‘Tis the season to save a bundle from a consumer’s perspective, and sell a ton from a retailer’s perspective. What is often missed—especially when forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving, is the true spirit of the season.
There are umpteen ways to show your gratitude to employees and customers, however these three tips are affordable and guaranteed to pay dividends well into the future.
Thank employees. Mary Kay Ash, a graduate of the Dale Carnegie course, said, “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.” Some companies give employees a ham to show their appreciation, but a sincere note of thanks lasts a lot longer. Let’s talk turkey—employees want to know that they are appreciated. If you manage a team, consider writing hand-written notes of thanks and be sure to call out specific skills or one of their achievements for which you are most grateful. This level of sincerity is what Dale Carnegie was referring to when he said, “Give honest, sincere appreciation.”
A generic note that says, “Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to our company. Happy Thanksgiving,” will most likely get tossed. A note that says, “This Thanksgiving, I want to thank you for going above and beyond every day. I know you poured your heart and soul into the XYZ project in particular, and your diligence made me very proud. It’s an honor to work with you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving,” will probably be displayed on the employee’s desk or even framed. This level of sincerity and gratitude will surely increase the employee’s level of engagement and foster feelings of respect and camaraderie.
Ask for a referral. Many sales representatives are uncomfortable asking for referrals because it makes them feel awkward. Thanksgiving is an ideal time to show appreciation and ask for the referral. Simply thank your customer for his or her business including a specific example of why you enjoy or appreciate working with them. Next, ask if they know anyone else that may benefit from your products or services and if they have a lead or two, ask for an introduction—even if it’s via email. There is inherent trust in referrals which makes them much more viable than other leads, so kindly ask and hopefully you shall receive.
Woo your star player. Most companies host holiday parties and some departments may host their own celebrations, however consider having a one-on-one appreciation meal with your top performing team member. You’ll have an opportunity to share your genuine appreciation and also get to know him or her better on both a personal and professional level. One of Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles is to, ‘Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.’ Sit back and be an active listener to everything he or she has to say, another great way to show appreciation.