The simple “thank you” is one of the most powerful ways I know to engage people.
I noticed in my consulting work how much this means to leadership teams, to associates, and myself. I learned how at the end of a difficult project people leave with a smile because of a simple thank you. How the long, grueling days of building strategy melted away when each knows their efforts were appreciated (“Thanks, Luke, for your insights on the customer today.”). How the last interaction of the day became their most recent thought and made them look forward to coming in the next day, knowing that their contributions are helping the team get the result.
The most effective leaders I know work diligently to thank their people. The validation can come from the end-of-day departures and acknowledging extra effort on the fly, or even just thanking them for doing their routine work, giving input, or being positive throughout the day. These leaders know the value of their people, and by saying, “thank you,” they help feed the hunger people have for belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.
Take every opportunity to find a reason to say “thank you” as often as you can. Thanking your people for their joint efforts is a straightforward and easy way to make a powerful, lasting impression in your organization.
Try taking time today to say, “thank you.” You will see how powerful it is at engaging people.
For those of you in the US, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.