In Praise of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a reminder of how a sincere expression of gratitude can build closer, more positive relationships. For businesses and organizations, that means taking the time to show appreciation to customers, employees and vendors.

How can you say thanks in ways that are meaningful and motivating? Here are five ideas for sending the right messages to the right people.

Write A Note
In the era of social media and text messaging, receiving a handwritten thank you note is a rare occurrence. All the more reason to send one. Taking the time to write a thoughtful note can show a deeper level of appreciation than firing off an email or text. The extra effort will not go unnoticed.

Add Some Value
Kind words are nice to hear, but sometimes a more tangible reward is in order. Host a customer appreciation day with special discounts and giveaways. Give your employees small perks like a restaurant gift card or a reserved parking space for going the extra mile. Gestures like these make a lasting impression and reinforce loyalty when outside forces vie for a change of allegiance.

Pay It Forward With Referrals
Another great way to say thank you to vendors is by sending more business their way. While these direct referrals are always welcomed, you can also show appreciation by hosting a party. Invite suppliers, distributors, sales reps and anyone else with whom you do business.

Zero In On Something Specific
Tie your gratitude to what an employee actually did. Instead of saying, “Thanks for your good work,” it’s frequently more effective to say something like, “Thanks for working 12-hour shifts to get us through our busy season. We couldn’t have done it without you.” Use a similar strategy with vendors, recognizing them when they go above and beyond the norm. A focused thank you will be more meaningful and increase motivation and productivity.

Get Personal
Connecting your show of thanks to an individual’s personal life can make the message more memorable. For example, if an employee just joined a gym to get in shape, a subscription to a health and fitness magazine could be a big hit. If a vendor recently bought a dog, a gift card to a pet supply store provides a timely token of support.

Giving thanks isn’t just good manners, it’s good business. Do it authentically and effectively with the important players in your company’s success and you’ll likely see your appreciation reciprocated with increased mindshare, loyalty, and profitable activity.

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