The Power of a #thankfulCPA

November 8, 2018

The holiday season is officially in full swing. Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and soon every radio station will be playing the never-ending rotation of holiday favorites. Sometimes, everything can move so fast it feels like it all blends together. During this busy time of the year, when someone takes the time to say “Thank you!” that intentional expression of appreciation can be even more meaningful.

Appreciation is something everyone craves and providing it can be a powerful tool for motivating employees, building customer engagement and strengthening relationships with colleagues. Everyone wants to know that who they are and what they do matters.

Below are a few easy ways that Certified Public Accountants can build a culture of appreciation at work:

  1. Gratitude begins from the top down
    Showing your staff that you appreciate their hard work and dedication doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Studies have shown that people function at a higher level, are more productive and have higher rates of job satisfaction when they feel appreciated by their teams and their managers. When it comes to offering appreciation, be specific, sincere and timely. Vague attempts at recognition such as “great work the other day” can backfire if perceived as insincere.
  2. No better way to start your day
    Start your day off right by writing thank-you notes to show appreciation for others actions. Research  has shown this doesn’t just nurture relationships with others, but also improves your outlook for the rest of the day. A team at American Express encouraged their employees to set a Microsoft Outlook alert for 11 a.m. every day to remind themselves to write down three things they are grateful for. At Mattress Firm, VP of Learning and Development, Cory Ludens, encourages his company to write their gratitudes before checking their email in the morning. By consciously looking for opportunities to praise others throughout the day, it changes your frame of mind and makes you a more positive manager.
  3. Encourage others to “Pass it on”
    Set out a thank you note basket or “kudos” notes for employees to write to each other. In a study  by Shawn Achor at KPMG in 2008, right before tax season, managers in New York and New Jersey were invited to create a positive habit (gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation or writing a positive email each day) and sustain it for 21 days. After tax season, the group that sustained the habit showed significant increases in productivity, lower stress and higher engagement levels. Their happiness scores moved up on average five points on a 25 point scale compared to the control group.
  4. Know their appreciation language
    Everyone has personal preferences on how they want to be shown appreciation. Understanding people’s preferred language of appreciation will help you connect better and communicate more effectively with them. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul Whilte provides five key types of appreciation: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts and physical touch such as pats on the back. While employees routinely rank “words of affirmation” near the top, millennials and remote employees desire it even more, according to research  done by the Gallup Group.
  5. Provide Public Kudo Platforms
    Public recognition may not be for everyone, but pride in one’s organization and being treated with fairness and respect are the strongest drivers of happiness for employees according to a Robert Half research report. Consider introducing Annual Appreciation Awards at the end of your staff Thanksgiving Luncheon where staff members are awarded special kudos for their contributions to the firm’s success throughout the year. Create opportunities for employees to brag on each other with a Bragging Wall. Boost your employee recognition efforts through social media. Tell the world what your thankful for by tagging those being recognized in your post along with #thankfulCPA.

The Tennessee Society of CPAs appreciates our 10,000 members. We hope you will take the time to pass on this attitude of gratitude to other members of your staff with these accounting themed downloadable thank you cards. Just print them off and share with others.

Join us as we share what we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving on social media using #thankfulCPA and don’t forget to tag us at @TSCPA.

Thank You Cards

Tips for writing professional thank you notes:
  • Greeting: Use the recipient’s name to make it more personal.
  • Thank You: Make it genuine and authentic to show that you truly care.
  • Personal Touch: Cultivate that personal relationship by mentioning something specific you remember about them.
  • In closing: Finish your note with a closing that is comfortable for you, whether it’s “Warm regards,” “Best wishes,” or simply, “Sincerely”