As posted in The Gaston Gazette:
(4/26/15) BELMONT, N.C. – In our world of oversaturation and overstatement, it’s a rare occurrence when two simple words can have a dramatic effect on virtually anyone who encounters them. But the words “thank you” still pack a powerful punch. There are a host of reasons why this innocuous little phrase is so important in our personal lives, but it’s also proven to be quite a powerful mover in the business world as well. Here’s why:
- It increases happiness to both hear and say thank you. Expressing thanks is one great way to increase your own personal happiness: according to ABC, in a study at Kent State, students who wrote letters of gratitude over a six-week period felt better the more letters they wrote. Similarly, hearing thank you is equally powerful: according to Forbes and a 2012 study by Bersin & Associates, companies that “excel at employee recognition” are 12 times more likely to be successful. What’s important to note is that the “thank you” doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture: people respond favorably to small gestures of thanks, as long as they are meaningful.
- It strengthens relationships. It’s pretty obvious that most of us would rather spend our time with people who are happy instead of with people who aren’t. This makes a lot of good, common sense – when people are happier, they are more receptive to others, and they are much more likely to make the kinds of gestures and decisions that solidify relationships rather than break them down. This kind of knitting together happens in the workplace as well – people want to work in the places where others are happy, so the kinds of businesses that thrive and grow are the ones where people feel like they are valued and rewarded for their work. It’s wonderful to know that that kind of loyalty can be earned by using a few simple words on a regular basis.
- It benefits health. Psychology professor Robert Emmons says that gratitude has a host of positive effects on an individual’s physical, psychological, and social well-being. Not only can it lower blood pressure and help to build a stronger immune system, but it can also make a person more alert and more helpful, generous and compassionate. Considering the kinds of stressors that we all deal with on a regular basis in our careers, gaining this kind of health benefit simply by being more thankful is a boost that is too good to pass up – no person and no business can afford to be without it.
- It increases productivity. According to Michael Rogers at www.teamworkandleadership.com, leaders who are thankful to those whom they lead tend to get considerably better results. Why? Because, he says, people are much more likely to be inspired by people who clearly care about them and their well-being than by those who don’t. In the workplace, that kind of inspiration can translate into greater expressions of creativity, more dedication, and great productivity – all elements that make for impressive and successful businesses that also continue to have employees flocking to them seeking work.
- It creates a pattern of positive behavior in the workplace. Amit Bhagria, Chief Manager with SRF Limited, says that saying thank you is invaluable in the workplace because it helps to create what he calls a “culture of gratitude and recognition.” That culture of gratitude, he says, helps to create the kind of team environment that is ideal for encouraging both leaders and their subordinates to achieve more, but it also demonstrates the kinds of behaviors that leaders would like for their subordinates to replicate. That kind of patterning of positive behavior sets the best kind of example, because it shows that you mean what you say as a business owner and that you respect everyone who comes into contact with you, not just those who are paying you for your services.
It’s easy to see that, while it seems like something relatively insignificant, saying thank you can have a tremendous and powerful impact on your business. So get into the habit of voicing those two little words and watch your business – and your reputation – thrive as a result.
Lyerly Agency’s President and CEO Elaine Lyerly and Executive Vice President and COO Melia Lyerly share their 35+ years of marketing, advertising, public relations and brand strategy experience with readers each month in a column published by The Gaston Gazette. See this month’s edition at http://bit.ly/1F97JNp.