by Jonathan Jones
During a strategy planning session, I had a leader of a company insist that gratitude should be a value of her company. I was surprised and asked her why. She indicated that she was grateful to have the experience to be in her industry and the capacity to start a company. In addition, she was grateful for her business partner and employees who trusted her enough to be a part of their company.
Convinced that everyone should have gratitude as part of our culture, we reinforced the value by starting every staff meeting with a five-minute round of “What are you grateful for?” The impact was impressive.
The leaders were openly grateful for employees and gave specific praise to team members. The team members felt appreciated. Team members would appreciate each other as well. During disagreements, team members would still be grateful for others’ strengths and look for common purpose and ground before sharing their points on the disagreement.
The leaders and team members showed sincere appreciation for customers. They often said, “Thank you for your business” during interactions. Customers, vendors and business partners felt appreciated, and they became the “preferred” supplier.
One customer’s project manager berated a team of employees and treated the company in a win/lose manner. The leaders called the customer’s managers, thanked them for the business and committed to completing the project but said that because the company did not seem to be respectful of their employees or the value of their company, they were choosing not to work with them in the future.
The results were fantastic. The company became a “destination” employer, where people wanted to work. Customers wanted to partner with the company, and it continued to grow by 50% a year.
It began with sincere gratitude.
Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 6 years 246 days ago