Author Melody Beattie wrote that “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” Recent clinical trials support Beattie’s assertion, describing personal benefits such as reduced depression, lowered blood pressure and improved sleep. Equally powerful are the business benefits of gratitude.
Just as gratitude can elevate an individual’s physical and emotional well-being, it can also improve both the workplace atmosphere and an organization’s bottom line. Following are just five of the many tangible benefits of expressing gratitude at the office.
1. Customer Loyalty and Engagement
According to Harvard Business Review, generating new customers will cost your business five to 25 times the cost of retaining existing customers. Further, if you can increase your customer retention by just 5%, you could see your profits increase by 25% to 95%. Those statistics offer compelling incentive to show customers a little love!
Customers who feel appreciated are more likely to recommend your business to others, write positive reviews, buy from you again, and even pay more for your services down the road. Loyalty programs, notes or phone calls, customer appreciation events and customer spotlights are just a few ways you can show gratitude.
2. Increased Productivity
The business benefits of gratitude extend beyond customer loyalty. Like customers, employees also respond when they feel appreciated. In fact, a Glassdoor survey indicated that 81% of employees will work harder when their boss shows appreciation.
Not only do employees who feel appreciated work harder, but in some instances that work is more successful. For example, a University of Pennsylvania study found that when leaders expressed gratitude to fundraising callers, those employees increased their success rate significantly. Gratitude can prove an effective motivator.
3. Employee Retention
Employee turnover costs your organization in a variety of ways. Not only can recruiting and training a new employee cost up to half of that employee’s yearly salary, but the hidden costs add up, as well. High turnover rates reduce company morale and customer satisfaction while decreasing productivity.
Employees who feel valued for their hard work are more likely to stay in their current employment. In fact, many workers place more importance on appreciation than on salary and bonuses. Genuinely and frequently extend credit and praise when employees step up. They are your most valuable resource.
4. Positive Company Culture
As the executive, you set the tone for your company. Remember that gratitude is contagious. Employees who receive appreciation from management are more likely to show appreciation to co-workers.
A company culture of gratitude reduces aggression and promotes a positive work environment. Employees who feel appreciated work together more effectively and take better care of their customers.
5. Stronger Business Relationships
Every business owner knows that relationship-building is essential to success. From customers to investors, employees, business partners and even vendors, human connections form the framework for growth. Gratitude, expressed sincerely and frequently, builds trust, a critical element of productive and lasting relationships.
Expressing gratitude to your technology partners and others enhances the benefits of the services they provide. They work hard to supply revenue-enhancing technology options while ensuring minimal downtime and maximum data security. When they provide excellent customer service, let those responsible know.
How to Unlock the Business Benefits of Gratitude
“Being appreciated is one of the great motivators on the job, even better than money,” wrote novelist and magazine editor Janice Kaplan. Set aside time and budget to express gratitude to the people responsible for your business success. Prepare for a return on investment that may surprise you.
As you invest in gratitude, a few suggestions may help:
- Make expressions of gratitude genuine, specific and personal.
- Gratitude need not be complicated. Simple handwritten notes go a long way.
- Don’t wait for a formal event to say “thank you.” Keep those expressions of gratitude coming all year long.
- Improve employees’ ability to work effectively, and watch the results. Express gratitude by providing tools for workplace flexibility and greater efficiency. Employees with the right tools feel valued and work harder.
This Thanksgiving season, begin a habit of expressing gratitude. Extend that habit through the holidays and all year long. You may just find yourself smiling more broadly as you experience the lasting personal and business benefits of gratitude.