Chapter Four: We Get What We Give
Over the past year, gratitude for certain industries and workers has ebbed and flowed with the priorities and frustrations of public opinion. Appreciation, however, should be a constant, a standard operating procedure in our personal and professional lives. We enjoy receiving appreciation, so why wouldn’t we want to share our appreciation with others whenever we can?
It would be only too simple to say we should show appreciation in our daily interactions just because it's a nice way to behave. Of course that's true, but as entrepreneurs, taking the time and making the effort to show genuine appreciation to the people who have touched our businesses in any small way can make all the difference in terms of lasting impact and overall success.
Appreciation for Our Supporters
No one gets anywhere alone.
When a business first launches, there will be no bigger supporters than the family and friends of the person whose dream is coming to fruition. They were most likely the only supporters in the beginning, and they weren't cheerleading because they knew this business idea would become a huge success and take over the world. They were rooting for their loved one, plain and simple.
It is the people closest to us who give us our first vote of confidence when we take on a new challenge. When we overcome that challenge and realize we are stronger and smarter on the other side, we cannot lose our humility. We must be honest to anyone who will listen about who exactly provided their support in the early stages of our endeavors.
Who shared our content on social media to share their pride in us and further our reach? Who recommended our services to potential customers in their own friend group to help drum up business? Who offered a pep talk when we had doubts? These are the people who will always be on our team, whether we succeed or not, and we should let them know how much their support means to us every chance we get before we find ourselves standing alone with no one to celebrate with.
Appreciation for Our Employees
No one builds anything alone.
As any endeavor grows and more employees are added to the team, appreciation should become even more of a priority in any business owner or manager’s daily life. Employees represent a team that if nurtured, respected, and encouraged properly, can go on to accomplish amazing feats, both for their employer and themselves.
Employees are people, and people can sense when they are not respected or appreciated, and their work will eventually grow to reflect that reality. A paycheck alone will not produce the result we desire if we do not make our relationships with those we hire a priority. Just as in personal relationships, if we take our employees for granted, it will only be a matter of time before they find someone new who will.
The workplace is where most of us spend 40-plus hours a week. That’s time away from our families, friends, and more entertaining pursuits. A paycheck is not enough to keep employees happy and dedicated. It is on us to make them feel valued and excited to show up every day and do good work, because they know they are showing up for someone who will show up for them and is rooting for them to succeed as well.
Appreciation for Our Clients
No one maintains anything alone.
Our customers are looking for more than just a quality product. Superior customer service is just as important and will often be the factor that clients remember most and discuss with other potential clients. Showing appreciation for their trust in us and our services, and our willingness to be accessible to them, can make the difference between a potential client and a recurring client.
Businesses cannot survive without loyal customers, people who have such a good experience working with us that they just have to keep coming back for more. If we never bother to show our appreciation for those who keep us in business, we know that we won’t be in business for very long. We want to do well for people who we know genuinely appreciate our efforts.
Every interaction we have is an opportunity to show our gratitude and potentially make someone’s day. This is how positive relationships grow and last. A job well done deserves to be recognized. This is not about false praise or undue credit, but rather acknowledging the effort and quality of someone’s work, and, if nothing else, that they devoted their time to something shared between us.
As previously discussed in Chapter Three: What Happens When We Shop Local?, we learned how important relationship growth of all kinds can be for small businesses. Appreciation is a two-way street. We not only get what we give, but we have to remember to give what we get. When others support us, we cannot forget to return the gesture.
At Noteworthy Communications, we make an effort to show our appreciation in every communication we have with supporters, clients, vendors, or anyone else we may meet along the way. We want to be appreciated for our good work, and we want others to know we appreciate them. We build long-lasting relationships here at Noteworthy, and that often starts with “thank you.”