Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful – for our health, our good fortune and for our families and friends. As a leader of a company that has 25,000 independent business owners throughout the country, I also view this holiday as a moment to be thankful for their hard work and individual contributions to the success of this amazing company I’m so thankful to lead.
No matter how big or how small a business is, having an attitude of gratitude towards employees and peers inspires everyone in the organization. One of the values I discuss in my book, Fearless Living: 8 Life Changing Values for Breakthrough Success is respect, and respect is where gratitude begins.
I believe that if you start with respect for business partners, employees and customers, gratitude will follow. Most businesspeople believe in respecting others, but for some, it can be difficult to maintain at times in a business environment. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Seek to respect others by gaining an understanding of what makes each person unique and what they bring to the table.
- Give respect in order to gain respect, especially as you expand your network.
- Appreciate your own uniqueness and differences to gain insight into what it means to embrace diversity.
- Keep in mind the positive contributions of others who may not share your mindset.
- Recognize the potential of every individual to make a difference in your organization.
There are many ways of showing gratitude towards people with whom you do business – whether employees, customers or service providers. Workplace studies have shown that being recognized by an organization has a direct impact on an individual’s happiness, especially when it ties back to company values. In fact, 86 percent of human resource professionals polled in a recent SHRM/Globoforce survey said recognition increases employee happiness, and 85 percent said it added humanity in the workplace.
Interestingly, studies have shown that workplace happiness was significantly increased with values-based recognition – which means that monetary gifts aren’t the only way to show gratitude. Even a simple thank-you goes a long way.
When it comes to expressing gratitude, find ways to celebrate and honor everyone on the team, even beyond the revenue their work has generated and be specific when possible. In fact, being grateful extends to their development and growth in spirit, character, values and skills. Some creative ways to demonstrate gratitude may include:
- Donate to a charity in honor of employees or customers
- Host an annual event that recognizes everyone’s contributions
- Write a personal thank-you note that commends individual achievement and/or contribution
- Publicly encourage everyone in the organization to show gratitude towards each other
In my “corner office,” the principles of respect and gratitude are core values of the work we do as direct sellers and the role Princess House plays around the world. I want everyone in our organization to feel that what they do individually really matters, and that what we do collectively is important and has an impact as a whole. The imprint we leave on our customers and our business owners is not only life-changing and lifelong but it also creates what I call “reverberations for generations to come.”
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, but it’s also a good moment to kick-off a brand-new year of sharing and expressing gratitude.