Please and Thank You

August 22nd, 2011 | Posted in Confidence by

Most of us were taught when we were children that it was polite, and often to our benefit, to say please and thank you when interacting with others.  Why is it so many of us find it hard to apply this knowledge in the workplace? It can’t be that it’s too hard or that it takes too much time.

The simple use of these two phrases — please and thank you — when uttered genuinely and regularly, can mean a lot to our employees and colleagues.  Interestingly, some managers equate these phrases with being “soft” and argue that employees should not expect or require this added show of appreciation.

Too many leaders believe that employees should not need to be “coddled” with pleasantries.  After all, “that’s why we pay our employees”.  In reality, all of us benefit from this added apprecation and respect shown during the course of a day.  Try capturing at least ten opportunities each day where you can use the words please and thank you.

Other forms of appreciation include an all-expense-paid weekend; a dinner and  movie; tickets to a sporting event; etc.  For most of these rewards, it is, as they say, the thought that counts. 

A good friend of mine was  recently recognized as an Exemplary Employee and recognized nationally for his contributions to creating a great culture for his company and its customers. This was totally unexpected and yet provided my friend with the recognition that he was indeed making a difference in the lives of others.

In research on recognition and rewards that dates back to 1949 by Lindahl and repeated in 1980 by Kovach and again in 1991 by Nelson, appreciation for work done ranked number 1 in a survey of what workers want most from their jobs. 

Thirty-four percent of respondents in a national survey conducted by Robert Half International in 1995 cited “limited recognition” as the most common reason for leaving an employer.

Why is it that so many good people seem to leave organizations?  The reasons, it turns out, are plentiful.  What may surprise many is that most of these reasons relate to factors under the direct control and influence of an organization’s managers and leaders, like saying Please and Thank You, and finding other ways to recognize the contributions of individuals and teams.

How do you like to be recognized for the work you do each day?  How will you ensure that others you come into contact with are acknowledged for the great work they do?  Join me in saying Please and Thank You on a regular basis in the workplace, and see what results you get!

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