Gratitude: Business Complacency or High Return? #peopleskills

Gratitude in Business – Is It Mainstream?

I recently delivered a keynote to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) on appreciation in the workplace. One admin noted that the company she works for abolished the celebration of Administrative Professionals Day.

I could see the hurt in her eyes. It was more than just a slight. To her, it meant, “you don’t matter”.

Gratitude: Image is the word gratitude.

Gratitude: Business Complacency or High Return. Image by Symphony of Love.

Grateful for image by Symphony of love via Flickr Creative Commons License.

To me, it raised the question — why do leaders still shy aware from showing gratitude?

There are signs that gratitude is infiltrating the mainstream of business. We read more and more about brands using heart marketing to connect with customers. Frequent customer programs are designed to show gratitude for customer loyalty.

I caught up with inspirational speaker and sales coach, Dave Moore, to get his take on gratitude. The crux of his view …

“One of the biggest secrets in selling is to show gratitude for the deal. It builds a connection between you and your customer. Customer loyalty is built on gratitude for them being your customer. Loyalty is more important than customer satisfaction. Loyalty only grows through the connection. When a customer feels connected or included, that comes from you being grateful to them for putting their trust in you and your product.”

He offers one strong piece of advice: “Gratitude is an activity not just a response! Actively show gratitude.”

As Dave and I spoke, I saw many parallels between gratitude for customers and gratitude to all involved in the business. Gratitude does not demotivate or make people complacent. It draws people in with greater interest for greater commitment.

Gratitude: The Investment That Pays

Gratitude and appreciation in business — for employees and customers — is a modest humble investment that yields infinite return. So what stops leaders from showing gratitude?

  • Fear of seeming weak. If they thank others, will that say they need others? Well leaders, it’s time to accept the truth. You cannot and don’ t do it alone. So let others know that they matter! It shows your confidence not your weakness.
  • Fear it will make others weak. Some leaders are stuck in the old Theory X — believing that employees are naturally complacent and lazy. Well leaders, the research on gratitude is against you. Showing appreciation to employees doesn’t reduce commitment; it strengthens it.
  • Fear is time wasted. These leaders assume employees are committed since they are being paid a salary. On that basis they believe time spent to show appreciation and gratitude is wasted effort. Well leaders, assuming employees are committed for salary earned, overlooks one important detail. Those employees can also earn a salary someplace else. The result is a talent drain to the highest bidder. Quite a foolish mistake given that gratitude is a no cost way to build commitment and loyalty.

Leaders, here are 6 more reasons why leaders don’t show gratitude. Have you fallen into any of these needless traps?

Even if your leadership doesn’t show gratitude to you, you can break the power of indifference with the infinite power of appreciation. Make gratitude mainstream in business. Make gratitude a daily attitude.

What business results have you seen from gratitude in action?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
The Simplest Reason to Show Gratitude to Employees
Be Grateful More Often on Harvard Business Review
Leaders, 12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

16 Responses to “Gratitude: Business Complacency or High Return? #peopleskills”

  1. Scott Mabry says:

    Great post Kate. Far from time wasted, gratitude is one of the simplest and most valuable investments a leader can make with her or his team. I’m amazed at how many leaders do not recognize the power of a simple thank you. Every act of gratitude is time well spent. People long to be recognized and appreciated. It makes them stronger, not weaker. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      So very true Scott. Gratitude draws people together. It sustains in tough times. It puts truth into the mission and purpose of an org. It gives work meaning.

      And to quote you — it makes everyone stronger not weaker!

      Happy Thanksgiving and warmest wishes of thanks,

  2. Khalid says:

    Hi Kate,

    “Customer loyalty is more important than customer satisfaction”

    That kept me thinking! Never thought of satisfaction vs loyalty relationship! Dave is quite right. Yes satisfaction is important but loyalty is far more vital than satisfaction. Loyalty is built from showing gratitude.

    This applies to employees as we as customers. Yes I could end up with unsatisfied employees but through my gratitude, I can make them loyal to me instead of the environment!


    I can’t wait for your next creative post 🙂


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Khalid,
      Dave’s input was key to this post. I am grateful for his time and insight. His thoughts carry through to every aspect of the business — employees, suppliers, etc…

      Sincere gratitude bonds people together in mutual success and happy co-existence.

      Thank you for all your comments here and in the people skills community on Google+!

      Warmest regards,

  3. Dave Moore says:

    Hi Khalid
    thanks for your comments. I am always struck by the confusion I see on some peoples faces at seminars when I say that I believe ‘Customer Loyalty is more important than Customer satisfaction’ Your customers satisfaction is part of the deal as far as they are concened, it’s a given. They expect service and they expect satisfaction. We, as the supplier should always give service and satisfaction. What we need to ensure is we get Loyalty and that takes a little more work.
    The clincher for groups is, when they are unsure, I ask them ‘would you prefer your spouse to be satisfied, or loyal?’…that tends to get their attention!

    thanks agian for your comment


    • name says:

      I read that quote in a book, a few years back, by one of those customer service books and heard a few times over the years. It’s a great quote- I can’t remember the name of the book, I first saw it in though.

  4. Khalid says:


    Loves that last question Dave lol

    Thanks for being such an inspiring person.


  5. Chichi says:

    Kate, thank you for writing this post. It really resonates with me. I am passionate about showing gratitude in business and it has helped me earn my customers’ loyalty. Dave, thanks for sharing your observation that customer loyalty is more important than customer satisfaction. This information is priceless.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      I am so very pleased this post resonates with you Chichi. I got the idea for the post from our #peopleskills Twitter chat where Dave tweeted “Gratitude is an activity not just a response.” From there he and I e-chatted and the post was born.

      Grateful you have taken the time to leave a comment and hope you will share the post with all you think will value it!

      Warmest wishes and thanks,

    • Dave Moore says:

      Just goes to show how Kate can make something so impactful from a comment on a tweetchat…
      Thanks very much

  6. rene says:

    there should be a balance between those two. Businesses should have as main purpose to serve our community, and profit is what it’s gotten in return to keep serving. Of course watch out for losses, changes, and other challenges.
    One last though, Gratitude is what pay off a day of hard work in form of a returning customer,

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Very interesting perspective Rene — when you say that profit is what is gotten in return to keep serving! Perhaps one of the most unique definitions of profit I’ve every heard.

      Thanks for weighing in on this post.

  7. Carl says:

    Hi Kate, great post – One of the programs I get to watch here in Finland are the reruns of ‘Under Cover Boss – Canada’ They always end with the people being brought to HQ supposedly for a debrief about the “trainee” they endured for a day. Each show the CEO expresses gratitude for the employees hard work, dedication and often using tips/strategies that were picked up on the job. The CEO provides some kind of compensation from vacations to college trust funds – BUT, when the employees are interviewed after the meeting with the CEO, almost to a person what they reflect on, usually with tears in their eyes, is how wonderful it is to be recognized for their work – to be noticed and appreciated has far more impact than the vacation they receive.

    Very appreciative of you and your work,
    Best regards,

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