The Power of “Thank You”

Your parents were totally right about this…


Thank you. Two of the most powerful words in the English dictionary and a manager’s toolbox.


While this may seem like a very simple topic, it is one that is easily forgotten. When I talk with managers about the most common ways to keep their employees happy, generally the answers include some sort of monetary compensation. If not a bonus, other top answers include perks such as paid personal time off, a Friday half day, taking the team to lunch or hosting an office pizza party.

While all these answers are great, it shocked me that no one thought of actually saying “Thank you!”

When done right, these words have the power to shift perspectives, invigorate a team, and most importantly, build loyalty and trust with your employees. A paper published by UC Berkeley sates “67% of employees are motivated by praise from a manager.”


Here are three ways to say thank you today:


1. Thank someone publicly
A shocking 79% of employees don’t feel valued for their hard work. One of the fastest ways to change that is by showing gratitude. While some managers may think monetary compensation matters most, this type of gratitude can only be given seldomly. A surefire way to make someone feel like you truly appreciate their work is by recognizing their efforts in front of their peers. It can be as simple as starting off a team meeting with a “Thank you for your hard work, it has definitely not gone unnoticed.”


2. Say it in person
Sometimes the power of thank you can be lost in an email. It is easy to sign off with a quick “Thanks!” or start off by thanking someone for their hard work but by the end of a lengthy email the message has gotten completely lost. Take the time to walk over to someone’s desk and thank them in person. I highly recommend focusing only on thanking your employee and if there are any other items you want to discuss, do so during a different conversation or via a separate email.


3. Make it unique
If you work remotely or have a large team in different locations, find a special way to share your thanks. Simply picking up the phone or scheduling a video call for the main purpose of thanking someone is a great way to make them feel appreciated. Don’t have time for a video call? Send a hand written thank you note or an e-card. It is important to thank someone for a specific reason. Most of the time, employees just want to know how they are performing and if they are doing a great job. A thank you can be given for going above and beyond, taking initiative, showing up early every day, or simply for always having a positive attitude.


To follow my own advice, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your readership, thoughtful responses, and much appreciated support. This blog has been active for almost 4 years now and it feels wonderful to see the community that has grown out of it.

Before you move onto your next email, I encourage you to take a break and thank someone on your team. It only takes a few minutes to make a difference in someone’s day!





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