A Holiday Thought: Why Saying 'Thank You' Could Save Your Company Money (In Addition To Being The Right Thing To Do)

Dec 25 2013, 12:06pm CST | by

A Holiday Thought: Why Saying 'Thank You' Could Save Your Company Money (In Addition To Being The Right Thing To Do)
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

When I quit as a middle level manager for a Fortune 500 company, I took with me the title of “world’s worst boss.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I really was awful an awful manager. The people who suffered from what could only be described in jest as my “management style” can attest to this. I micromanaged. I wouldn’t delegate. I didn’t trust anyone to do an important task (since I knew I could do it better myself.)

On top of that, I had (to be kind) limited interpersonal skills, i.e. I didn’t know the first thing about how to be a boss, let alone a leader.

I did get one thing right, though. I always said “thank you,” especially when one of my staff went above and beyond.

It is something that I learned from my best bosses, and it is something that I have been thinking about on this Christmas day.

What they understood–and I came to realize the hard way–is that employees spend an inordinate amount of time watching what the boss does.

And what I came to see is that a boss’ behavior is just as important as what they say.  And the behavior that always resonated with me was when the boss said thank you.

(I still have a note–written in a red grease pencil–that Malcolm Forbes dropped off on my desk when I was staff writer at this magazine in 1981. He was thanking me for having a new take on a subject that had been in the news for weeks and was starting to bore him.)

Why is saying “thank you” important (besides the fact that it is good manners?)

Well, every study I have seen about employee retention says how much they are being paid is always listed fourth, fifth or sixth when people are asked why they stay at their job.

Far more important is the fact that people like their jobs.

Why do people like their jobs? “I have a good boss,” is always at the top of the list, when they are asked for an explanation.

And one of the reasons people give for liking that boss is that he (or she) says “thank you” when they do a good job.

Sure, you should pay good employees more.  But you may not have to be at the top of the pay scale in your industry, if you simply say “thank you” when appropriate.

People want praise and recognition (as well as a decent paycheck.)  Saying thank you if one of the best ways to provide the first two things on that list.

There are people who are working today–either because it is part of their job, or because they want to get a head start on tomorrow.

It would be a good idea to tell them thank you.

And as always, thanks for reading. And enjoy the holidays.

###

Paul B. Brown is co-author of Just Start published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Please note his blog appears every Sunday and Wednesday.  (Merry Christmas!)

Click on the “Following” button to get every new blog post as soon as its goes live.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

The Other Important Number In The President's Obamacare Briefing: 24
President Obama was triumphant on Thursday. After facing months of questions over whether the White House would hit its goal of 7 million Obamacare sign-ups, the president had the latest enrollment data in hand—and it...
 
 
It's Good to Be King: LeBron James Tops 2014 Top-Selling NBA Jerseys
We haven’t crowned a winner for the 2014 NBA Championship, but we know who the king is when it comes to jersey sales. For the sixth time, Miami Heat power-forward LeBron James tops the NBA most-popular jersey list based...
 
 
The L.A. Clipper Miracle... Next: Democracy Will Break Out in Russia?
The Lakers are dead as Moses. The Clippers, who finished 11 games ahead of them last season and 30 in this one, are No. 3 seeds in the NBA’s Western draw, meaning they’ll be favored to stay alive for the next three or...
 
 
12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster
New Zealand’s economy has been hailed as one of world’s top safe-haven economies in recent years after it emerged from Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, my research has found that many of...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Taylor Momsen loves New York
Taylor Momsen needs "grit" in her life. The Pretty Reckless singer tries to stay out of the limelight by living in New York where she can "hide" and claims she has never really "cared" about mixing with celebrities. She...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Leighton Meester praises Adam Brody
Leighton Meester thinks her new husband Adam Brody is "incredible." The former 'Gossip Girl' star, who tied the knot with the actor in a secret ceremony in February after meeting him on the set of their film 'The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
The Other Important Number In The President's Obamacare Briefing: 24
President Obama was triumphant on Thursday. After facing months of questions over whether the White House would hit its goal of 7 million Obamacare sign-ups, the president had the latest enrollment data in hand—and it...
Read more on Business Balla
 
It's Good to Be King: LeBron James Tops 2014 Top-Selling NBA Jerseys
We haven’t crowned a winner for the 2014 NBA Championship, but we know who the king is when it comes to jersey sales. For the sixth time, Miami Heat power-forward LeBron James tops the NBA most-popular jersey list based...
Read more on Business Balla
 
The L.A. Clipper Miracle... Next: Democracy Will Break Out in Russia?
The Lakers are dead as Moses. The Clippers, who finished 11 games ahead of them last season and 30 in this one, are No. 3 seeds in the NBA’s Western draw, meaning they’ll be favored to stay alive for the next three or...
Read more on Business Balla
 
12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster
New Zealand’s economy has been hailed as one of world’s top safe-haven economies in recent years after it emerged from Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, my research has found that many of...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Britney Spears' dad wants her to stay single
Britney Spears' father reportedly doesn't want her to get married again. The 'Perfume' hitmaker, who broke of her engagement to her former agent, Jason Trawick, in January 2013, is desperate to tie the knot with her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
The Singular Secret For A Leader's Success: Self-Awareness
The National Advisory Council of a prestigious west coast business school was asked what single quality they thought would be most valuable for their graduates to acquire as they graduated.  The answer was self-...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Hit With Tax Warrant
In 2003, country singer Toby Keith went all the way to #1 with his mega-hit, “I Love This Bar.” The incredible popularity of the song inspired a chain of restaurants called Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill with...
Read more on Business Balla
 
What If Doctors Could Finally Prescribe Behavior Change?
This guest article is by Sean Duffy, CEO and Co-Founder, Omada Health Three out of four Americans will die of a disease that could be avoided—if only they could re-route their unhealthy habits. A new category of...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla