Gratitude is one of Chalet's Seven Supportive Leadership principles that guide how we interact with one another each day. On the wall in our main conference room shows the following quote.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."-William Arthur Ward
Gift giving is something that we cherish so the prospect of not giving it is appalling! Every holiday season, we are in the habit of giving gifts to each other. The key word is habit. We may have the habit of saying thanks when someone passes the ketchup, serves you food or holds the door open. But those are not the special thank you's that warm people's heart. In order to do that, you need to go out of your way to recognize someone who has gone out of theirs to help you.
Our longtime HR Manager, Sandy Van den Avont explains to our staff to keep it "simple and heartfelt". In other words, it doesn't need to be a speech or a grand gesture. Just point out something that otherwise might not have been recognized. It can go a long way in making that person's day, week or month. In fact, studies have shown that there's a positive health benefit for the givers of thanks.
According to Top Line MD, those benefits include improved sleep quality, decreases in blood pressure, and reduction in stress. You can even live longer! Sandy knows this effect well. She embodies this supportive leadership tenet every day and implements ice-breaker style gratitude exercises from our management meetings to our daily retail huddles.
Lastly, I can't talk about gratitude without mentioning how grateful we are for all of our loyal customers. Garth Sager, Director of Landscape Sales, says "Chalet is our customers, without them we wouldn’t have a business." Many families in the North Shore have had a relationship with us for generations, dating back to the time of my grandpa and great grandpa. We're grateful that the community has embraced Chalet for over 100 years and we hope to continue returning the favor for the next 100! The fun events we host during the holiday season are one of those ways we show our thanks. We hope to see you there so we can give our thanks in person.
Business Technology Manager & Meditation Leader at Chalet
Lawson balances and blends his work with his lifestyle at his family’s people-centric and nature-inspired business. He helps to keep it on the cutting edge of the garden center and landscape design industries through digital transformation, in which he uses his unique eye for technology and his love for solving business problems. Specifically, Lawson brought the retail business online which has grown tremendously. With a knack for technology and a love for the outdoors, he’s passionate about finding a way to keep humankind’s forward progress strong while not pulling us away from the simple things that make us happy. He is constantly looking for ways to improve day-to-day life exemplified by his meditation practice which he leads regularly at Chalet, in his Chicago community and at Northwestern where he is a an MBA candidate. The positive feedback he has been given is one of the most rewarding experiences of his life and allows him to re-connect with the community that has kept his business strong for generations.