This weekend, my daughters and I took part in an annual walk/run event called the Turkey Trot. Each participant was asked to bring one jar of peanut butter to donate. When my seven year old daughter handed her jar to a volunteer, he leaned down to her eye level and asked her if she knew why they needed peanut butter. He explained to her that they used the peanut butter to make sandwiches for the homeless. The most touching part of the exchange: he sincerely thanked her for bringing the peanut butter. Later, we talked about how many peanut butter sandwiches the jar she donated could make.
Tim Sackett blogs about 12 Things Happy HR People Do Differently. No, it doesn’t mean you have to plaster your face with a smile all the time, but he and I share the feeling that happy people are generally, well… happy. First on his list is expressing gratitude. “When I let someone know how truly thankful I am for what they do, or did, it makes me feel happy, and I’m sure it makes them feel happy.”
It’s easy to forget how important small things can be in the big picture – bagels from the boss on a Friday morning, a coworker who offers to take some of the workload, a jar of peanut butter. Do you always remember to thank someone for the small things they’ve done?
Take a few minutes and think about the small things you can be thankful for at work. The little things add up over time, but are usually the things we take for granted. Connect with your employees, tell them how much you appreciate what they have done (or are doing) to contribute to the company’s success.