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The power of THANK YOU – Employee engagement

Businesses with engaged employees perform better

Why is employee engagement important to businesses? It’s simple: Businesses with more engaged employees perform better – companies with highly sustainable engagement have higher operating margin of their less-engaged peers.

Philosopher John Dewey once said that the biggest urge that all humans feel is the “desire to be important.” Therefore, recognizing your employee makes them feel valued–and engaged.  Expressing your gratitude goes a long way to get employees to go the extra mile. You might not think it means much, but not saying quick, genuine thank you says a lot more than you realize.

There are actually very specific ways in which to maximize your reinforcement effort to improve employee engagement:

  1. Be preciseThank the person specifically for their exceptional actions: Tell them what they’re doing awesome.
  2. Acknowledge the effort - Note the personal cost of their getting it done. If they work through the weekend, appreciate the social and family costs.
  3. Share your stakeholdershipMake a point of how their great work helps your work, show how you’re in this together.

Developing a sense of how to show gratitude is a leadership key

Developing a sense of how to show gratitude is a leadership key! If the person you’re thanking looks shocked or even a little misty-eyed, don’t be surprised. It just means that your gratitude has been a tad overdue.

Employee engagement isn’t something to merely focus on at a year-end conference or even at monthly meetings. Building a motivated and dedicated team takes good managing and staff development on a daily basis.

Recognition is key to employee morale – So take action now!

 

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

View full profile

8 comments on “The power of THANK YOU – Employee engagement

March 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Evers

This is absolutely true. I would be interested in your view whether this is not only a question of top down but also bottom up.
Or even more precise to reinforce the understanding that as human beings our relationship should be based on common respect and appreciation for the work we do and the relation we build. We are by principle on the same level. Rich or Poor,Man and Woman, old and young, manager or worker. (We are different in our jobs, talents, educations,scale of responsibility, income, happy or unhappy and that will be always the case but this has nothing to do with our identity and needs as human beings )
This includes that “employees” should be appreciated in the way as you described it but also the other way round. And also as concrete as possible. So we are talking about positive leadership and feed back in all direction.At least…Shouldn’t be this the ultimate target. My experience with this is very promising. The basic attitude behind is that people should whenever possible be strengthend in taking personal resonsibilty for what they do or not do. That include positive and precise Feed Back from everyone to everyone.
And this is not a question of education. I have got sometimes Feed Back in a much better qualitative way in the factory then from the advisory board.It is i.a. a question of consciousness, attitude, values and courage.

Yes there is “too little real thank you” arround but there is also too little precise thank you and Feed Back for the hierachy as well and that spoils the quality of relationship and common understanding as well. So let’s improve it in both directions, but of course not waiting one for the other.

March 13, 2013 4:06 pm

Brad Palmer

Exactly Torben. Specific recognition frequently can make such a difference.

March 15, 2013 1:26 pm

Thomas Heyn

A very good article and in my experience a key factor in achieving a literally no cost performance improvement.
I fully agree with Evers. Although I experienced that the bottom-up appreciation will establish itself ‘IF’ the top down approach is done half-way correctly. It is in humans nature to respond correspondingly to the way being approached/treated.
It is also a great ‘tool’ to improve group or team spirit by thanking primarily the team instead of just the individual employee.
As it is with most things, too much is as much damaging as too little.

March 17, 2013 1:11 am

Bernard

Excellent! Yes, all the employee of the month, chaimans awards, pizza’s, casual fridays and, yes, even bonuses, dont do what a genuine thank you does for employee engagement. Very good Rick.

March 19, 2013 8:44 pm

Kev Corby

New to the group and enjoyed the article.

The power of a sincere thank you and recognition of a job done well is amazing.

So, thank you for the article and well done!

March 27, 2013 5:26 pm

David Livesley

I agree that bothering to say thank you means a lot to people and gets great results. I also agree that if the boss starts doing this, in time the employee will often reciprocate – but it’s worth exploring briefly what is going on there. I think that by saying thank you regularly and sincerely, you are starting to build a relationship based on mutual trust, which is what can lead to the response. That response indicates a relationship between people who see each other as equals – not in status, but as people they respect and value. In other words, they are friends, and as with making social friends not all can be equally close. In the workplace, some people will feel that it would not be appropriate to appear to be too close to their boss, and that has to be respected.

May 12, 2013 4:42 am

Mona Bagot

What a great lesson for today’s leaders to learn. We tend to think that it requires huge effort to engage employees and keep them engaged. However, if we ask ourselves what does it take to for us to remain engaged, it is usually as simple as being appreciated, receiving recognition for our hard work, and feeling that our contributions are valuable. This is a key lesson for all new managers/leaders and one that is easily accomplished.

May 21, 2013 4:43 am

Lorraine

I really enjoyed this piece. It can be easily transposed to all aspects of our lives, professionally as well as socially.

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