Expressing gratitude is an essential way to help your practice prosper, and often, it tends to get lost in the hustle and bustle of patients coming and going. However, taking just 15 seconds to let your patients know how much you appreciate them distinguishes you. Even other small acts of appreciation can solidify your relationships, such as a short handwritten note?
If you don’t know by now, relationships are the foundation of any good business.
I’ve learned that expressing gratitude yields results I couldn’t have predicted. So while gratitude might be at the top of your mind during the holidays, why not make a mindful decision to incorporate it into your thinking year-round? What about incorporating it in your relationships with your team? Your vendors? What about instilling that attitude in your team members towards your patients, fellow team members, and vendors?
Although making your appreciation tangible – meaning giving something as a token of appreciation – can be helpful, I find it’s not really necessary … and it only adds to your overhead. However, if you find that a token of your appreciation as a gift works well for you, consider a donation to your favorite charity in their name instead of given them a mug, flowers, or gift. It’s knowing your patient well enough to show them you care in ways they value.
When your team has just really busted it, working hard to make a day super productive, a heartfelt thank you, ideally in-person is step one. But why stop there?
From my experience, team members value time off – paid or even unpaid (believe it or not). Grant them some extra time off to enjoy their triumph. Use monetary gift certificates judiciously; gift-giving can quickly become “expected”. Dig deep and figure out what will make a lasting impression on each person. If you can’t figure it out, just ask them! I do this by asking each team member at the beginning of each year to list 5 things that they would enjoy receiving as a reward, with the caveat they should not expect any of them, but if I feel their performance has been exceptional, I now know what I can do for them that they would appreciate. I keep their lists throughout the year and refer to it as needed.
And if you’re wondering is showing gratitude is fruitful, an employee appreciation survey by Glassdoor found that 53 percent of employees said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss.
How you express your gratitude speaks to who you are as a person.
Showing your emotion isn’t weakness; it’s strength. It builds memorable bonds that transcend your business relationships.
A simple, effective way to build expressing gratitude into your life is to ask yourself each morning before you get busy: Who am I grateful for today? Who helped add to my success?
Don’t sit on those feelings. Take action. Gratitude felt but not expressed is wasted.
Get in the habit of expressing your thanks as you go (it’s also far easier than saving them up until the holidays). A thoughtful email or handwritten note will go a long way in showing someone you appreciate them, although I personally prefer a face-to-face communication, and during it in front of the rest of the team has even greater impact.
So, if you love holiday parties for your team, go ahead and do it!
Just remember that it’s your one-to-one humanity that sets you apart from the masses who give gifts that are soon forgotten.