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“Thank you” – the two most under- appreciated words in corporate life

“Thank you” – the two most under- appreciated words in corporate life

Most employees work hard most of the time. Most of them are not robots, so the wish and need for recognition and appreciation for their efforts is at the heart of what they do. But a recent industry report suggests that only a third of managers thank their staff. Has management become more about catching staff doing things wrong when it should be about recognising the good staff do? If it has that’s a heck of shame

There is plenty of research which clearly indicates that gratitude improves behaviour. If you take a bit of time to thank your employees, it can make a big impact on a workplace. The two most underused words in the workplace with the highest return on investment are 'thank you”. It makes it all the more curious that the expression of gratitude is undervalued as a motivational tool, though there are plenty of cash-based incentives.

The truth is that in most workplaces employers don’t think about recognising effort or rewarding it with thanks. Employees want to know that they have done a good job and that you noticed it. Employees might be doing what they’re paid to do, but recognising and valuing what you employees are doing reinforces good performance and rewards effort. Employees feel appreciated. And workers who feel cared for and whose work is appreciated by their manager produce better work and more of it.

A good manager makes his team feel important and appreciated. How can you do that? Here are some ideas.

  • Give thanks for specific work rather than a general Young Mr Grace style “You’ve all done very well!”
  • Do it in a timely fashion but not by rote (It’s Friday it’s 4.55, so it must be Plastic Appreciation Time!)
  • Write to thank the employee clearly setting out what the employee did to deserve the thanks.
  • Say thank you publicly.
  • Give a small gift.

You can’t say thank you in the right way too often. As a manager, you should thank your staff to let them know you appreciate the job they're doing. Not only is it a nice thing to do, it’s good for business.

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