As you polish off the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers, it’s a good idea to pause and look forward to the rest of this hectic season. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already thinking about your 2018 goals and aspirations; you may even have your resolutions all laid out. This time of year isn’t just about making New Years’ resolutions, though. It’s also about reflecting upon your business, your accomplishments, and the valuable connections you’ve made over the last 11 months. But, while you were celebrating your Thanksgiving, did you bother showing thanks to your colleagues? Your business partners? Even your LinkedIn connections?

John F. Kennedy said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” Even if you have a hectic schedule, it’s vital to find (or make if you must) time to thank those around you. Your colleagues, employees, business partners, and especially, your customers—all of them deserve a hearty “Thank you!” for their hard work and support.

Being Grateful is More Than a Seasonal Trend!

Giving thanks isn’t just the seemingly “right” thing to do; it also has direct benefits for your business’s productivity.

According to UC Davis Psychology Professor Robert Emmons, author of The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbeing by Giving Thanks, lack of gratitude is a major factor in many negative results. These include job dissatisfaction, turnover, absenteeism, entitlement, gossiping, and negativity. Showing your gratitude is a surefire way to combat these issues, according to Emmons; his research also indicates that people who show gratitude are 25 percent happier, more optimistic, and better sleepers.

Gratitude has also been linked to reduced aggression and increased productivity. A recent study even found that companies with higher levels of employee engagement grew their yearly income by 19 percent, while that of businesses with disengaged workers dropped by 33 percent.

Turning Words into Actions

Saying “thank you” isn’t always enough. If you’re overwhelmed by day-to-day operations, how can you possibly show everyone in your business that you care?

Firstremind yourself to say thank you for the little things.

Definition of word grateful in dictionary

Say thank you for the seemingly simple tasks, or for things you might find you take for granted in your daily workplace. Have an assistant who tirelessly orders the same complicated coffee for you? A porter or valet

who always rushes to keep you on time? A client who goes out of their way to respond to all your emails? Give them a genuine thank you.

Second, how you receive thanks is just as important as how you give it.

When you do something great or kind for someone, and they give you their best thank you, don’t brush it off. Take the time to give them a “you’re welcome!”—or they might not ask you for your help again, and you could lose out on a great connection, like this writer.

Third, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

If you’re giving thanks to your customers, don’t use the same old “Thank you for your business” line; think of something personal and unique to your business, your service, and your own style. If you’re trying to plan the obligatory holiday party, try something different: this year, our company had its own Thanksgiving potluck, where our employees gathered around some delicious home-made food, and participated in a fun raffle.

Yes, Thank You!

Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve this holiday season; saying thank you can have more benefits than you think. You may even consider how you can show gratitude on a daily basis in the new year. Regardless of how you show thanks, I hope that your holidays are safe and merry, your businesses successful, and your LinkedIn connections plentiful!

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving!

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