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Product differentiation is a business strategy. So is innovation, competitor acquisition, and cornering a fresh market. But gratitude? That’s just a feeling that businesspeople occasionally express in pursuit of their goals, right?
Wrong. It turns out that expressing gratitude is a business strategy in its own right.
To understand how that could be, consider that human beings have reasons for doing the things they do, and it feels good when those reasons are recognized.
If I hold the door for someone that’s wrestling with a large handful of packages, I do it because I recognize their difficulty and want to help. I’m not expecting them to thank me, but if they do, the acknowledgment confirms that I was successful in being helpful. This positive reinforcement makes it more likely that I’ll do it again in the future.
The same holds in business. Your employees work hard because they like what they do and want to make a positive contribution. Your vendors provide quality customer service because they’re interested in solving your problems. And your customers give you money in exchange for goods or services because they recognize the value inherent in the exchange.
None of the three are looking for praise, but if they get it, it confirms that they’re playing an essential role in your business’s success. People crave acknowledgment, whether they realize it or not. As a result, when businesses express gratitude authentically and often, they create a positive service culture that strengthens the bonds between the organization and everyone that contributes to it.
In his book, “Big Potential”, author Shawn Achor discusses research which demonstrates that gratitude creates a “virtuous cycle” of praise and heightened performance.
In business, it would go something like this. An employee goes above and beyond. Her manager praises her efforts and expresses the company’s deep gratitude. This buoys the employee’s spirits and motivates her to raise the bar next time. This creates more opportunities for thanks and praise, which breeds an even stronger commitment.
There’s a secondary benefit. The employee that receives regular thanks is primed to think about others the same way. So after receiving glowing gratitude from her manager, she might pick up the phone and thank her coworker for helping out. This might spur him to thank someone else. Generous, heartfelt gratitude creates an ever-expanding web of gratefulness that raises wellbeing and happiness on a large scale.
And happy employees are productive employees. Happy customers are customers for life. Happy vendors become trusted partners. There isn’t a business relationship that can’t be nourished by the liberal application of earnest appreciation.
SEE ALSO: Ways to Thank Someone For Offering Help
Business strategies usually are complicated endeavors that require significant investments of money and time to implement. But creating a culture of gratitude involves nothing more than a shift in priorities.
It starts at the top. An organization’s CEO should cultivate a habit of gratitude with upper management and with the company as a whole. He or she should impress upon the rest of the c-suite the power of authentic gratefulness to cement bonds and motivate excellence.
The CEO’s actions give the rest of the company a taste of what gratitude is capable of, a perspective reinforced by upper management. Over time, a culture of gratitude will spread through middle management and down to individual workers.
Expressions of gratitude will become regular features of the interactions between employees, and between your company, your partners, vendors, and customers. This simple shift in behavior cultivates deep and abiding relationships that will pay dividends far into the future.
Customers will become brand ambassadors, vendors will provide better service, and employees will devote themselves to the company’s betterment. The natural result is a healthier bottom line and a more vital, tenacious organization.
SEE ALSO: 4 Formal Business Letter Samples
That’s not entirely true. A heartfelt thank you, rendered face-to-face is the most personal, and gratifying way of showing your appreciation. But it’s often impossible to express your gratitude in person. Handwritten notes are the next best thing.
Your handwriting is unique. It’s a part of you. Rendering your thoughts on paper and then posting them through the mail is very much like sending a small piece of yourself to your recipient.
More importantly, handwriting is a labor-intensive process. It’s easy to send an email or spool off a text message. Investing the time required to write a thank-you note by hand shows that you’re truly committed to expressing your emotions in a personal way. It demonstrates that you care enough about your recipient to sit down, pen in hand, and think carefully about the words you put on the page.
But here’s the rub. How many business owners or busy managers have the time to handwrite a thank you notes every time the opportunity presents itself? Not many. And this presents a problem. It’s challenging to create a culture of gratitude if your schedule doesn’t allow it.
That’s where we come in. Simply Noted generates handwritten notes using state-of-the-art handwriting machines. They use real ballpoint pens to capture the subtleties of true handwritten notes accurately. We can even replicate your handwriting, creating thank yous that feel as if they were created by your own hand.
Simply send us your recipient’s name, address, and the text you’d like in your card, and we’ll take care of the rest. We can generate cards on demand, so we’re ready anytime you need to show your appreciation. Simply Noted is simply the best way to show your gratitude to the people that need to hear it the most.
Try sending thank you notes for 30 days and see the difference it can make in your business. We suspect you’ll become a long-time Simply Noted customer.
SEE ALSO: Simply Noted for Business