At my last job the CEO was really cool.
Not only was he successful, but he was a nice guy, an interesting guy.
He had worked his way up through the company. He seemed to work in all areas of the business. It was a family business, but he wasn’t family in the blood sense.
But he lived and breathed that company and it showed.
One of the things I really remember about him was that about once a month he would walk around the office and have a quick chat with people. I remember he would stop by my office and ask a few questions. Maybe about business, but mostly just getting to know each other.
And I also remember him always leaving by saying, “Thank you”. That would kind of catch me off guard a bit because usually I wouldn’t have done anything directly for him, but he would just say thanks for the work I was doing.
Thank You is a good motivator. It’s nice to hear it even when it’s implied. I don’t know if we can really say it enough to people or even to ourselves.
Struggling With Thanks
I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’ve always struggled with asking for help. I always found that giving thanks kind of put me in a vulnerable position. It at least feels that way many times to me.
I like doing things on my own. I don’t know why, but I know that it’s not good all the time.
So I struggle with thanks.
For example, I don’t like receiving gifts. It makes me think that people feel the need to give me gifts. I react that I don’t need gifts. Then it’s almost like I feel like people expect me to tell them thank you for the gift, but my first reaction is that I don’t need to say thanks because I didn’t need anything to begin with.
It’s pretty weird.
But as time goes on I’m learning that saying thank you is an important part of life.
We Like To Be Helpful
It seems that in general, people like to be helpful. And when we feel like those that we help are grateful we feel even better and want to continue to help.
One study found that when students had help with a cover letter and followed up with a thank you note that the helpers were twice as likely to help with a second cover letter if asked.
It’s probable that saying thanks is even more rewarding than money. Okay, maybe that’s not the case, but saying thank you is very powerful.
But that’s not to say that you want to ask for too many favors. There’s a balance.
A general takeaway, though, is how you interact with your employees. It an go back to the CEO that I worked with. The company was paying me and that was good. They gave generous bonuses. But hearing thank you for the CEO and others in the company always gave me a little more motivation to do good work.
And I’m sure it works like that in many offices. When we feel that we’re helping to achieve something and when we feel appreciated for it we’re usually motivated to continue to help.
If you google “gratitude” you’ll find a bunch of information about its benefits. Those studies and articles often discuss how it’s important to be grateful for the everyday things in our life like seeing a sunrise or having the right to vote and all those kinds of things.
But it can also extend to people in your life and how you interact with them. I think about all the things I’m thankful that my wife does. I’m thankful that she agreed to marry me. I’m thankful that she laughs at my jokes. I’m thankful that she doesn’t judge me if I have a crazy idea. There are so many things.
Yet I probably don’t thank her enough for all those little things that really are pretty big things. They just become so common that I don’t even realize how important they are.
It’s true in our personal lives and our work lives. And as business owners and managers it’s important to recognize the little things our team does everyday that really impact the business. Yes, we’re paying the team, but a simple thank you can go much further for that person and for us.
So when you’re interacting with your employees you really can’t tell them thank you enough. Let them know how much you appreciate their effort even if it’s a small thing.