For the last nineteen years, the first Friday of October, has been the annual World Smile Day.

Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will on the planet. After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory.  The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.

In today’s social climate it is important to make sure that we try and uplift each other every day. World Smile Day’s message still stands, a simple act of kindness can brighten not only your day, but your employees and customers. Mother Teresa famously said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

There are small, but effective, ways in which you can ensure you are maintaining motivation and job satisfaction within your staff not just for World Smile Day but throughout the year. Though ‘making customers happy’ will be your most critical goal, what you may not be seeing is that your staff is the heart of your business and their satisfaction directly correlates to your customers’ happiness.  Their friendliness, proficiency and professionalism impact every aspect of the customer experience, from the moment front of house employees greet visitors to the way the bartenders serve their drinks. It all leaves an impression that can make or break your success.

To keep motivation high, acknowledge staff members for great performance. A study carried out by Perkbox, the UK’s fastest growing employee benefits platform, found that more than 1 in 3 (36%) post-millennials admit that the workplace perks on offer are one of the most important deciding factors on whether to accept a new job or not. This highlights the importance of businesses having a strong benefits structure in place when recruiting new talent from this demographic.

Post-millennials, are also the group most likely (32%) to prefer smaller perks that they can enjoy on a more frequent basis, all-year-round, over one annual event, such as a Christmas party.

Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you.  Or a small gesture that expresses “I know what a great job you do every day.”  This acknowledgment tells your staff that you pay attention and that their individual achievements are worthy of recognition.  It reinforces their confidence and encourages others to work harder.  It stimulates an infectiously positive attitude that can influence everyone from fellow staff members to guests.  So, observe closely, talk to managers and listen to what customers have to say — then reward those who deserve it the most.  That can be in the form of a gift card (i.e. spa gift card or restaurant gift card), a one-on-one lunch out or even just a literal pat on the back.

So, this World Smile Day, why not make the effort to ask your staff, and customers, how their day is, what they’re up too at the weekend or simply go out of your way to make sure you smile at everyone. It’ll go a long way.

World Smile Day is on Friday 5th October.