As entrepreneurs, so much of what we do can go without thanks or praise. Typically, we are intrinsically motivated (or should be if we have a strong passion for what we are doing) to be the best we can at providing a service or product to improve the greater good of the economy, our customers, our team and our own lives. So, perhaps, all the thanks isn’t necessary, because as business owners, we have that spark within us that pushes us forward and that faith in something greater than ourselves.
No, we don’t NEED a thank you, but a little gratitude can go a long way.
Being gracious and saying thank you only has the opportunity to make you, the deliverer, and the other person, the recipient, better. Be aware of this and show gratitude for the team of staff members you have who work 8+ hours a day for you or alongside you. Make thanks a part of your culture, and the sum of happiness just may increase.
You don’t have to say thank you every hour on the hour, but recognize when a job is well done and effort is put forth for the good of the company, its cause and the humans who make it up. If I may, here are a few ways to show gratitude to the team around you:
1. Just say it. After a long day at work or just at the end of the day each day, thank your team for their work and contributing to your mission.
2. Give them an early dismissal from the office or a late arrival to the office every now and then. It’s a way to say – I know you’ve worked really hard, so sleep a little later today.
3. Provide the opportunity for a return on heartbeats after accomplishing a goal. Recently, we set goals for each of the four major areas of business, as in the EO way – People, Strategy, Finance, Sales & Marketing. If we achieved those goals, the team was able to select the return on heartbeats (our thanks to each other and ourselves). We achieved and went bowling! They loved it, and our gratefulness was returned with reciprocated gratitude. It doesn’t have to be bowling – any kind of adventure (like the one below) works!
4. Give cheers! A fellow EOer in Seattle took this to heart and created TINYpulse, which is great for measuring happiness and tremendous for allowing the team to give props and thanks to one another for something that stands out to them each week. It’s a pretty great tool.
5. Take them to lunch without talking about work. It’s a nice getaway and demonstration of your care for them as a human, not just a workhorse.
6. Sometimes your thanks can come in financial compensation – do this when the time is right.
7. Give team members an afternoon off to volunteer, but still pay them for it. This shows you are thankful for their work and you want to support their passions outside of work. Gratitude in the form of letting people pet homeless cats and walk lonely dogs is never a bad thing.
Say thanks, not because your employees need it, but because they are a part of something that is bigger than themselves, and that something means a lot to you. Be grateful for the good people around you. They make up the fabric of your life so that you can live the way forward.