Tuesday, March 21, 2017

eTip #639 - Busting Department/Team Silos in Your Organization

Every business needs some type of structure, but that’s especially true for larger companies. Once a business reaches 15+ employees, the team is usually broken into departments by role.
In many cases, these divisions turn into silos. Business advisor Michela Quilici defines silos perfectly: “Organizational silos are when individual people, departments, or companies, conduct business in a vacuum, without taking into consideration the impact their actions have on the entire organization. The term silo literally means a ‘storage tower’ – a tall, cylindrical building that separates and stores material on a farm.”
There are a few types of silos you should look out for:
  • Hierarchical silos – When people stick to their own level within the company and communicate poorly with superiors or subordinates.
  • Virtual silos – When remote workers don’t integrate with your office staff.
  • Geographical silos – When people limit communication to their own branch/office/region/time zone.
  • Departmental silos – When people limit themselves to their team or teams with the same purpose. This is the most common type.
Silos can handicap your business in several ways:
  • Time and resources are wasted.
  • Information isn’t shared so needless mistakes occur.
  • Learning isn’t shared. Multiple teams fight the same learning curve.
  • Investment dollars are wasted because knowledge/solutions/tools are trapped in one part of the company.
  • Staff morale fails because people don’t feel like their work has much impact.
  • Tasks/tools/solutions are duplicated in different teams.
In the worst cases, siloed organizations experience a failure to collaborate so tragic that teams actively work against one another. For instance, a marketing team who is measured by their generation of leads might pass leads to the sales team they know won’t convert. If there is no communication or cross-measuring between departments, marketing would have no ability or incentive to properly qualify their leads. The result is an ineffective sales team.
Breaking through silos can only happen at the top levels at the company. Their insulation prevents them from working together on their own, so only the top dogs can break the barriers.
  1. Encourage mistakes for the sake of learning. One of the reasons silos develop is because people want to protect their jobs. It’s easier to blame another department when things go wrong. Create an environment where failure is permissible if it creates learning for the organization. Instead of focusing on who was responsible for mistakes, spin them into opportunities to prevent them in the future.
  2. Direct competitive personalities externally. Healthy competition is good for an organization, but not if teams are competing against one another. No team is truly working in a vacuum, so leadership should help teams understand how their work is interconnected. This is best done by creating a set of shared values for every team to follow.
  3. Provide greater flexibility and autonomy. Do you encourage innovation and creativity? Can your employees find better ways to do their jobs? Processes and workflows are important, but the people who use them should have the autonomy to make them better. Growth and new ideas come from testing the status quo.
  4. Build trust throughout your entire organization. In medium and large businesses, employees aren’t fully aware of the contributions of people in other departments. You might hear talk like “Sales throws out our leads,” “HR takes forever to respond,” or “Product never uses our recommendations” even though you know those teams are doing their jobs. This is because teams can’t see into the operations of other teams in a siloed organization.
Build trust across teams by making everyone’s job transparent. If sales is disregarding leads, make it clear why. If HR is busy, explain their priorities. If product teams disregard ignore feedback, have them educate the organization as to why so feedback can improve.
Silos don’t form overnight and they can’t be busted in a day either. They require deft leadership (which is something we teach in our Leadership Training for Managers course). But with a little vigilance, they can always be broken.
Bob Dickson
For more information, visit our website!

