Gratitude Isn't Just for Thanksgiving

At Thanksgiving, we are reminded to take time to self-reflect on the things in life we’re most thankful for, but use this as an opportunity to show your gratitude for everyone at work.
Amanda Carrozza
Published: November 21, 2017
At Thanksgiving, we are reminded to take time to reflect on the things in life we’re most thankful for — a loving family, new friends, a thriving veterinary practice. Beyond self-reflection, this time of year can serve as an opportunity to recognize those around you who have made this year more successful and who make your day-to-day a little easier. Don’t forget everything your veterinary staff has done for you, and don’t be shy about vocalizing your thanks.

Here are five suggestions and opportunities for expressing your gratitude. Who knows? This could be the start of a growing trend throughout your practice of coworkers showing their appreciation for one another.

A Simple ‘Thank You’ Goes a Long Way
It’s engrained in us from a young age that it is common courtesy to say thank you when someone performs a simple task for you, such as opening a door. But have you forgotten to extend this appreciation to the people in your practice? When your practice runs like a well-oiled machine, everything your staff does on a daily basis might become routine. But just because a task is part of an employee’s expected responsibilities, it doesn’t mean you can’t thank the team member for a job well done. Give it a try: The next time someone in your office exceeds your expectations, let him or her know. Reminding your employees that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed can go a long way in creating a positive work environment.

Start on a Positive Note
Meetings are an unavoidable aspect of running a business, and veterinary practices are no exception. Rather than jumping right into the main topic of your meeting, begin with a positive highlight from the previous week or recognize someone in attendance for a recent accomplishment. It only takes a few moments, but this optimistic lead-in will set the tone for the rest of the meeting.           

Make It Personal
Standard expressions of appreciation are wonderful, but take it a step further by sprinkling in personal attributes and examples. When saying thank you, use the person’s name. Did you overhear your receptionist handling a tough client call with poise and compassion? Be specific in letting him or her know what you noticed.

Providing details adds a layer of sincerity to your gratitude and shows that you’re not just delivering blanket expressions.

Say It Any Way You Can
Face-to-face interactions might be most impactful, but there may not always be time to chat between cases in a fast-paced practice. The good news is that there are other effective ways to make your gratitude known. A quick email, text or handwritten note at the end of the day are all acceptable ways to relay your appreciation.

Make It Last
Thanksgiving might serve as a reminder to show your thankfulness, but the trend shouldn’t end once the holiday season concludes. Make it a point to recognize members of your practice for their hard work continually, and look for new and interesting ways to express your gratitude. For example, host quarterly employee appreciation breakfasts or, every time a team member’s name is mentioned in a positive review, enter his or her name into a drawing for the opportunity to win a gift card, prize or extra day off.

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