Gratitude as a culture. Sounds great. But is it possible, sustainable or desirable?
For years the proponents of positive have preached the attitude of gratitude. At Thanksgiving the volume gets cranked way up and all; gracious and querulous, optimist and naysayer, happy camper and malcontent are called to join for one day in unison to give thanks for something, anything they are grateful for. We celebrate gratitude, laud it, grow from it, and even appreciate it. There’s scientific proof that gratitude attracts good things. And yet, as Fast Company suggests we, as a culture
“We are hungry for genuine appreciation and thanks,” the article states. “We want to know that we matter, that our efforts are making the world a better place.” Unfortunately, many people are not getting that reassurance. In one poll, nearly half of those surveyed reported that they never feel appreciated at work.
Do your agents and employees feel appreciated? What about your clients? How do you know?
Gratitude Is Profitable
An article by Harvard Business Review says “when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, are willing to work longer hours, engage in productive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, are motivated to do their best, and work towards achieving the company’s goals.“
“When people feel valued productivity is maximized, employee engagement increases and company loyalty prevails.“
Gratitude also plays an important role in client retention, and failure to express appreciation can have detrimental consequences. According to an article by Bloomberg, “studies show that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company. It’s not that the associates are actually indifferent—it’s the perception that they are.”
Some believe that showing gratitude shouldn’t be an “event” so much as a state of mind. As shared with Inman News, “It begins with the first interaction and continues long after the transaction,” said Frank Chimento, vice president at Elm Street Technology who advises agents and brokerages and gives national talks on persuasion, influence and rapport-building strategies.
Make Gratitude a State of Mind – Company Wide
The toughest piece of advice, perhaps because having gratitude is an emotional act. It’s simply not recognized or discussed as something fundamentally important to business, yet this intangible expression of thanks can make or break a relationship. Start by thanking your own employees, even for small tasks. It creates an environment of mutual respect and appreciation. It also provides ancillary benefits such as empowering employees to overcome obstacles. In fact, acts of gratitude produce endorphins, which generate feelings of happiness. A focus on gratitude can, therefore, make the workplace more fulfilling, meaningful and productive.
One small act of gratitude can be a game changer. It can take a relationship from merely transactional to meaningful. It defines the character of a company. And I’m not referring to gratitude in the form of complicated programs or gift-giving. I’m talking about simply saying, writing or emailing (and meaning it) the words, “thank you.”
If you have any doubts, consider the following: A study conducted by the University of Richmond shows that 78 percent of respondents in a relationship with a B2B services firm identified gratitude as necessary in relationship formation. Further, the research states that even a single violation–perception of ingratitude–could seriously hinder trust and commitment and erode a client’s long-term orientation towards the company.
Extend Your Gratitude Culture to Clients
There are endless ways to thank your clients—handwritten notes, gift cards, taking them out to lunch, etc. But the way you phrase your appreciation could give your “thank you” even more impact.
An article by Harvard Business Review encourages companies to build a gratitude program based on a shared purpose you have with your client:
“Identify the shared purpose that you can work on together with your customer. See where you can express appreciation for their accomplishments toward that shared purpose. Cultivate gratitude and loyalty will naturally follow.”
Rather than thanking your client for the transaction—choosing to work with your real estate company—express your gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the shared purpose, i.e. helping them find their dream home.
Invite Your Clients to Show Their Gratitude
Make it easy for you clients to show their gratitude for a great job done. Their words will speak for you and their referrals will be your reward. SmartZip’s Reach150 platform is an easy one touch testimonial and referral system that easily requests and publishes your client reviews and testimonials for you. Take a look and see how easy it is.
Meanwhile, THANK YOU for taking a moment to stop by.
For more helpful tips from our partners at Smartzip, visit their blog!