Saying thank you sounds simple enough, but it’s surprising how often we make a cursory job of it, or even forget to do it altogether.

The benefits of acknowledging other people, whether they go above and beyond, do something unexpected or just keep ploughing on, day-in, day-out, are multiple.

In business, a genuine ‘thank you’ can make the recipient feel appreciated, encourage colleagues to step up again the next time or ensure a customer comes back.

In the spirit of National Stationery Week’s Thank You Thursday, a day originally set up by motivational speaker Jon Gordon to show the power of gratitude, here are four ways that a ‘thank you’ can work wonders:

  1. Following a purchase

Customers buying from your business for the first time, as well as loyal regulars, should be acknowledged. In an age of electronic transactions, your business could soon stand out and develop better and more unique client relationships if you adopt a habit of sending personal messages to show how much the custom is valued.

  1. After a meeting

Whether people have visited you for the first time, devoted hours explaining a new project or worked hard to help solve a particular issue, taking the time to recognise that by following up the meeting with a thank you note can build even stronger bridges.

  1. For a referral 

Has someone made a referral on your behalf? If so, don’t forget to properly thank them. Even if the opportunity didn’t work out, there is every chance the next one could, so let them know you value the recommendation.

  1. For employee commitment

Individual attention is a powerful motivator in success. While teamwork is an important element of business growth, making sure employees are aware that their own efforts have been spotted can make them feel recognised. Even a simple Post It Note with a few well meant, personalised words of praise can make a difference.

You may not be able to compete with the CEO of Campbell’s Soup, who has written 16,000 thank you notes to employees since 2001, but frequent written thank you notes to staff are a great habit to acquire.

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