
- Emotional connections become strengthened.
- They develop a sense of personal loyalty.
This type of giving doesn’t just affect recipients: it also affects those who give.
How Does Gratitude Affect Those Who Give?
Did you think that gestures of appreciation only affect recipients? Well, think again.
Sure, 77% of those who receive gestures of appreciation say that these expressions make them feel valued.
But if you’re wondering how giving affects both givers and receivers, it comes down to reciprocity, which is the human need and tendency to want to give back when something is received.
Take the Starbucks 11-hour pay-it-forward phenomenon as an example. A few years ago, as a random act of kindness at a Starbucks drive-thru, a woman drove up and paid for her own iced coffee at 7 a.m. and also asked to pay for the driver behind her, who then did the same for the next customer.
After multiple people continued the chain, the employees started recording a tally. By 1:30 p.m., 260 people had followed suit, and in total, 378 customers participated.
If you’re wondering why this happened, it’s because when individuals are given a grateful gesture, they become 56% more likely to reciprocate in the future by offering one themselves.
Specifically, when gratitude is practiced in work environments, this same concept of reciprocity comes back around in the form of greater business opportunities.
How Can Gestures of Appreciation Impact Your Business?
If you’d like to learn how displaying gratitude can have an immediate business impact, here are 4 simple techniques that you can introduce:
1.) Say a Simple “Thank You”
Gestures of appreciation don’t have to be grandiose in order to make a lasting impression. Something as simple as hand-written “thank you” notes can have a major effect.
If you’re worried your letters will get lost in the mail, or if you’re concerned that your handwriting is illegible, note that new research has proven that recipients of emailed expressions of gratitude feel much more “ecstatic” than expected.
It’s important to consider that regardless of how you decide to express your gratitude, 60% of individuals believe that appreciation should be conveyed by saying “thank you” directly to the individual recipient. And since 44% of people agree that these expressions should be personalized, the more customized your gestures and messages are, the better.
2.) Look Beyond Big Wins
Similarly to how it’s easy to prioritize large accounts or new business deals with big brand names, it may seem easier to recognize others for projects or accomplishments that are widely successful.
But as a business leader, ask yourself, “Are there a few lower-profile contributions that also deserve to be recognized?”
For example, try acknowledging someone within your company who consistently exemplifies your business’ core values, or calling out a BDR/SDR for being the first point of contact after a big deal has been marked closed/won.
3.) Recognize Those Who Share their Gratitude
If you see someone else within your organization or on your team expressing their gratitude towards others, acknowledge them for it.
By calling them out directly, you’ll leverage operant conditioning to reinforce this positive behavior.
4.) Try Sharing Personalized Gestures
Although all of your in-person meetings have moved strictly to Zoom or Google Hangouts, it’s important to make your prospective and current partners feel special while we remain remote.
Consider that every time you communicate with your clients or prospects and don’t provide them with something that’s customized and relevant to their personal interests, you miss an opportunity to make a sale or earn their loyalty.
Whether you’ve only walked them through a demo or you’ve had their contact info for years, you’ve likely discovered personal details about your new and established connections in your rapport.
In an effort to demonstrate your appreciation for their potential or recurring business, some ideas for grateful gestures that you can share include the following:
- Dinner from their favorite local spot, so they don’t even have to leave their couch and can support a small business of their choice.
- Their favorite type of coffee, to ensure that they’re able to keep their work grind strong regardless of their current location.
- A movie night at home, since the odds are pretty high that they’ve already binged Tiger King.
Luckily, this practice is as easy as saying Thnks!
Since a Thnks is a grateful gesture that an individual can share with another in order to demonstrate their appreciation for both the recipient and their relationship, try Thnking your customers and prospective partners to strengthen these connections.
Incorporating an Unwavering Practice Amidst Current Changes
Every business is currently coming up with strategies to overcome recent changes and challenges.
But the simplest way to create a big impact for your company’s bottom line is by incorporating an attitude of gratitude with your potential and current partners, as well as your internal team.
As we continue to adapt to our new normal, making little investments in these relationships will go a long way.
Saying Thnks can help you generate positive emotions and maintain your relationships. Within seconds, users can send gestures of appreciation with personal and professional connections by searching for an expression, creating a customized note, and sharing it via SMS or email. To learn more, book a demo!