Grateful: Showing Gratitude in Business

November 12, 2021 | Grateful: Showing Gratitude in Business Gigi Wood,

Fall often brings out the gratitude in us. It’s hard not to embrace thankfulness during this time of year, as the leaves change colors and farmers transport their harvests from their fields to our tables. As we near the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, our focus turns to what we value most in life: family, friends and the good fortune we’ve reaped throughout life. We gather together to show each other our appreciation and thanks.


We wouldn’t have the lives we do have without the people in them. Our blessings, our gifts, our wealth —it all stems from the people in our lives, whether it be from family, friends, co-workers or clients. The same is true for businesses.

“Nothing in life is guaranteed. It’s important to remember that our customers provide the revenue, and our employees make it happen,” said Roger Hargens, president, CEO and co-owner of Accumold, a plastic fabrication company in Ankeny. “It all works in tandem to support our business and the families counting on the work to be there. Losing sight of this is losing sight of the big picture. At the bottom line, it’s not dollars and cents, it’s a collection of people working together for a common cause. We all have a part to play and a part to be thankful for.”

Accumold is known as a leader in high-volume precision micro molding with expertise in micro electronics, medical technology, wearables and other emerging technologies. The molds produced are customized so intricately matched to designs, it allows for the production of high-precision parts. The company has seen much success and growth in recent years.

It’s especially important to show gratitude in 2021, after everyone has spent so much time and energy overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, he says.

“(Accumold Chief Financial Officer and co-owner) Steve (Boal) and I are so grateful to be in a business we love, surrounded by the best team in the world,” Hargens says. “We’re thankful that business is returning strong and that we managed to navigate the challenges of the pandemic without having to close our doors or let people go. And we are so thankful we live and operate in a state that supports the hardworking men and women of Iowa.”

Stacey Pellett, manager of public affairs in Iowa for Deere & Co., agrees with the sentiment that the past year brought forward much to be grateful for. She says she has much to be thankful for in her personal life.

“We have so many things to be thankful in 2021,” she says. “The past year has been difficult for everyone. However, in looking back, I can find so many moments of gratitude. Our family had dinner together almost every night, a feat rarely possible with two very busy teenagers. We brought back family game nights and movie nights. These will be memories to cherish when our children are off to school in the next couple of years.”

That gratitude extends to her professional life, as well.

“I am thankful to work for John Deere, a company that exemplifies history, quality, family and longlasting heritage — exactly what our family farm stands for,” Pellett said. “For 184 years, Deere has helped feed, clothe and shelter the world. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that helps to change lives around the world every day.”

Sincere thanks can go a long way with employees after the challenges of the past two years, she said. It’s important for employers to realize that despite those obstacles, employees have often gone above and beyond to do a good job at work.

“I believe the past 18 months have helped us all to realize that every person we see is facing something most of us are unaware of,” Pellett said. “And yet, people are showing up, with a smile on their face and giving everything they have to give. Recognizing that effort with a heartfelt, sincere thank-you is often the exact thing someone needs to hear. This gratitude will carry over from our personal life to our professional life and back again. Knowing we make a difference is tremendously motivating, and kindness is also contagious. Spreading a bit of thankfulness will benefit everyone in today’s world.”


There are a variety of ways to show appreciation for others. Some show it with a greeting card, others with money or gifts. There is no right or wrong way to show appreciation. The goal is to acknowledge the people who have done so much for us at work and at home.

“We’ve worked hard to make sure we are showing appreciation year-round, especially to our employees,” Hargens said. “We formed an appreciation committee long before COVID, but we found a deeper commitment during the height of the pandemic. Our foundation is built on the strength of our team, and we can never stop showing our thanks.”

Quarterly companywide meetings to share information about the business are one way Hargens and Boal give back to employees.

“One thing we have always felt is vital to showing gratitude to our employees is through our commitment to communication,” Hargens said. “Each quarter we have an all-team meeting day where we share a meal and talk about our business with our employees. Steve and I have always agreed that being open and transparent can go a long way in building team and trust. It may not be possible for every company to do all employees at once, even we break ours into smaller groups, but figuring out a regular way to have open conversations with your team is important.”

Hargens suggests organizing volunteer opportunities for employees as another way to show gratitude in the workplace.

“We all like being part of a something that is bigger than ourselves,” he said. “One way to show this as business owners is by organizing team volunteer opportunities. This can be an off-site challenge like Habitat for Humanity, or something organized in your own facilities, like packaging food for Meals from the Heartland.

Figuring out a way to share as a team is a great way to bond as a family and to provide service to our community.”

Pellett’s advice to business leaders looking for ways to show gratitude to employees: Keep it simple.

“Showing gratitude doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy,” she said. “It just needs to be genuine and personal. Years ago, I worked for a factory manager who made rounds every single morning to personally say hello to each employee. He knew our families, our children and even our sports teams. I was at the lowest level, yet he always stopped by. I know that each of us felt very appreciated and that we mattered, not just to him, but to John Deere overall.”

As author Zig Ziglar said about gratitude, “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”