Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast There's never a wrong time to give thanks, but there are good ways, and there are better ways. When done wrong, a gesture you intended for good can leave your team member feeling like you were insincere or even phony. Employees who don't feel appreciated are more likely to look for other work or decrease the effort they put into their daily tasks. In today's episode, I'm sharing four ways you can get the most out of your "thank you's."
How to make your thank you more impactful:
1. Be genuine.
Avoid the fly-by "thank you." Don't just walk by and say thanks. These are good. They're not great. Instead, stop by why where they're working. Look them in the eye. Lean in, tilt your head, and express your gratitude from your heart.
2. Be specific.
Follow up with precisely what you appreciate. Thank you for staying late and the effort you put into the meeting. Explain how their actions helped. If you were feeling the pressure of a deadline, explain how their extra effort made it much more manageable. Show them the bigger picture behind why they were staying late and how it helped you retain your customers. Expressing gratitude is a two-way street. What they're doing has meaning and impact. It's a great way to get them to repeat the behavior. Now they know what it's worth to you!
3. Customize Your Gratitude
Everyone feels appreciated in different ways. Can you imagine a time when you received a thank you or a token of appreciation that you didn't want? I know you tried to be thankful for their efforts, but in the end, the gesture didn't make you feel any more appreciated or encouraged. Pay attention to what people like and use that to say thank you. Some people love hand-written notes; others love a specific snack or beverage.
4. Be consistent
If you're only thankful around holidays, your team will see you as a leader who is grateful for what they can do for you, not for who they are.
Q: What makes you feel appreciated? Describe a time when someone say thank you in a way that meant something to you.
Q: How do you feel when you feel appreciated? How have you responded in the past when you did not feel appreciated? How did it affect your work? Your relationships?
Get to know how each of your employees likes to be thanked. The next time you say thank you or give someone a thank you gift. Observe their response. You can even ask them point-blank how they like to be thanked. When you learn that information, write it down somewhere you will not forget!
When you go to leave the office, start making your way out five minutes early. Instead of rushing out the door, stop and thank three people as you leave. Look them in the eye and apply the other tips listed in this podcast. If you need help remembering to be thankful, try putting this in your schedule at least once a week and writing down the names of the people you thank so that you can get around to everyone. Remember your peers, boss, or people in departments that work with yours!