Just Say “Thank You”

Smart Company ran an article recently on the power of a simple thank you to retain staff. The article references a 2008 survey by British consulting firm White Water Strategies that found, “Saying ‘thank you’ often had the same impact on job satisfaction as a salary hike. The research revealed that praising staff had the same motivational kick as a 1% pay rise.”

While I agree fully with this statement, I am not surprised at another finding of the same study: “One in three employees reported that they were not thanked at all when they did well, while a further third said they were not thanked enough.”

Fully two-thirds of employees report not receiving adequate acknowledgment of their valuable contributions at their companies. And yet a simple thank you would increase their job satisfaction and encourage them to perform at a higher level. It amazes me that very smart strategist-leading companies today are failing to see how closely tied these are – and how it is impacting their bottom line today.

This is why a strategic recognition program is so critical. A key tenet of strategic programs is the importance of measurement. For any strategic initiative to succeed, clear objectives must be set with the appropriate metrics to measure success. And those responsible must be held accountable.

As the oft-quoted truism goes: “What gets measured, gets done. What gets rewarded, gets done well.” Are you measuring the simple act of thanking your people for their contributions? Are you rewarding that which gets done well?

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