I have been spending a lot of time thinking about thanks. I am a fantastically lucky guy. My wife loves me (and that, my friends, is a testimony to her, not me). My kids love me, even when I am trying to be a  stern father. And I rarely thank them enough for what they give me, and rarely do I feel like I pay them back with what I give. So, guys, as simple as it is – Thank you. Thank you for being yourselves and sharing your lives with me.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about professional gratitude, as well. For all of the people that have expressed confidence in me, listened to my visions, and, honestly, trusted their budgets and successes in my hands, I am humbled, and very thankful for that trust. The number of people that have been helpful to me in my professional life are simply too numerous to mention. But I believe that they know who they are.

Saying thank you to these people creates opportunity to share more with them. And as I have watched jobs change for friends where they feel less appreciated, and actively talked with businesses about how they can share their thanks with their customers, I have begun to wonder how important it is to say thank you in the corporate world. (BTW, Gary V’s The Thank You Economy is worth a quick read.)

There are companies that provide Thank You to customers, like Loyalty Labs, but the focus is on loyalty as revenue lift…not because it is the right thing to do. Are there instances of real marketer gratitude for customers? I would love to hear about examples. Earlier this year, FashionPlaytes, a terrific site where tween girls can customize clothing, sent my daughters (who are big fans) some key chains and and some cute jewelry as a thank you. There was no hard pitch or expectation, just a thank you. As I am sure you can imagine, we gave a FashionPlaytes gift cert as a gift at the next birthday party the girls went to. But the thank you was seemingly sincere. It wasn’t an aggressive pitch. It wasn’t a coupon (although there may have been one in the box, I don’t remember). It was a token of appreciation without the obvious expectation of a purchase. It mattered.

And if you are an employer or team leader, thanking your staff is as important as thanking your customers. Your staff is what makes your company or group run. I try to thank the people that work with me as often as I can. Does anyone use services like Wooboard that help to thank and recognize employees? Do they matter? Do they create more engagement? Recognition counts, and rarely does it happen outside of a formal review. Take a minute, today, to thank your co-workers…It matters.