The Power of a Simple Thank You

I recently came across an article that caught my attention. It was about how to best customize employee supervision. Each of us has our own unique strengths and weaknesses, but what’s often overlooked is how we like to be rewarded. Spoiler alert: it’s not just about money.

The Test

There are a plethora of personality tests out there and I enjoyed seeing this one that Deloitte created based on their research. I’m always curious to see what slant each personality test takes. Some look at your tendencies at work, at home, or both. Others are interested in how you are under stress compared to your natural state. There are also some that look at your own self-reflection or perhaps how you think others view you.

Admittedly, I’m a little addicted to taking these as I learn something about myself from each test. I also realize just how much I already know about who I am – including my bright, shiny strengths as well as my (sometimes embarrassing) weaknesses.

But what really struck me in this article is that regardless of your personality, your strengths, weaknesses, or your tendencies – every single one of us wants and welcomes a simple “thank you”. That’s it!

More Than Just Two Simple Words

According to Deloitte’s research – more than half of workers would like to hear their bosses say “thank you” for their day-to-day accomplishments. This is so powerful! Especially if you think of it this way…you don’t have to observe, guess or know someone’s personality in order to bring value. A simple “thank you” works for nearly everyone!

In my experience, saying “I. Appreciate. You.” works wonders when it comes to rewarding and motivating my team. That’s all you have to say! It works!

I remember the first time someone said this to me – it stopped me in my tracks and made me pause to receive and process the thank you. And, as you can see, it left a lasting imprint on me.

Even more effective is when I’ve added unique, genuine thoughts to this same message. It has a beautiful impact. Here’s an example, “I. Appreciate. You. I realize my ask may have been jarring as you’ve been heads down working on this project and appreciate that you warmly and openly accepted the ask and then turned it around quickly. I’m grateful for you.”

The Result

Can you imagine the type of “snowball” effect these kind words can have on an employee’s motivation? They’re going to remember your sincere acknowledgment and gratitude. They may even work equally hard to repeat that result the next time you need them.

Ahhhh…the power of a “thank you” – especially as an outside consultant – is magical. It builds relationships, it recognizes someone as a person (not just a taskmaster), it puts a smile on a face, and it shows compassion. Don’t just limit this practice to your professional life, either! Consistently expressing your gratitude and appreciation to those around you will only spread goodness.

Now go thank someone and make this a habit! You, too, will experience the magic that it brings.

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A passionate organizer of people and initiatives, Erica Smigielski brings over twenty years of experience in project leadership to financial software and SaaS companies who want to launch their next big idea. She leads large-scale, complex projects like product launches and company mergers and acquisitions as well as focused efforts to bring structure and process to fast-track businesses. Erica holds certifications as a Stanford Advanced Project Manager as well as a Certified Group Facilitator, making her a master orchestrator of strategic planning, as well as a skillful communicator who can expertly navigate complex group dynamics.