If I told you that one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to meaningfully improve the performance of your business was absolutely free you might think I was crazy, but it is absolutely true. All it takes is to say thank you. That simple act of recognition can change the culture of your company and help you to earn the discretionary effort that is so critical to the success of high performance organizations.
The best thing about this simple act is that it is contagious. Once you as a leader take this step you will be amazed how others will follow. Before you know it you will have built a culture of recognition at your company and will have a more inspired, committed and enthusiastic team, along with the benefits your customers will experience when they interact with these engaged employees.
Handwritten thank you notes are a great way to genuinely demonstrate gratitude. Each month I write notes to our top sales performers and others throughout the company who distinguish themselves through their contributions. I also write thank you notes to customers who often reach out to me to tell me what a great job our employees do every day. This habit of writing thank you notes has spread throughout the company and our technicians have taken up the challenge of showing gratitude to our customers in this form. Last year our team hand wrote over 10,000 thank you notes to our customers. Yes, 10,000 times last year one of our customers pulled out of their mailbox a hand addressed and hand written note thanking them for being our valued customer. Think of the impact that small show of gratitude has on the loyalty of a customer.
There is one group of employees in our company that works tirelessly 24/7 and often does not get the thanks they deserve and that is our Monitoring Center operators. In particular they work every holiday while the rest of our workforce is enjoying time with their families. To show them how much we appreciate their work, our senior management team each takes one holiday each year and they take care of bringing in food for the crews working the holiday and personally thanking each of the operators for their contributions to our success. You can imagine how effective a gesture this is to make sure they know how much their work is valued.
All it takes is a show of gratitude.