I genuinely think people can sometimes underestimate the power of those two little words: Thank you. It’s a common theme that comes up time and time again in the various organisations I’ve worked in:
“My manager doesn’t appreciate the work that I do!”
“S/he never says thank you when I stay late to help out!”
“They just don’t care about how hard I work, it’s all about them.”
However, when I speak to leaders about the comments or feedback they always seem bemused claiming that they do always say thank you and appreciate the work their teams do. Though when I dig deeper it becomes obvious that it was the more meaningful thanks their teams were after. Not the passing ‘thanks’ shouted from their manager’s desk as they are walking out of the door, or the blanket generic email that is sent out to everyone whether they were part of the project or not.
What people truly want is ‘genuine’ thanks – the thank you that comes from the bottom of the heart. We’ve all been guilty of not giving our full attention when recognition is given, especially when we are rushed off our feet. However, taking a few minutes out of your schedule and popping over to their desks to say a face-to-face thank you or writing a personal handwritten note on why you are thanking them will mean a lot to that individual. Not only will they appreciate the time you’ve given to them but it will also help build stronger, trusted relationships with your teams/colleagues.
I’ve seen the positive impact that can come from a meaningful thank you. Teams perform better, profits are up, customer satisfaction is higher and more importantly people are happier which means engagement is generally more positive –and all this for absolutely no financial cost to the organisation!
Next time you go to say thank you, think about what you are thanking that person for and how you say it – I promise it will go a long way.