Let me begin by thanking you; thanking you for taking the time to read our blog, for your passion for service. Allow me to tell you how much WE appreciate YOU.

I had the opportunity, recently, to read the most beautiful note of appreciation that was sent to Ron Kaufman. The writer of this note, expressed his gratitude in such a tender, heart-felt way, not from a standpoint of attempting flattery, but spoken from his personal experience. This most wonderful note gave me pause to consider the gifts contained within gratitude.

Often when setting about building a Service Culture within an organization, the focus falls on the key building blocks of service culture: language, vision, communication, recruitment, orientation, voice of customer, guarantees, measures and metrics, service improvement, benchmarking, rewards, and role modeling. This is a well proven and highly effective road-map to success.

Yet, there is a piece of culture that isn’t often considered by most companies. That is the culture of gratitude. Gratitude isn’t defined by the required “please” or “thank you”. When was the last time you heard a member of your team say, “it would be my pleasure”, “allow me to assist you”, or “how may I be of service”?  Is your staff courteous, patient, respectful and gracious? Or are they curt, impatient, hurried, or rude?  You can’t make someone become courteous. You can’t give someone the desire to serve. You CAN role model these behaviors, and allow your staff to feel the value, and witness the positive outcomes. Often, staff members are a clear reflection of the management to whom they report. The behavior that a leader consistently demonstrates will be acted out by their employees – with customers, and with each other.  Could this be the case in your organization?  Are you a great role model, or in your haste, are you modeling the behaviors that you want your team to abandon? Are your words, and your actions, demonstrating gratitude?

Let’s not, however, put all the pressure on the top. It is vital that the employees treat their managers, and owners, with equal courtesy and respect. The Golden Rule applies here – “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you”.

If you wish to make sure that your Service Culture is also a Culture of Gratitude, it is important that every individual encounter be treated with courtesy and respect. These encounters might be with a client, a prospect, a peer, a manager, or an employee. Even our dealings with vendors and community are reflections of our company, and should always be handled with gratitude. When dealing with a difficult situation, ego or anger must never come into play.  Professionalism should be maintained at all times. Be sure to always use the respectful language you encourage: “my pleasure”, “certainly”, “I’d be happy to”, and “thank you”.

Why does this need to be important to you and your organization?  When your staff and your clients feel heard, understood, and appreciated, they feel good. With staff, it makes them want to work harder; with clients, they want to come back to you. Doesn’t that sound nice?

So, let’s start with our own example. Thank YOU, for reading this post, for sharing your gratitude with others, for being part of the movement for Uplifting Service in the world.

14 replies
  1. Tejus Tekalli
    Tejus Tekalli says:

    Hi Ron,

    Thank You for bringing up ‘ Culture of Gratitude ‘. It brings a great difference in people around us, when we spread our gratitude.

    Thank You,

  2. Linda Lea Larson
    Linda Lea Larson says:

    What a great reminder! We all need to show gratitude to those with whom we interact, be it our customers, colleagues, family, freinds, employees, employers, and just about anyone. If you look for what a person can contribute to your growth you will almost certainly find something special to be thankful for.

  3. Abby Moser
    Abby Moser says:

    Gratitude always allows the customer to percieve a positive experience with at least a portion of the service offered. The stage is set in a positive arena from the beginning.
    Nice article.

  4. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Thank you for this reminder – we often take customers and service partners (including family & friends) for granted. Gratitude builds support and loyalty.

  5. Naresh Vassudhev
    Naresh Vassudhev says:

    Culture of Gratitude certainly drives Service Levels up North. Gratitude is = Great Attitude that results in Service Mindset for delivering superior service.


  6. Dave
    Dave says:

    Thank you – sent round to our management team with a suggestion they can decide whether to pass on to their staff or not. Will be interesting to see the reaction!

  7. ethel
    ethel says:

    Values are not taught, they are caught! Living out an attitude of gratitude has a greater impact than simply talking about it. Thank you for writing about something as basic as ‘ expressing an appreciation’.

  8. anjali
    anjali says:

    We are a store that has had several generations of bosses and customers and also floor staff assisting the customers. Somewhere in between we forgot the word gratitude towards all the 3. We have started taking all for granted. Thank you and thank you again.

  9. Andrea Ihara
    Andrea Ihara says:

    Dearest Anjali, and all other followers of this blog…

    I am deeply humbled, and incredibly appreciative of all of the kind responses to this blog entry. The time that you have taken to share your thoughts and application of this simple, yet far reaching reminder, makes me smile.

    Thank you all for being YOU!

    Andrea Ihara – UP! Your Service….

  10. Ratna
    Ratna says:

    For a long time I headed the Customer satisfaction Division of a large research company here in india. I realised many of the things you do talk about. Indeed most organisations take people for granted and dont really come across respectfully to others in the organisation or to customers. Showing Gratitude means we acknowledge the help and efforts of others in our environment. Thank you for reminding us !

  11. wong lai chun
    wong lai chun says:

    Thank you Andrea! Nothing is a ‘given’. The returns of having a culture of gratitude are absolutely endless! 🙂

  12. Afeef
    Afeef says:

    Ron, this is a great article. I love it. I already shared the same with my Team.

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