By Tiffany Peebles

Most leaders have a desire for their teams to be GREAT! While there are many ways to assist our teams in reaching their maximum potential, one practical way to improve the chances of their greatness is simple: the attitude of gratitude. In the parking industry, we ask our teams to be subjected to profanity and even violence while issuing a $15 parking citation. We ask them to clean up human feces, stand in the rain, snow, sleet, and shine to collect our parking revenues – often for less than $12 an hour.  These are thinkless and often thankless tasks.  Tasks that should cause any leader to pause a moment and ask, “Am I grateful or do I take people for granted?”

The sentiments please and thank you go a long way. Please and thank you: these three words most of us learn to say as toddlers can be transformative to those that are in the trenches making a difference in our operations. Giving and receiving gratitude has been shown to boost mental and physical health.  It has been said that expressing gratitude at work improves relationships, leads to reciprocity, and boosts self-esteem.

Take on the challenge to show more gratitude to one another in the day-to-day operation with your staff. In particular to your Frontline staff that routinely perform a thankless job from day to day and receive very little gratitude. Studies on the results of gratitude have shown evidence which suggests that gratitude and appreciation contribute to the kind of workplace environments where employees actually want to come to work and don’t feel like cogs in a machine. This is a culture that will ultimately result in greater efficiency, greater productivity, and greater profits. Hard to believe all this can be stimulated with a simple please and thank you.

Tiffany Peebles is executive director of the Parking Authority of River City, Inc.