One of the most effective and meaningful ways to build solid business relationships is by showing appreciation. Simple expressions of gratitude and meaningful recognition may seem a tad ‘old fashioned’ in these technologically advanced times, however, ‘manners maketh the man’ (and /or woman). Valuing the contribution of others, respecting their expertise and giving them their proper acknowledgement will help establish a mutually beneficial environment for joint ventures. It may also increase sales because people enjoy doing business with those they like, those they know and those that add value to their profit margins. Feeling appreciated is deeper than simply being told ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ or ‘great job’. It’s more than a bouquet of flowers or an in-store gift token. More than a joint company dinner or drinks at a plush bar. Appreciation reminds all parties that what they do is unique and adds to the overall success and general welfare of the project or business deal. It reinforces the integral role that the individual or business plays in the attainment of a particular goal at any point in time. Appreciation serves as a genuine, yet practical, reminder that the other party is acknowledged, respected for their talent / leverage / contribution and necessary to the development of the task at hand.
“The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” is a useful reference on this subject. In it, psychologist and co-author Paul White claims office encouragement can decrease tardiness, diminish absenteeism, lessen staff turnover, help workers become more engaged and increase production. I would like to add that demonstrations of appreciation send positive energies to the recipient which promotes the release of endorphins – the feel good hormone – resulting in their subconscious willingness to go that extra mile for the business and this positively affects profits.
In 2013 UK department store group, John Lewis, announced a 17% bonus for staff after reporting a rise in profits. The partnership, which includes Waitrose supermarkets, said it made pre-tax profits of £409m ($613m) in 2012 – a rise of 15.8%. John Lewis is owned by its employees meaning that some of the profits are paid as annual bonuses. The 2013 bonus was up from the 14% paid out in 2012 which effectively made it a bonus pool worth £210m shared between approximately 84,700 staff (known as partners). Staff (partners) are dedicated to the success of the business because they are clearly appreciated.
Appreciation is therefore good for business and cost effectively so. It’s also a way of instilling a high professional standard within the corporate culture. Potential business ventures and persons with whom you do business will be forced to rotate form a higher axis when dealing with your business because you place a high value on what you do. The same is true for those who work for you or work on your behalf.
Being able to understand the quality, worth or importance of someone is beneficial in business. Appreciating your customer base includes developing ways to enhance their experience with you and your product. Dealing with other businesses is made easier by building solid relationships and demonstrating that you value what they bring to the negotiating table.
About the Author
Malik Muhammad (be-motiv8d.com) focuses on providing people with the tools to feel empowered to achieve their goals in a specified time and motivates them to overcome major obstacles.
His expertise is based on applying the 8 Principles of Self Empowerment that are guaranteed to help people be successful, see returns on their investments and make measurable progress.
Malik is a motivational speaker, radio presenter and author of Empower yourself to Succeed. He was raised and educated in Jamaica, read law in London and enjoys quad biking.
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