Gratitude – it’s not enough to feel it.

What is gratitude? Why do we need to express it? Business Owners understand that they need to keep their team motivated and productive. Research shows that business owners and teams benefit from expressing gratitude often.

According to Forbes ,expressing gratitude has scientifically proven benefits to you :

* Gratitude creates more opportunities to establish connections. According to a study carried out in 2014 and published in Emotion, thanking a person increases the chances of creating a long-term relationship. Whether it is a co-worker, stranger or a person part of a team. Showing gratitude creates goodwill, positive reception and opportunities.

* Being thankful improves mental health. Reber A. Emmons, Ph. D., a leading researcher in the field has found that expressing gratitude reduces toxic emotions which include resentment, and frustration.

* It improves empathy and lowers aggression. In a study conducted by the University of Kentucky, individuals who frequently thanked others tend to act in a more prosocial manner, even when other are not as kind to them. These individuals are more sensitive and empathetic towards others and have lower desires for revenge.

* It can actually improve your physical health. In a study published in Personality and Individual Differences (2012), it found that people who habitually thanked others have reported feeling healthier. Grateful people also tend to take care of their own health and exercise more.

Bringing such an outlook into the business arena does have its benefits too. For example, Kristina Bouweiri, the President and CEO of Reston Limousine wanted to help improve a friend’s business, Bouweiri started hosting lunches as a way of showing appreciation to her friend’s clients. To Bouweiri’s surprise, the business lunches that she held introduced her to new clients for her own company. She focused on showing her appreciation to the company’s existing clients , who in turn, introduced her to new clients.

“Bouweiri’s unexpected success is (a) testament to the power of appreciation and gratitude in business,” Fortune.

Within your own business itself, gratitude acts as a precursor to developing trust between individuals and trust is a powerful tool for getting loyalty from your employees.

So how would you express gratitude in your business? Where do you start?

There are many ways of expressing gratitude in business. Start small, and build it up from there. The simplest and at times the most effective way of expressing gratitude in business is to thank your team for the work that they have done. Set time where you can bring them aside and tell them how much you appreciate the work that they do. You might even consider giving unscheduled personalized “thank you” letters or bringing them out for a meal.

Whichever gesture you choose the most important thing is that you are sincere in your expression of your appreciation. The lack of it may result in it being done half-heartedly or inconsistently, and people can see right through it.

“Instead of showing appreciation exclusively during the holidays, some businesses are building it into their day-to-day and reaping business benefits on account of it.”, Vickie Elmer.

So what can you do to show your gratitude in your business?



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