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The Ripples of a “Thank You”

Jade Sorget discusses how showing gratitude can positively impact job satisfaction and overall success within a medical practice.

As we rush from one meeting (or patient visit) to another while juggling overbooked schedules, constant notifications, and emails waiting for a response — taking a moment to pause and express gratitude for a teammate is easily overlooked. And yet, taking just a quick moment to acknowledge the hard working teammates around you has the power to not only completely transform your practice, but improve your own personal well-being. 

Many of the practices we serve have come to Curi Advisory seeking solutions for attracting and retaining teammates. While there are many solutions that can (and should) be explored to solve these concerns, this form of gratitude is the one thing that I believe most often goes overlooked. It is not an overwhelming project that takes months of planning. There is no training or education involved, nor a monetary cost to budget for. It’s simply the practice of saying “thank you.”  

While formal recognition and employee appreciation programs are an important component of a retention strategy, you would be surprised how far the ripples of a simple recognition can go. “Thank you” may be two of the most powerful words a teammate can hear from their superior, particularly from physicians. In the right context, it’s so much more than a polite expression. For those on the receiving end, hearing those words can be an empowering and inspiring experience, as they feel seen, recognized, and appreciated by the people they respect most.  

When I worked for a large medical group, there was a long-time teammate who had been with the group since inception. She had worn all the hats, jumped in wherever help was needed, and was the cornerstone for all the practices coming together to form one entity. Many of us often assume that colleagues already know we are thankful for their contributions, but sometimes that sentiment needs to be said out loud. In this particular case, the partners were constantly singing her praises in board meetings, and it was evident they relied heavily on her contributions. Still, they had never actually shared this feedback with her. During one board meeting, I encouraged the partners to take that moment and thank those teammates who made their practices a great place to work. The Chairman took the message to heart and reached out to the teammate to thank her for all she had done over the years. This small expression of gratitude from the Chairman was so meaningful, she couldn’t resist sharing it. I received a call from her as she was moved to the brink of tears and full of gratitude herself. In that moment, she finally felt deeply valued as an important part of the team and had a renewed motivation to continue contributing her best efforts.  

When you give thanks, it’s important to be specific and genuine in your expression. Tell this person why you appreciate what they did, how it helped you, and encourage them to keep up the good work. Sincerity is key — there’s no need to say words that you don’t mean, and any good employee will give you plenty of reasons to be grateful. 

Teammates who know they are valued tend to be more resilient and able to persevere through those tough days. They show up as the best version of themselves, in turn creating a healthy and collaborative workplace where teammates want to be. This further contributes to more positive patient experiences and better outcomes. Grateful patients are likely to return, and give the highest compliment a practice can receive, a word-of-mouth referral to family and friends.   

And if what I’ve shared hasn’t convinced you enough, Positive Psychology reports that the simple act of practicing gratitude has the power to change neural structures in the brain, leading people to feel happier and more content. When you take that moment to recognize and acknowledge the good in others, not only are you helping that person feel motivated and appreciated, but you’re also enhancing your own personal health. 

With all of this in mind, I challenge you to stay present and aware of the contributions of your colleagues and teammates, recognize when someone has done something helpful, and directly acknowledge their efforts. It will truly make all the difference. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, embrace the message, and spread the ripples of gratitude.  


The opinions and views expressed in blog posts on Curi’s site belong to and are solely those of the individual author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Curi Advisory or Curi Advisory’s parent or affiliated companies or their members, insureds, clients, customers, or partners. This post is for informational purposes only and it should not be construed or relied upon as medical advice.  If medical care is needed, please consult a qualified professional.