eTip #638 - Hello Millennials, Goodbye Cubicles

Millennials are the largest generation yet, and most of them have entered the workforce. A study by Forbes predicts that by 2025, three out of four workers will be from the Millennial generation. Even if we hadn’t begun seeing the signs already, there’s no doubt a generation that size would have some effect on our working environments.
What’s different about a Millennial?
Millennials are creative and ambitious. They prefer to create processes and automate portions of their job so they can focus on tasks that require a human mind. They love to use technology, especially solutions that are specifically designed for their needs. They are extremely comfortable with social media and mobile technology, and often incorporate both into their work as much possible.
This new working generation considers work/life balance an absolute priority. They are happy to give 100% of their effort to their job, but they won’t allow it to sacrifice their health (physical or mental). This is good for your business because they don’t burn out as easily as Generation X or the Baby Boomers.
You’ll also have to accept the fact that your Millennial team members won’t want to be at their desk from nine to five, Monday to Friday. Millennials prefer flexible schedules that allow them to enjoy life experiences. You’ll get their 40 hours, but it has to happen on their schedule. If you’re a micromanager, you’ll find Millennials to be challenging.
Millennials in your office
Most interestingly, Millennials prefer non-traditional workspaces. They like to work in open work environments that allow for maximum collaboration. They like to have informal, impromptu meetings and lots of communication. They don’t want offices of stuffy professionals; they want communities.
There’s no doubt that communication between team members is a boon for any business, which is one of the reasons we teach effective communication skills in our Dale Carnegie Course. It’s a big part of our Leadership Training for Managers course as well.
Now, that doesn’t mean open spaces are right for every company. There’s evidence that open office plans can be distracting and create pressure to look busy. The newest offices are using a layout called “hoteling,” where the work space is mostly open, but small, isolated workstations are put in place for quiet, uninterrupted work.
The best thing you can do for your millennial employees is be there. Millennials are looking for a coach, not a boss. They are entrepreneurial minded and expect great accessibility to their leaders. Research shows that the number one reason millennials leave their job is because of a poor or insufficient relationship with their leader.
Let’s not generalize
While you can make some changes to appease millennials, it’s never smart to generalize a group. The best way to lead your team is to create a set of values for your company, hire people who respect and abide by those values, and then create a work environment and culture that meets their needs. That means you’ll have to put yourself on the front lines and talk to your team anyway (which, fortunately, is exactly what millennials want).
Check out our leadership training course to learn the skills you need to lead the next generation of workers.
For more information, visit our website!

Monday, March 6, 2017

eTip #637 - Off-site Meetings and Training: A Boon for Your Team

Let’s be honest – 8 hours is a long time to be thinking, sitting at a desk and constantly being “on.” Keeping your team motivated AND productive isn’t easy. A simple solution:  LEAVE!  I’m not suggesting closing up shop and heading to Bora Bora for a month.  How about taking a day or even a half-day for some offsite work?  Trust me; the team will LOVE it!
The Effects of Off-site Meetings
An offsite meeting can have profound effects on your team. It puts the focus on them, making them feel important.  Team members who feel appreciated and valued are open to learning new skills and more often than not, are willing to work harder. (We know that happy employees outperform their competitors.)
Off-site meetings or training also help people focus. When they’re in a new environment, they are actively paying attention to their surroundings, instructions, and tasks. A fresh perspective can also help them come up with new ideas. The excitement of a new environment (and a bit of fun) can get them to speak up when they normally wouldn’t.
If you need your team to learn something new, sometimes taking them for a walking meeting around the block can help the lesson sink in better. Spring is almost here, and cabin fever has probably taken its toll on morale. When the temperature hits 60 – take it outside!
Going on Retreat
If you want to supercharge your team’s learning, creativity, and bonding, take them on a work-cation. The Team will consider it part vacation and part work if you do it correctly! You may want to get your money’s worth out of the trip by instructing your team to work or learn 12 hours a day, but they need time to decompress and enjoy the location. Use your imagination – if budget allows, head to a destination spot or resort, a spa or even a health themed location where you can combine brain training with Yoga!
Richard Moran, CEO of Accretive Solutions and a longtime venture capitalist, thinks you have to strike the right balance with off-site retreats. “Don’t close the windows,” he says. “Why go someplace beautiful if there is no time for the pool or golf, and people are locked in dark rooms from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.?” If you take your team to a nice place and deprive them of its enjoyment, they’ll be even more distracted than if you’d left them at the office.
The trick to getting the most out of retreats is to recognize shared leisure time and fun as assets to your company. Let your team regroup from months grinding away at work. Put them in an environment that is slightly challenging, but still comfortable.
That said, you want to get the most out of the retreat, which means scheduling activities and training that support your business. You’ll get more productivity and learning out of your team because (like I said before) the new environment will help them focus.
If you run any team-building exercises, don’t make the proverbial mistake of having your team members compete against one another. That’s a quick way to build a shadow hierarchy into your office. Instead, orchestrate problem-solving tasks where everyone works together, which will foster a team atmosphere.
Retreats are effective for leaders too. One of the things we teach in our Leadership Training for Managers course is the important need to engage with your team to turn them into allies, not whipping them to work like a boss. On an off-site meeting or a retreat, you have the opportunity to lead them to improve themselves.
(The course also teaches how to effectively communicate, listen well, and make better decisions. Check it out.)
Bob Dickson
For more information, visit our website

