The Gift of Giving Thanks

November 23, 2011 by Rose Cook

I know it’s probably a little cliché to write about giving thanks at Thanksgiving, but who among us doesn’t stop and reflect a little bit during this time of the year?  While working on closing out my year end business goals, I’ve also thought a lot about my professional trials and triumphs of the past year.  As I count how many more triumphs than trials I’ve had, I realize how lucky, and yes thankful, I am to be surrounded by so many great people. 

I attended a seminar over the summer that discussed a number of aspects of engaging and retaining top talent, which ties in nicely to this giving thanks time of year.  Much of what I learned was very straightforward – for example, happy employees are more committed.  Committed employees ultimately contribute to the success of the business.  However, it’s what studies have shown makesemployees happy that was the real eye opener, and it wasn’t more money.  It’s as simple as a thank-you.

One of the top reasons that people leave a job is their relationship with their boss. Not feeling valued and appreciated leads to job dissatisfaction and eventually turnover – and we all know how costly turnover is to a business. Companies that have a culture of recognition are more successful and have
higher employee satisfaction ratings.  Why?  Quite simply employees that feel valued are more likely to stay and that level of commitment and job satisfaction translates to higher profitability.  As I’ve discovered, you can’t underestimate the value of a thank-you, especially when it’s directed and specific.  Everyone craves positive feedback and recognition, unfortunately most of us don’t do
enough to provide that extra little pat on the back.  Why should we? Well it’s simple, it’s free and it just feels good.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

*Don’t just say thanks for a job well-done.  Be specific.  Point out the precise reason the effort is appreciated.
*Be timely.  It means more to hear that the hard work is recognized when it occurs, not weeks or months later or in an annual review.
*Make it meaningful.  Although a group may have achieved the success, it’s important to make sure every individual feels recognized and valued.

To quote poet Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

On that note, I’m so thankful to be rewarded day in and day out with the pleasure of working with great people who take immense pride in what they do.  Lynn and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.  We appreciate your continued support and feedback and hope that we are giving you as much as you are giving us.  Thank-you.

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