Failure to use them can create a feeling of injustice or lack of appreciation, while hearing them can transform our feelings about a person or project.
Think about a time when you have helped someone out as a favour, yet they have failed to thank you. It might have made you feel resentful, irritated or frustrated – and chances are you will be less likely to help them again in the future.
Now think of a time when you have done something for someone which was perhaps difficult, or involved more work than you expected, but you were thanked in a heartfelt way at the end. It is likely this recognition changed the way you felt about the work and made it seem more worthwhile.
Yet it is also likely you found it harder to think of occasions when you have felt appreciated than occasions when you have not. For some reason, people often forget their manners when it comes to offering thanks, and we can all be particularly guilty of it at work.
Saying thank you can create a significant level of motivation for employees. If they feel their hard work is going unrecognised, it is likely they will soon reduce the effort they are putting in. However, if their boss takes an interest in what they have achieved and appreciates their work, they are very likely to continue in the same vein – or even try harder.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that salaries, time off and other employee benefits are sufficient recognition. While these may help to attract good staff initially, they are no replacement for proper acknowledgement. A lack of thanks may soon see your staff looking for another position with the same benefits – and the added bonus of a boss who appreciates them.
Try it: look for the best in your staff and reward them with those two little words. You might be surprised by how powerful they can be.
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