And no, we don’t mean the three little words that usually dominate our lives on February 14th!
We’re talking about ‘Thank you, John’, ‘Thank you, Alice’, ‘Thank you [insert name]”.
From as early as we can remember, we’re taught to use our manners. ‘Say thank you to the nice lady’, I find myself encouraging my children in shops and such, the same way my parents would have. It’s drilled into us – and quite rightly so. Especially here in the UK, we’ve become quite famous for our etiquette. Even if some of the time that polite ‘Oops, sorry’ might just be hiding our passive aggression towards the person that actually bumped into us – or cut in the queue!
Either way, we’re a nation of chivalry, kindness… and minding your Ps and Qs. And we reckon the rest of the world could learn a trick or two from our innate politeness and good manners.
But it’s definitely universal to send thank you messages when we receive gifts or send gifts, as a thank you to friends and family. Or back when we were allowed to show our appreciation with a hug, a handshake, a fist-bump, or just a smile. Remember those days? But where is that energy for the people putting so much effort into each working day?
Now, when it comes to work, there are some big businesses, with big budgets – and even bigger gestures. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant to see a real increase in these initiatives while remote working and lockdown 3.0 have been driving us a little more mental each day. But not everyone has access to that seemingly unlimited budget. And those huge gestures aren’t always the easiest to manage, or even what your people need to keep them feeling productive. While we’re still working remotely, authenticity is key.
Cue the first two words of our precious little trio, Thank you. Ground-breaking, right? But how many times recently have you given a genuine thank you to an individual, or a team? Not a ‘thank you… and can you just’, or a ‘thank you… and now we need to’. Just a thank you. A moment of showing your appreciation. Truly recognising the great work that person is doing during a global pandemic. We’re still having to get used to the ‘new’ flexible working day, where distractions are commonplace, and motivation is dwindling.
As for the third word? Their name, of course. As the Dale Carnegie saying goes, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” It’s the simplest way to make your show of appreciation more empowering. With this added personalisation, your gratitude holds respect, it’s inviting and will make that person feel that much more special.
These three little words need to be used so much more at work. Of course, particularly at the moment, but working through Covid shouldn’t be your sole reason for saying thank you. Don’t leave your people feeling under-appreciated in any circumstance! If you’re a manager or part of a team, any work completed, or task nailed, is a great reflection on you and your colleagues. So, we should be giving all of them the individual recognition they deserve, always.
We live in a world where we strive to do our better-than-best, to exceed all expectations and to deliver above and beyond what is asked of us. As a consequence, the pressure snowballs, resulting in increased workload, more pressure, and the frustrating cycle starts again. Are we really giving our people enough credit for consistently improving and adapting to everything we throw at them?
Often times, we can’t change the volume of work, but we can certainly relieve some of the pressure. Sometimes, all it takes to empower – and even retain – your people is acknowledgement. Productivity lies in our teams and our colleagues that truly know how grateful you are for their work. It’s easy enough to go back to basics – a quick zoom call just to say the three words they want to hear.
Kindness cultivates happy employees. So, be grateful that your employees don’t mind going the extra mile. The power this will have is tenfold. As humans, we crave praise. We are naturally drawn to positivity and by saying thank you, you’re driving the right behaviours. Improving self-esteem and increasing positivity, proactiveness and creativity.
So, here at MuddyWellies, we’re encouraging you to get all lovey-dovey. ‘Tis the season, after all.
Take the time to think about all of the people who have helped you achieve goals, success, project delivery – every individual, team, department that’s supported you. Then, next time you are on a call/zoom, writing an email, or even when the world opens up again and you are face to face… Remember, ‘Thank you [insert name]’ – is as powerful as any bonus.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones – partners, family, or friends. But, if you’re still searching for the one, we’ve actually got a few tips that could turn your Tinder bio into the perfect romantic CV…