All of us have so much to be thankful for, whether in our personal lives or in business. There are times when we may have to stop and think about it in order to recognize all that has been given to us, or that we have in deed worked very hard for, and other times when it is pretty obvious. And yet, do we always take the time or make a point of actually saying thanks?
I think that over the last several years I have made a better effort at this myself, although I know that I could still do better! It is definitely important I believe to set-up a regular plan for acknowledging employees work, and our clients. It is also good to be spontaneous as well – to offer a sincere appreciation that is not expected can make quite an impact.
Perhaps what got me thinking about all of this is when I first reached out to our nonprofit clients and suggested that it would be important to do a thank you touch to their year-end donors that was specifically made after the usual gift recognition and tax letter. A way to reach out when it was not to be expected, and then to also include personal notes and signatures from some of their clients or staff. For sure these would not be tied to any additional “ask,” but over time this type of contact would do much to cultivate a better donor relationship.
I would also suggest that this type of effort can be pretty impactful for all other business relationships as well. One of the approaches I have taken at CL Graphics is to have a monthly “customer appreciation” day. As part of this I create a list of all new clients or existing clients that have completed a job with us in the last 4-6 weeks, and then everyone at work selects two names and writes out a handwritten note along with a hand addressed envelope. Over time we have received some neat reactions from clients about this, and that becomes a further inspiration for our employees.
We typically hold this the customer appreciation day right after our monthly “crazy days” company luncheon – which is a way for employees to socialize and for each department to host the event. It is also a way for me to help make our company a good place to work at and give thanks for the effort everyone puts in to their job.
Of course the one on one personal thank you is pretty powerful as well. Even if it is given for a seemingly small achievement, taking the time to acknowledge this is not always done. We sometimes have to stop and think about this or push ourselves to recognize the importance of doing this, but for sure it can lead to even stronger relationships and just plain good feelings!
When is it that you take time to say thank you?