A Thank You Improves Everything

February 21, 2017 · 2 Comments

Current research in employee behavior has revealed that gratitude shown by employers greatly improves employee morale and performance, yet most of us would be hard pressed to remember the last time we were given a genuine Thank You for our work. We also would be hard pressed to remember when was the last time we genuinely thanked a colleague or subordinate.

You’re probably thinking right now, “I say ‘thank you’ all the time!” Sure you do, we all do. It’s a pro forma saying as well used as ‘hello.’ Someone holds the elevator door for you, a store clerk gives you your change, a receptionist points you in the right direction, you probably said an off-hand ‘thanks.’ In these cases, and so many more commonplace interactions that occur during the day, Thank You becomes a shorthand acknowledgement of an interaction. You probably say Thank You the same way when your barista hands you your coffee or a coworker gives you a report you asked for that took many hours of work. Think about it. Should those interactions have the same response?

The kind of Thank You we’re talking about is a genuine show of gratitude. Making eye contact, saying Thank You, and really meaning it. Susan wrote in End the Struggle and Dance With Life, “Each time we say Thank You, two powerful words, we are acknowledging a gift we were given. On the other hand, if we don't say Thank You very often, it is a sign we are taking things for granted. When we take things for granted, we are sleepwalking our way through life. Giving thanks is one way of waking ourselves up.”

When someone says Thank You, not in a pro forma way, it makes us feel good on many levels, the most basic being that we are worthwhile human beings. After someone puts in hours of work on a project, acknowledging their work is as important as being paid. Connecting our paycheck with specific work completed is hard to do. Weeks later no one says, here is my pay packet and this portion is for the 15 hours I spent laboring over those financials. But getting a Thank You from a boss or a colleague for that work can bring immediate satisfaction.

It can be extremely difficult in a competitive work environment to acknowledge the contributions of colleagues, or even up and coming subordinates. Susan wrote: “So much of what we learn in life comes to us with great difficulty. And, for some reason, we have a tendency to want to see others struggle as much as we did. Turn this around and begin giving others as much help as you can possibly give them…. When you become a support to others you become bigger than you are.”

So cultivate the habit of saying Thank You and genuinely meaning it. You’ll be helping to boost morale and improve performance among your colleagues, and yourself.

Tags: Personal Development

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jan Rilatt // Mar 3, 2017 at 3:21 AM

    A BIG thank you for this article! A great reminder to be sincere when uttering those magic words.
  • 2 Sylvia // Mar 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    I was taught good manners at a very early age. I was told "Manners cost nothing" and "Manners maketh man".

    I came from a very poor background, the youngest of five children, but was still taught to put any leftover food to the side of my plate and place my knife and fork together in the middle. I wasn't allowed to talk with food in my mouth..... the list goes on. Being well-mannered makes me proud of my upbringing, despite living on a council estate and my mother having to obtain a grant to pay for my school uniform!

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