Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is over, but giving thanks shouldn’t be. Thanksgiving provides us time to pause and really reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives. But the truth is, giving thanks shouldn’t be confined to just one season. By only focusing on the larger, less frequent events, you run the risk of overlooking daily blessings and ultimately end up missing opportunities to appreciate the richness of everyday life.

Did you know spending time each day focusing on gratitude can have a huge impact on your health and well-being throughout the year?

In fact, those who express gratitude are 25 percent happier, more optimistic, and better sleepers according to research from Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.

Not only can thankfulness improve your health, but it will also impact your business!  Showing appreciation should be a regular year-long practice at any company. Expressing gratitude to clients, employees, the community and other stakeholders pays off for all sides, boosting happiness quotients and ROI.

According to a new study, companies with high levels of employee engagement grew year-to-year income by 19 percent, while businesses with disengaged employees fell by 33 percent.

That’s a fairly large return on something that’s essentially free. It’s not the monetary value here, but rather putting an emphasis on the appreciation factor. Thus, expressing your gratitude doesn’t require you to spend hundreds upon thousands of dollars. Instead, small businesses can find meaningful ways to show thanks to their key business partners, clients, and employees and build stronger relationships in the process.

Little Things Matter Most:

Often times, people assume that acknowledging the “small stuff” won’t amount to much. However, it is actually the micro choices which exponentially grow into macro results. Gratitude and ensuring people know you notice their contribution is no different.

As humans, we naturally respond positively to acknowledgement. And thus, through expressing gratitude to the people helping your business thrive, you are naturally guiding them to better performance.

One “ratio” worth mentioning is the 80/20 rule; and that is 80% of your business usually comes from 20% of your customers- so before you go chasing new customers, why not make sure you thank the current ones.

And finally, people will remember less of what you said and more of how you said it if delivered in a grateful way. People remember the feeling you gave them, not necessarily the words.

So how can you pay it forward?

For clients:

  • Send handwritten thank you letters accompanied by a personal touch (such as some delicious chocolate covered almonds or assorted nuts)
  • LISTEN attentively to your customers, do more asking than telling, and retain some of their personal details
  • Be respectful of their time
  • Send out reminder gifts to prospective and current clients.
  • Send sympathy, holiday and birthday cards & gifts
  • Focus on the small victories and events

For employees:

  • Always listen to their ideas and be grateful and appreciative.
  • Show gratitude when they successfully complete a task and share their accomplishments with the rest of the organization (one way to effectively do this….  Rewards highlighting their achievements)
  • Treat mistakes as learning opportunities
  • Host holiday parties and other events to increase employee engagement (don’t forget to incorporate corporate gifts into the mix)
  • Send out small gifts year-round to show gratitude… something as simple as their favorite candy or bluetooth speaker