When did life get too complicated for a simple thank you?
A guy who looked to be in his mid-thirties dropped his wallet today outside our local Post Office. I picked it up and handed it back to him. Unless he was doing a psychological study for 59 seconds (Prof. Richard Wiseman), I can only assume that I did him a favour. But, I was greeted with a mere grunt that roughly translated as “urrmph”.
Who would have thought that these simple words have become a point of difference and even a competitive advantage for those who use them?
Only last week, I was training a course at Gloucestershire College, focussing on team motivation. All the well-researched findings of Herzberg aside, we realised that a sincere and appropriate thank you is a basic requirement for team motivation. No amount of focus on the motivation accelerators (recognition, achievement, satisfying work etc.) will overcome the brakes applied when this common courtesy is lacking.
In the workplace, a simple “thank you” has been shown to increase staff loyalty, productivity and satisfaction. Moreover, incivility in the workplace can lead to people leaving, skipping work and even deliberately reducing their work quality and output. Yet over half of employees today say they are either never thanked or thanked just seldomly or occasionally!
Mahatma Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s contagious. So, to anyone who’s taken the time to read this post, all that remains is for me to say a genuine and heartfelt thank you!