The Giving of Thanks – All Year
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
Thanksgiving is a state of mind, an act of appreciation, a national holiday. In 1620, the Pilgrims gathered with the Indians to celebrate their thankfulness for survival and a bountiful harvest. In October of 1777, the 13 American colonies set aside a day for thanks for victory over the British. In 1789, George Washington proclaimed it a National Holiday. Abraham Lincoln designated the fourth Thursday in November as the official day in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941. Although families and communities have established their unique traditions through the years, Thanksgiving remains a day to gather in a spirit of Thanksgiving.
But real Thanksgiving – the giving of thanks – happens all year long. It’s a daily opportunity to express your appreciation to all who have been part of the goodness you have known and experienced.
On the one hand, 2020 and the Coronavirus have made it a challenge to focus on gratefulness. On the other hand, focusing on gratitude may very well be the key to keeping your firm thriving, despite the virus.
Within your law firm, Thanksgiving, or the lack of it, shapes your culture, and defines your success. It is a crucial component of your firm’s vitality and public reputation. Take steps today to make gratefulness an active ingredient in your day-to-day operations.
Thank your partners and associates: These are the men and women who provide the expertise and billable hours that result in success, but that’s only the beginning. The relationships they build with clients is the factor that retains current and attracts new clients. Recognize their achievements and express your appreciation
Thank your staff: Paralegals, e-discovery specialists, administrative personnel, legal secretaries, consultants, and more each play a valuable role. There are many ways to express gratitude.
Individually: Recognize their contributions publicly and privately. Send a handwritten note. Include a gift card or bonus. Take time to know them, their background, their family, their goals, and their dreams. If they experience a crisis, go the extra mile.
As a team: Provide a meal during a hectic season. Throw an office party to celebrate a big win. Encourage creativity and maintain an open door for giving and receiving feedback.
Bottom line: When your staff knows that their accomplishments make a difference to the company and that their work is valued, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and happy.
Thank your clients: Let them know that you realize there are other firms, and you appreciate them for trusting your firm as their legal counsel. Express it verbally, in written form, and tangibly. (handwritten notes in our digital world make a huge impact).
If your client has a business, refer them to other clients or connections. “Like” their social media pages. Leave a positive review on their website.
Recognize their successes and milestones.
Take them out for lunch. Send tickets to an event you know they will enjoy.
Thank your local community: Giving back to your community is a great way to express thanks for the goodness you have experienced. It builds a sense of pride within the firm, increases employee satisfaction, and reaps a positive reputation overall.
Sponsor local events, charitable drives, and sports teams. Support the foodbank.
Offer Pro Bono services to financially strapped individuals, families, single moms, or senior citizens.
Host a radio spot, where people can call in with legal questions.
Sponsor a scholarship for aspiring law students.