The holidays are a time for thankfulness and appreciation, and that goes for your small business as well! Gratitude is more important than ever as we conclude 2020, a year that’s been difficult in many ways.
By incorporating gratitude into your daily routines and business strategies, you can grow your business and strengthen your team. Here’s how.
Take Time To Thank Your Team
Whether due to COVID, an economic downturn, or election anxiety, it’s safe to say it’s been a stressful year for most of your team. People devote a significant portion of their time and energy to their job, so a little appreciation goes a long way toward boosting morale and loyalty.
Set aside time during every meeting to give a shout out to your team members. Try not to make it a competition e.g. “Employee of the Week” or “MVP.” Instead, identify and reward your team’s successes, and encourage them to thank each other as well. Try creating a dedicated Slack channel for appreciative messages, or have people give “awards” to each other. Ultimately, your goal is to increase gratitude and cultivate a sense of mutual support.
Shine A Spotlight
Don’t feel limited to shout outs at staff meetings. Let the whole world know that you are grateful for your customers, staff, clients, sponsors, etc. You can spotlight people in your email marketing, social media posts, and even on the walls of your office.
As with general staff appreciation, don’t make this about competition or who’s “best.” Instead, highlight the person’s individual contributions, unique talents and skills, and how they support your business. Lead with gratitude, and watch morale and loyalty increase among your brand’s community!
Run A “Thank You” Sale
Most consumers are accustomed to receiving impersonal sales messages from companies. During a time when many people are on a budget, being “salesy” can backfire. Think outside the box: instead of simply running sales and encouraging people to spend needlessly, offer a special discount for your loyal customers. Frame it as a thank you gift rather than an opportunity to make money off them. (This is especially important when many consumers are strapped for cash.)
Thank Your Customers For Their Support
Generic “thank you” messages are virtually meaningless to customers, but an unexpected expression of gratitude can turn the tide on customer engagement. Think outside the box: how can you help your customers feel not only appreciated but also grateful for you?
Anything from clever illustrations to personalized thank you videos can be used to show that unlike your competitors, you truly appreciate your customers.
Let Everyone Share In The Gratitude
Gratitude gets even better when you share it with others. Invite your customers and team to share in your company’s success, and make them feel like a welcome part of your brand’s community.
Are you celebrating a major milestone? Send an email blast that thanks your customers and employees for helping you achieve it. Excited about the New Year? Include gratitude messaging in your social posts to help build a community around your brand. Did someone’s purchase benefit a struggling family or a good cause? Send them a thank you note with a photo of whom they helped!
Run A Referral Program
Referral programs aren’t just a nifty marketing tactic. They’re an ideal way to thank your customers for their loyalty, then reward them for referring others to your business. Base your referral messaging around the idea of gratitude. You can design a referral program in several different ways, but make sure that it incentivizes giving and makes people feel special for participating.
Make Gratitude A Daily Ritual
Countless studies have shown that practicing gratitude boosts your productivity, so why not make it part of your regular routine? As a manager or business owner, it’s easy to let endless to dos and the nitty gritty details overwhelm your thoughts. When all that noise occupies your brand, you can lose sight of the big picture.
For greater productivity, leadership, and overall planning, take time every day to be grateful. Make a short list of what you appreciate in your life and business. Write or say affirmations of your goals and values. This simple practice results in a powerful mindset shift that will make you a better leader.
Gratitude is more than the occasional thank you. It’s a way of life. Incorporate it into your business practices, from marketing to team management to personal reflection, and you’ll cultivate a stronger company culture and brand community. With those in place, your business can grow to new levels.