Is it important to say ‘Thank you’ at Work?

To thank or not to thank, that is the question.

Thank you. Two short and simple words we say several times throughout the day to strangers for the services they provide such as making our sandwich, selling us the paper, etc. If it is so easy to say thank you to total strangers in their workplace, why is it so difficult to utter these same words to those we work with?

Many managers would agree with one or more of the following statements about thanking people at work:

– You shouldn’t thank someone for doing their job.
– If they were doing something wrong I would tell them.
– It’s too simple to have any impact.

Why is it that managers don’t realise that a simple thank you costs nothing and can positively affect morale? A possibility is that senior management place less importance on recognition, consequently they assume everyone thinks the same way. Businesses spend time and money on training to develop their staff which is fantastic, yet a sincere thank you from the boss can really boost productivity and have a huge impact. In terms of surveys regarding work satisfaction, being appreciated at work consistently rates higher than pay.

People are an important competitive advantage in any organisation and retaining good staff is vital. Many surveys show that people change jobs because they didn’t feel valued and appreciated. In fact, exit interviews list this as one of the main reasons for leaving.

People tend to be aware if they are doing a good job or not, yet that is not the point. They want to know that this is not going unnoticed and is being acknowledged by their managers. They want to hear it. People want to know that their hard work and contribution matter. A simple thank you will do all this as well as make people feel they are an integral part of the organisation.

Acknowledging others is after all an aspect of good leadership. It is about giving people confidence and motivation to support their development.

What do you think is the impact of saying thank you in the workplace? When was the last time you said thank you or someone thanked you?

On this note, many thanks for reading my post and I look forward to hearing your comments.

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image provided by Flickr user Woodleywonderworks.

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