by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals
We are in the season of saying thank you, showing gratitude, it is the holidays after all. But how are you showing your employees, customers, clients, virtual assistants, outside contractors that you are thankful for them?
It's easy to get lost in the busy and hustle of this time of year, and perhaps the rush of the holidays doesn't allow you a lot of time to show your gratitude. However, it is so important for your business, whether you're a team of one or 100 - to make the time to show your appreciation.
If you listened to our podcast on this topic, I wanted to share some ideas to say thank you this time of year and throughout the year - so that your business will stand out.
Create that thankful and appreciative culture in your business.
Whether you're a pet retail store, dog trainer, veterinarian or anything in between, creating that culture of being a team - where you as the leader shows gratitude to your employees or staff is important to maintain
Host fun nights out with your team. Can be something as simple as a night of bowling, a paint night, hitting golf balls at fun driving range, dinner at your favorite local restaurant. This could be a yearly or quarterly outing with your team. Budget for this - because keeping your employees that love working for you, motivated, happy and feeling appreciated will keep them part of your team - and doing an above and beyond job for you.
Of course, you can do something that you all agree on - getting out of your place of business is a great way to show your team appreciation.
I once worked for a PR firm and we were given a week off, paid for the holidays and in the summer, after our busiest time of year, we were taken for a spa day and beach picnic at a fancy spa in the Hamptons. You bet we felt appreciated. We also had game nights during the holidays, and were treated to dinner on many occasions throughout the year.
Something as simple as getting your staff their favorite Starbucks coffee order from time to time, bringing in lunch and coupling that with thanking them for their hard work in your business - will always bring up moral and show your appreciation.
You may be thinking, "yea, but that's what they are hired to do, their jobs." Yes, sure, but they can also work for someone else that will show appreciation. You have probably heard about the great resignation or the quiet quitting i.e. doing the bare minimum. Showing appreciation and leadership in how your treat your staff, will create better employees imo.
Saying thank you, is not just about buying lunch for your team but also letting them know when that they are doing a great job and you appreciate them, as humans. Sure, it's just business, but your staff is human.
In addition to saying thank you - if you haven't already - ask your employees their dreams and goals. What else would they like to learn to do at your business? You may be surprised - and you may find your next best employee to promote that you didn't know that was right under your nose. People like to be heard, and will love that you care enough to ask.
Thank your clients. I think we can get caught up in how great of a job we have done for someone that has hired us, that we may not be thinking to thank them for hiring us. They could have hired someone else, walked into a different grooming shop, veterinarian clinic, you name it.
You can give small gifts of appreciation to your clients, or larger gifts depending on the size of the client contract. Get to know your clients during the time you're working with them, and that can help you decide and curate gift ideas.
Thank someone you hired! If you don't have a huge budget for your outside contractors or VA's for gifts or monetary tips, you can also give them a glowing recommendation on their website, Google page or LinkedIn. Make direct email intros to people who you think they would make a great fit for, for an upcoming project. Or offer to give them a testimonial that they can use on their website from you. It's a simple way to pay it forward and say thank you.
Send out thank you cards in the mail to people you have worked with, or this time of year holiday cards to show you remembered them, even if the work they did for you was a short term contract. Or to colleagues, people who have recommended your business, sponsors, and so on. And sign it yourself, or write a note too. By the way, blue ink is the best to use when handwriting a note or holiday card. You can still get pre-printed cards, but the thoughtfulness of you actually taking the time to write a handwritten note, will not be forgotten.
There is nothing like a business that appreciates their team, colleagues and clients. Saying thank you, showing your appreciation this time of year and all year long will be one of the reasons people come back to your business.
What is that saying, people don't remember what you said, but how you made them feel. I believe it is the same in business.
So thank you for reading this post, and if you listened to our podcast too - thank you. Hope you, your team, family and pets have a wonderful holiday season.