We wrote last week about making sure that your employees feel valued by more than just their salary. A great non-monetary (and Thanksgiving themed) way to reward your employees is simply to thank them. Take time out of your hectic schedule to make sure that your employees know that you appreciate the work that they do. Make sure that they know that you value their time, their input and their ideas. Most people underestimate the power of a genuine, heartfelt thank you.
It’s easy to just say “That’s their job. I shouldn’t have to thank them for doing their job.” And you’re right, you don’t. But it makes a huge difference if you do. Taking the time to say “Hey John, I really appreciate that you got that report finished up early for me. It gave me plenty of time to review it before I had to take it to the board.” can go a long way. Yes, it is John’s job to get you that report, but he could have gotten it to you 5 minutes before you needed it, instead of giving you time to prepare. Thanking John not only makes him feel that he’s done a good job, it rewards and reinforces the behavior that you want John to exhibit every month.
The structure of the thank you is important as well. First and foremost, it has to be genuine. Don’t try to go out of your way to make up something to thank someone for. Find something that really did make a difference in your day-to-day. Next explain why you appreciate what they did. By explaining how their actions made a difference in your day, they are more likely to repeat that action. It also adds weight to the thank you. People say thanks a lot without even realizing it, but taking the time to explain why you’re grateful shows someone that you really mean it.