Gratitude in Business: Investing Seconds of Your Time Can Pay You Back in Ways You’d Least Expect

One of my favorite quotes is by the famous poet Maya Angelou.

You may have heard it…

At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

It still gives me chills every time I hear it.

On an intuitive level, we may know this quote is spot on. But here’s some actual proof.

It’s the Little Things That Add Up…

Many of us have heard the saying, “People Don’t Leave Bad Jobs, They Leave Bad Bosses.

And what do bad bosses often neglect? To show their employees appreciation.

In a Radstad study, 60 percent of the respondents said they would leave or have left a job over a bad boss.

This study by Radstad was done pre-pandemic, but stats from the current “Great Resignation” confirm this.

A recent McKinsey study confirmed that over half of employees surveyed quit their job because they didn’t feel valued by their employers.

Employees rarely forget simple gestures of appreciation, such as shout-outs during meetings, emails, and handwritten thank you cards.

A Simple Thank You Goes A Long Way

I believe most of us have good intentions and want to do the right thing. But sometimes we forget to show our appreciation personally or professionally.

I manage the social media accounts for a popular local restaurant. The other day I got a message from one of their regular customers, Sara, on Instagram that struck me.

Sara said she frequently dines at many local restaurants. She creates Instagram Stories featuring the meals she orders and enjoys.

She takes stunning photos of the food and adds descriptive copy highlighting what she loved about her meal.

Talk about great “free advertising” or “earned media” for the restaurant!

Sara then features a given restaurant in her own Instagram Story and talks about the fabulous food she had there. However, she also sends her Story to each restaurant via private message for their potential reuse.

As a social media community manager for this restaurant, I can decide whether I want to share a customer’s Instagram Story.

As you may know, Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours. Then they disappear.

And 99% of the time, I will go ahead and add a customer’s Instagram Story to the restaurant’s Instagram account (if the photo of their meal looks appetizing and their message is a friendly one).

Even if I don’t love the artwork, it’s only for a day and then it goes away!

Next, I write customers a private thank you message for taking the time to create a positive and great-looking “review” of their dining experience.

If I decide the Instagram Story isn’t usable for whatever reason, I still write back something like, “Thanks for sending this [First Name], we’re so glad you enjoyed your meal.”

One day Sara wrote back via Instagram private messenger and said,

“You don’t know how much I appreciate you writing me back every time with a simple thank you and acknowledging my work. I used to do Instagram Stories and create other social media content for many other businesses. Since you’re one of a handful that ever thank me, I decided to focus my efforts on you guys from now on.”


I was blown away. I realize many businesses are stretched beyond their capacity, especially these days. They are short-staffed and simply trying to stay afloat.

For me, this was a powerful wake-up call to consistently thank customers (and anyone for that matter) for going above and beyond.

Final Thought

Most people have been through some trying times these past couple of years. If I can make someone’s day (or week) by genuinely showing my appreciation for a job well done, then that’s more of a gift to me than them.

Dina Marovich

Marketing Consultant, Direct Response Copywriter & Advertising Strategist. Meaningful results for your business.

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