Gratitude and appreciation

Mother Teresa said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” Here in the U.S., the month of November brings Thanksgiving, and that holiday brings thoughts of gratitude to the top of the mind for many of us.

Rhonda Byrne’s book The Power quotes Presbyterian preacher and author John Henry Jowett (1864-1923) as saying, “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” Byrne says, “If you’re in the midst of a difficult situation, look for something to be grateful for.” She goes on to say, “Gratitude is the bridge from negative feelings to harnessing the force of love!” Most of us would be hard-pressed to be annoyed with a delivery man for being late when we’re happy (appreciating the fact) that a vendor was able to ship a last-minute order out quickly.

While it’s an unseen part of most businesses, gratitude and appreciation are two of the main reasons customers buy. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever for companies to recognize their hardworking team members who have remained loyal and dedicated during such economically challenging times. Management studies reveal that 46% of employees leave a job because they feel unappreciated, 61% say their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people, and 88% claim that they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work they do.

Research shows that employees almost always list appreciation as their number one motivator. Best-selling author Jack Canfield has a chapter in his new book, The Success Principles, that tells us to “practice uncommon appreciation.”


Canfield’s book reminds us that there are three kinds of appreciation, including:

  • Auditory. People need to hear the “thank you.”
  • Visual. People like to receive something that they can see, enjoy, brag about, and that preserves the memory of the occasion.
  • Kinesthetic. People like to feel the appreciation, through a handshake or a pat on the back.

When in doubt, all three of these can be used together to prove how much someone’s work, dedication, and enthusiasm are valued.

The value of gratitude and appreciation can be measured by the way we feel when someone says “thank you.” The evidence is clear that gratitude and appreciation have an impact on the bottom line in business. We all like to shop where people treat us with respect and show how they appreciate our business. In this age of instant communication, practicing gratitude in the workplace is essential. Blogging and tweeting, our customers are able to share their service experience quicker than we can sign into our own instant messaging account. Aside from the effect it has on a business’s reputation, practicing and showing gratitude and appreciation in the workplace makes the world a better place.

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