Monday, February 27, 2017

eTip #636 - The Strongest Leaders are the Best Communicators

The best leaders in the world have one thing in common: They are excellent communicators. I would even go so far as to say that one can’t be a top leader without strong communication skills.
Many bad communicators have poor listening skills. Instead of absorbing what you are saying, they just wait for their turn to speak again. You probably know someone like that. It can be maddening.
Strong communicators like Warren Buffet, Jack Welch, or Stephen Covey make sure to listen to the other party. They capture the other person’s thoughts and problems and turn the conversation to those concerns. They use the language of their audience to make strong, personal connections.
A smart communicator is not a fast-talker with a smooth voice. The traditional never-stop-talking, always-closing, push-push-push salesman is an outdated trope.
The best communicators find ways to add value to every conversation or presentation. Over time, great communicators develop a sense of situational awareness. They observe the room, evaluate expressions and take note of body language. They learn how to look over a room and gauge its mood and dynamic. They use this skill to adapt their messaging.
Even when they’re presenting their ideas, strong communicators speak to the needs and aspirations of their listeners. They understand that the only way a message will take hold is if the listener wants it.
You shouldn’t just learn communication skills in a classroom. No book will have all the answers. The only way to become a fantastic communicator is to do it often. (Therefore, we have our students present up to seven times in our High Impact Presentations workshop.) But when you get the chance to practice, here are some rules to follow.
  1. Don’t be afraid to get personal. You should feel encouraged to build meaningful relationships with other people. Don’t feel like you have to keep everyone at arm’s length because you work in a professional environment. Engage them. People like it when you use their name, ask about their families, and let them into your social circles.
  2. Communicate with clarity and brevity. There is no value in being wordy or long-winded. If you waste people’s time, they will tune you out. The best communicators can pack a lot of meaning into as few words as possible. Don’t be afraid to use specifics, but don’t let details confuse your meaning.
  3. Earn trust, don’t demand it. Telling someone “you can trust me” is the surest way to make them never trust you. People will invest their time and take risks for you, but only if you earn their trust. That’s done through honesty, helpfulness, and integrity.
  4. Drop your ego. Arrogance doesn’t communicate ideas, it just turns people off. Be authentic and transparent, even when it comes to your shortcomings.
  5. Let others speak. Communication can only happen when you’ve listened to the other side. That’s the only place you’ll get the information you need to sway them to your side or transfer your ideas. But that can’t happen if you’re always talking. There’s more to be gained by yielding the floor and filibustering.
  6. Only talk about what you know. Unless you’re asking questions, don’t speak about things you don’t understand. No one will want to listen to you if you speak but don’t add value to the conversation.
  7. Leave value behind. Instead of using conversations or presentations as ways to get something for yourself, find a way to leave something valuable behind. If you become known as a problem solver, you’ll find other people perk up when you start speaking.
One last point to keep in mind: Communication is not about you. It’s about the relationship between you and the listener. Once you’ve built that relationship, your ideas will take purchase.
For more information, visit our website

