There's one thing I never heard in any of the nearly 100 customer focus groups and employee retreats I have conducted in my business. I have never heard a single person, ever, say they were thanked too much.
I have seen people feel underappreciated, and frankly, unappreciated. I have seen a woman stop supporting a nonprofit because she felt taken for granted. Her name was on one of the buildings downtown in that community.
And she was right. I volunteered alongside her and watched her knowledge of the market get used to make a huge difference. I saw her plan and execute a tremendously successful event to celebrate a milestone in the organization's history. And I heard her offer advice on how much to solicit from key people, because she knew who had money in that town.
And then she resigned. She had not heard thank you very much.
She didn't want a plaque for her wall or desk. She didn't want a huge public thank you. She simply wanted her work to be appreciated by staff and fellow board members
I have actually heard managers say they feared thanking employees would go to their heads and they'd expect more from them. Thankfully, they didn't last long in their jobs as managers.
Gratitude changes us. It helps us feel more joy in our work. Feeling appreciated changes us. Just read a few surveys by the Gallup organization. Gratitude is critical for feeling engaged in the workplace, and feeling engaged is critical to giving great service.
This month, remember the role of gratitude. Find ways to incorporate gratitude into your organization in ways that teach employees to express thanks to customers. And that will make the spirit of Thanksgiving something last beyond November 30.
Dee Dee has helped create and coach "customer care" programs and cultures for healthcare, government, travel, financial services, plumbing, retail, publishing, automotive and entire communities.