b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Say "Thank You"

6/22/2006

 

Say "Thank You"

“Who raised you?” is a question I always wanted to ask my manager. After 12 years in corporate America I got tired of people being mean. There’s just no need for it.

I live in the New York City area. Yesterday I met two very nice ladies from Seattle, Washington. They commented on the number of friendly New Yorkers they encountered. It’s a misconception, I believe, that New Yorkers are nasty. We smile, we joke, and we help tourists on the subways. That's how we roll.

This is not the case in business. Once upon a time I had a nice career. Toward the end of my tenure things changed. The atmosphere went from kind and nurturing to back stabbing and nail biting.

One of the factors that contributed to this feeling was one of antipathy from upper powers-that-be. If I was expected to perform certain tasks and I did them, it would have been nice every so often to get a “Thank you”. Or if I developed a new system of doing things or a new report to track data. None of these were taken seriously. If anything it was, "mmm hmmm, that's nice".



I know I'm not alone in that. There are employees everywhere that feel unappreciated. Now let me tell you how much information is out there about motivation in the workplace. There are gazillions of books on the topic of how to jump-start the team and get them onboard to work that much harder. Here’s a free tip: SAY THANK YOU. It won’t cost the manager or the company anything to say this to their employees – particularly when warranted. If you want the behavior to continue, you have to reinforce it. How hard is that?

Didn’t your mother tell you to say “Thank you” when someone did something nice for you like help you on a project that made you look like a superstar? Or help you to sort files so you didn’t have to be in the office by yourself till 10 o’clock at night?

Make Mom proud. Just say “Thanks” to the people that help you do your job.

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