eTip #635 - Succession Planning: Transitioning to the Next Generation

All good things must come to an end. You can’t run your business forever or you may not want to! At some point, you will sell it or step down. If you’re like most family-run small businesses (by small, I mean 50 or fewer employees), your plan is to take enough money out of the business to fund your retirement and pass the reins to a family member or close friend.
That’s a fantastic goal, but you may be making the same mistake most family businesses are making: You lack a plan to manage the succession.
Your first step is to determine who will own the business once you’re gone. You may be sure who will run it, but there are likely several people who expect to receive a part of it. There’s no easy way to make this decision. Our only advice is to be firm with your choice once you’ve made it.
Next, identify what you need to meet your retirement goals. If the business can’t be sold for enough to support your lifestyle, you may want or need to retain a percentage of the company and structure a buyout over time.
Crafting a succession plan
succession plan is a formal document that outlines the procedure of transferring the business from the current owner to the successor. It explains who will be the new owners and how roles with change within the organization.
The plan also identifies any tasks or duties that must be managed due to the succession. For example, a big client might need to be personally reassured that the company will continue to deliver the same service. The succession plan might instruct an upper-level manager to visit the client’s office.
The succession plan should be written around a timeline. Transitions can be difficult, and often people will put off the details because they don’t feel right “doing dad’s job” or “stepping into Aunt Jane’s shoes.” Keep the transition moving by giving each milestone a hard deadline.
Finally, the plan should outline any goals the outgoing leadership wishes the company to follow. The new leadership can obviously override these goals, but at least the company will have some direction in the interim. They also assure the employees that the company is still pushing forward.
Preparing for the succession
The outgoing business owner needs to take some special precautions to protect themselves. He or she must absolutely consult with a corporate attorney (someone who represents the outgoing owner, not the attorney who also represents the business) and an accountant with estate planning experience.
In most cases, companies aren’t transferred freely. They are sold to the younger generation. Discussing sale prices with family can be difficult, so it’s best to manage the process through attorneys and representatives like a typical sale.
If the outgoing owners and incoming owners plan to have a social relationship outside of the business, it’s critical that neither try to take advantage of the other. Everyone should be prepared to accept a fair market deal. Unless the business is sitting on a pile of cash, it’s best to arrange a financing structure, so the incoming owners aren’t burdened with cash flow problems, but the outgoing owners are still compensated.
There are ways a careful estate planner can help structure the sale to avoid taxes and make the transfer process smooth. For example, if the owner were to die without a plan in place, the company’s transfer may be administered by the probate court, which is a long, arduous process that no one wants to go through.
Time to beat the odds.
We don’t mean to seem grim, but many family businesses fail to survive the first succession. The rates for second successions are even lower. However, those failures usually stem from a lack of planning. Knowledge is power so acknowledging the statistics are important! The key is to create a solid plan AND have a strong support system for both the outgoing and the incoming leadership all while ensuring your team and clients feel confident that your company will not only survive the transition but thrive!
For more information, visit our website

Monday, February 13, 2017

eTip #634 - Five Ways to Make Your Resume Work for You

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to land a new job this year, avoid making the mistake of ‘dusting off’ a previous version of your resume and add merely adding your most recent work history.  Set yourself up for success by following these five steps to make your resume shine. 
Cut-out clichés.  When tasked with reviewing resumes in previous roles, the number of clichés used was shocking.  ‘Team player,’ ‘hardworking,’ and ‘self-starter,’ are just a few vague terms often used.  Dale Carnegie said, “Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.”  Instead of stating, “results-driven,” for example, use actual examples that are evidence of how you drove and accomplished specific, stellar results.  Recruiters and hiring managers are more interested in specific success stories than non-descriptive, canned language.
Tell your story in two pages.  While this is easier for prospective job candidates who are new(er) to the workforce because they have less work experience, it is just as important for seasoned, senior professionals with decades of experience.  Dale Carnegie’s 14thHuman Relations principle, ‘Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately,’ is more easily accomplished when resumes are refined.  Moreover, recruiters are extremely busy, so make it easy for them to see how special you are in a succinct manner—no more than two pages total. 
Close the gaps.  Unexplained gaps are a red flag for recruiters.  During time periods where there may have been a lag in your career, briefly list activities you may have participated in such as special projects, volunteering, sabbatical, travel, etc.  Dale Carnegie said, “No matter what happens, always be yourself.”  Being completely honest about any gaps provides proof that you are honest, which appeals to recruiters and hiring managers.  If the activity was unique, it will make you stand out among competing candidates.
Write it right.  Colloquialism is usually appropriate for verbal communication at work and home, however a resume should be grammatically correct without any typos.  Such mistakes send an immediate message to the recruiter or hiring manager that you are sloppy; careless or worse yet, don’t know how to speak proper English!  Instead of trusting Spellcheck, ask a wise and articulate friend to review your resume for any faux-pas. 
Make it easy to read.  ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ Mr. Carnegie’s 3rd principle, underscores the importance of a resume’s format and flow.  A recruiter looks at resumes frequently, sometimes for hours on end.  Longs blocks of chunky text look more like term papers than professional resumes.  You can make your resume visually inviting by using bullets, brief paragraphs, simple fonts and some bolding to break-up sections.  The critical success factor at play is scan-ability; e.g., if you are deemed a possible job candidate by a recruiter, she may share your resume with other department-specific parties before scheduling an interview.  The easier it is for those eyes to scan your resume, the faster they can hopefully concur that you are in fact a strong candidate.
For more information, visit our website

