9 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Employees and Customers

In honor of Thanksgiving, YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about how they show appreciation towards employees and customers. Here are their responses.

 How do you show gratitude towards your employees or customers?

1. Public Praise

I publicly share my employees accomplishments and talents. Whether I mention a specific goal in an email, on social media or in an article, I want to highlight them: Danielle Baker, thank you for your incredible insights; Hayley Lucich, thank you for being our social media hero; Jose Pina and Robby Smith, thank you for championing our next behavioral experiments. I am so grateful for each of you.
– Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People


2. Credit When Credit is Due

As employees experience wins, I immediately give credit to them via a company-wide email. We also host monthly company updates with the entire firm so everyone is in the know on wins for each employee, department and the company. It’s necessary to retain talented employees so I keep morale high by highlighting and rewarding successes and ensuring every hardworking employee feels valued.
– Darius Fisher, Status Labs


3. Unexpected, Unique and Impactful Giving

Whether you want to show gratitude toward a team member or a customer, be sure to give, share or send something that has a deep impact and touches the receiver at the core level. Say they have a passion for camping and the outdoors, and in conversation you heard them talking about saving for some new camping gear. An unexpected gift card to a sporting store would have a huge impact in this sort of scenario.
– Matt Shoup, MattShoup.com


4. An Act They Appreciate

When we think of showing gratitude, the “big” things usually come to mind first, such as raises, perks or gifts. But sometimes, the most meaningful ways to show gratitude are comparatively very small — maybe even free. This could be a high five, a thank-you note or a public compliment. Either way, find out what makes the other person feel appreciated, then show gratitude to them that way.
– Jesse Lear, V.I.P. Waste Services, LLC


5. Recognition at Weekly Meetings

We created a ritual where, on our weekly directors’ call, each person starts off by recognizing a member of his or her team and a specific good deed or accomplishment. That empowers everyone to notice and reinforce the little things that make all the difference.
– Christopher Kelly, Convene



6. A Thoughtful Handwritten Thank-You Note

The amount of money you spend matters less than showing that you genuinely care. You will be hard-pressed to find a better way to show your gratitude than by taking the time to write a thoughtful, handwritten thank-you note. In a world where people are barraged by emails, it has likely been years since they have received a handwritten thank-you note that shows that you genuinely care.
– Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC


7. Trust

For us, gratitude isn’t shown through compensation, because compensation for great work should be a given. We don’t show gratitude by showering them with compliments, because we’re a team and we praise teams, not people. We show gratitude by trusting them. We side with them first and ask details later. We allow them to work from home and take long lunches. All of these components derive from trust.
– Cynthia Johnson, RankLab


8. A Nice Meal

After every job we finish, we send the customer a $100 gift card to one of our favorite restaurants in the area. Chances are, your customer is not expecting anything like that. So when they receive it their expectations are not only exceeded, but it ends up being the last thing they remember about your company, which most often turns into positive word-of-mouth.
– Matt Doyle, Excel Builders


9. Food, Fun and Freetime

We offer a 35-hour work week standard so that everyone can work and get out of the office to have some real fun. We offer free food with pizza parties, free beverages during the day, and of course candy and chocolate. Finally, we allow for flex time and implement a work-from-home policy for those who are producing at a high rate.
– Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design


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Young Entrepreneur Council

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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