Friday, December 9, 2016

eTip #627 Three Reasons to Slow Down This Holiday Season

By Liz Scavnicky-Yaekle
It’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ or is it?  For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday officially kicks-off a month full of stress as they struggle to balance their professional responsibilities with additional ‘tis the season to-do’s. 
Here are three reasons to slow down so you can glow all season long.
The pace of your race could be detrimental to your health.  Jeffrey Brantley, a psychiatrist and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine warns, “We pay an enormous price in both health and happiness for living in a sped-up world.”  It would be unrealistic to recommend that you hire a personal assistant to lighten your load, however you can make simple changes to decelerate in order to enhance your mood, mind and even your memory. 
Schedule a half hour to sit and sip a coffee without any electronic devices.  Take the long way home from work.  There is a high probability that during these peaceful pauses, the solution to a perplexing problem you have been trying to solve will suddenly appear.
Time pressure can impede your ability to retain information.  If you rush through your day at 100 miles per hour, you will find it nearly impossible to recall both basic and complex information.  When Julie Earles and her colleagues at the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University studied the relationship between time pressure and remembering information, they found that slowing down helps to recall information accurately.  “If people are under a lot of time pressure, they have difficulty retrieving important pieces of information,” Earles stated.  These findings are particularly important for sales professionals who benefit immensely when they remember details about prospects and clients such as technical specifications, organizational structures, etc. 
Dale Carnegie’s 6th Human Relations principle is, ‘Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.’  When meeting someone for the first time, slow down, repeat their name back to them, e.g., “It’s nice to meet you, Frank.”  Then create a snapshot in your mind that will help you recall his name when you bump into him in the future.  For example, you may picture a hotdog to remember, ‘Frank.’ 
Constantly rushing can compromise your most important relationships.  Picture this—you’re in the kitchen prepping dinner, pausing to update a project plan and helping your daughter with homework when a sales rep knocks on the door.  You’re tempted to ignore the bell, but set aside multi-tasking to answer. 
This type of time pressure turns the relationship between the primitive and thinking parts of your brain upside down.  The result is that you either lash out at, or completely ignore, the people around you.  To avoid similar ‘lose-lose’ scenarios, decrease the total amount of activities you are doing simultaneously, one by one, over time. At first, you may feel uncomfortable delaying dinner or responding to a client, however just remember that Dale Carnegie said, “Practice makes permanent.” 
For more information, visit our website!

Friday, December 2, 2016

eTip #626 What's Preventing You from Prospering Professionally and Personally?

By Liz Scavnicky-Yaekle

Dale Carnegie said, “Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’” We are therefore excited about the latest analysis from the Kauffman Foundation which ranked Connecticut’s “Main Street Entrepreneurship” 9th among the nation’s 25 smaller states which is up from 12th just one year ago. Connecticut was one of only two states to move up three positions in the ranking.
According to survey data, Connecticut’s rate of business owners was 6.55%; the percentage of the adult population who own a business as their main job. If you own a business and are unsatisfied with its performance level, we ask you to ponder what exactly is preventing your business from persevering and prospering?
At Dale Carnegie Training of Western Connecticut, our expertise is helping people become their professional and personal best. Our unique techniques are based on the Human Relations principles penned by Dale Carnegie himself in his best-selling book which was published in 1936, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ Whether the goal is to foster innovation through collaboration, enable employees to persuade confidently or to strengthen interpersonal relationships, we help organizations create highly engaged workforces to maximize their success every day.
Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” If you are an employee who is frustrated because it seems that you are unable to attain your professional and personal goals, don’t lose hope. We implore you not to give up, rather to consider another path to success; one that nearly eight million people in over 85 countries have chosen—a Dale Carnegie course. Here a few to consider based on your particular needs:
The Dale Carnegie Course
Perhaps you have great ideas, but lack the confidence to present them. You may struggle under stressful circumstances or when you have to address a tough topic or situation with a co-worker.   If so, check out the world-class Dale Carnegie Course.
Winning with Relationship Selling
Do you or other sales professionals within your organization struggle to attain sales goals? Are retention rates and client relationships where they should be? If you or your sales team needs a proven technique to score more deals, consider the Dale Carnegie Sales Training: Winning with Relationship Selling course.
Leadership Training For Managers
Are you responsible for motivating and managing a team, but lack the leadership skills required to be successful in doing so? Learn effective coaching, delegation and motivational techniques, and how to master problem analysis and decision making by enrolling in the Leadership Training for Managers course.
High Impact Presentations
Do you or your employees’ presentations lack persuasion and punch? The two-day High Impact Presentations seminar is as close as you can get to teaming up with a personal, public speaking coach. Participants present at least seven times and improve their performance by evaluating and learning from their videotaped presentations.
For more information, visit our website!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

eTip #625: Four Ways Showing Gratitude Guarantees Better Health

By Liz Scavnicky-Yaekle 

Boost your immune system thanks to improved optimism levels.  Not surprisingly, grateful people tend to think more optimistically which researchers say boosts the immune system.  Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Utah stated, “There are some very interesting studies linking optimism to better immune function.”   In one study, researchers comparing the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress found that, by midterm, students characterized as optimistic (based on survey responses) maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.
Increase alertness, determination, energy and more.  In one study, two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, asked participants to write weekly in a gratitude journal.  Those who wrote daily reported higher levels of “positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).”  Another benefit reported was that participants who kept gratitude lists had a greater propensity to attain important personal goals over a two-month period compared to subjects with different experimental conditions. 
Squash stress levels in two ways.  First, people who have feelings of thankfulness and give gratitude tend to take better care of themselves.  According to an interview with Emmons by WebMD.com, grateful people—defined as those who perceive gratitude as a permanent trait rather than a temporary state of mind, have an edge on the not-so-grateful where health is concerned.  Emmons stated, “Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations.”
Secondly, while stress can stimulate sickness not limited to heart disease and cancer—and claims responsibility for up to 90% of all doctor visits, gratitude enables us to better manage stress “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,” Emmons stated.
Lessen your risk of certain forms of psychopathology.  Other researchers have found that focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life on a habitual basis is related to a generally higher level of psychological well-being and a lower risk of certain forms of psychopathology.
By incorporating grateful expressions and/or activities into your daily life, you will be more likely to cultivate optimism, thwart sickness and live an overall healthier lifestyle. 
For more information, visit our website!

Friday, November 18, 2016

eTip #624 Three Reasons Giving Gratitude Year Round is Good for Business

By Liz Scavnicky-Yaekle

It’s common for businesses to show customer and employee appreciation during the holidays, however some organizations are differentiating themselves by weaving such efforts into their daily and weekly plans.  This approach to appreciation is benefitting their bottom line and more. 
Here are three reasons to give gratitude all year long.
Showing appreciation increases employee engagement.  Sadly, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days according to a Gallup poll.  While company efforts to retain top performers by optimizing the workplace through new perks and flexible schedules are often strong, one area in which they lack is showing appreciation and recognition to employees on a regular basis. 
Dale Carnegie said, “Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.”  No matter how big or small of an achievement, praising employees is an inexpensive yet very effective way to give them gratitude.  This form of recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention, according to Gallup.  Bonus—the more appreciation an employee receives, the more likely he or she is to show appreciation to colleagues and customers.
Beginnings and endings impact customers’ brains disproportionately.  Many companies ‘have their customers at hello’ meaning that new customers are often excited about their purchase and eager to get started. The brain selectively chooses the events it stores, which are typically the ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ for future recall. While the last thing any organization wants is to lose a customer, the ending—the last customer interaction is a moment in time that will linger longer in his or her memory according to psychological research. 
There are many reasons these relationships end.  Perhaps the client’s organization was acquired by another company and is now required to use that parent company’s software, manufacturing equipment, etc. for example. Dale Carnegie’s 19th principle is, ‘Appeal to nobler motives.’  Since the end of the relationship will linger as long as the beginning—for weeks or even months to come, end it on a positive note by giving gratitude for their business.  Consider writing a hand-written note with genuine thanks for their business, or sharing a final lunch. The now former client will be more likely to refer you, write a raving review or return to you should circumstances change in the future.
Giving gratitude fosters trust—when it’s sincere.  Dale Carnegie’s 2nd principle, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ underscores the importance of giving genuine appreciation.  This generally free and simple action is an effective business tool because, “it is a precursor to develop trust,” says Betsy Bugg Holloway, a marketing professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Al. Whether among employees or customers, trust itself is a dominant driver of loyalty, among both employees and customers. 
Bottom line—giving gratitude on a regular basis boosts business.
For more information, visit our website!