It’s pretty simple. Just two words.
And we fail to realize how much of a difference it can make to take the time to say thank you to our friends, family, and to our colleagues.
In the typical workplace, we work in teams. When we are collaborating with our fellow teammates, we help each other along to achieve a common goal. We need to remember to take the time to say thank you.
I was reminded of this simple concept in a blog post I read yesterday entitled Did You Say Thank You Today?
Gratitude goes a long way.
If someone has assisted you with a project, and their contribution and time meant a difference to you, take the time to thank them graciously. Even better, and this may feel awkward at first, make eye contact when saying thanks. It will be sincere. If you didn’t get a chance to thank them in person, put it in writing and make sure to send a quick email of thanks.
The best recognition you can give a colleague to thank them for their contribution, is to do so in front of their peers, at a team meeting for example. At the weekly staff meeting in our office, we have a chance to recognize our colleagues’ efforts from the previous week; our appreciation is rewarded with a ‘kudos’.
Take the time to say thank you.
Today I received an early Birthday card from my team as they knew I would be away on my birthday. Wow, I thought, how thoughtful was that! I am thankful to have such a caring group to work with. I then emailed my gratitude to them all.
I really never thought about the benefits to my company by expressing gratitude openly. However, recently I read an article on the “Importance of Appreciation in the Workplace” and it cited the online career site, Glassdoor that stated “more than 80 percent of employees say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation of their work.”
The article also lists a few ways you can show thanks and appreciation for employees’ work besides just using money. There are some suggestions such as an impromptu treat, lunch and even just thanking people by using their name.
Over the years, I have tried to show my appreciation by doing such things as remembering birthdays, treating the team to gelato etc. However, one of the main ways to show appreciation was to tie the Thanks to the action in a timely manner. In the past, I would think of it, but failed to express it. I do not do this anymore or at least I try not to delay saying thanks or showing appreciation.
I hear ‘Thanks’ a lot in the office from all of us. In fact, each week we give the floor to the team in order for them to have the chance to recognize their colleagues’ efforts from the previous week; our appreciation is rewarded with a “kudos”. To date, I believe I have a happier, appreciated team who all support each other.
I just got off the phone with my brother, whom I have not talked to in a few weeks. I know that he has been really busy at work the past few months. I’ve been getting updates from his wife on what long days, nights and weeks he has been working.
Today is my brother’s birthday. It felt right to hear his voice, and let him know that I am thinking of him. He needed a little light in his day.
He works in film production, and this particular feature film is running him ragged. The past 2 weekends he has had to fly to another city to work on the process of setting up production there, only to find out recently that the production company doesn’t have the proper permits in place. That is two weekends of hard work wasted, and away from his wife and 3 young kids.
Last night was the official wrap party with cast and crew, and this morning as he was on his way to work, his colleague called, and it was evident that the colleague was still celebrating, and would not make it to set today. My brother says to me, “So, all day today, I’ve done his job, plus my job, and on my birthday…not the way I really want to be spending it”.
My brother is a hard worker. He is not a complainer. He is reliable, gets the job done, and for the past 20+ years has an outstanding reputation in his industry. The long days, no weekends off, and hard work is part of the film business. He did say that he is looking forward to this particular project to be over, and looks forward to the next one in January.
He appreciated the call, and I told him that we would properly celebrate his birthday once the films wraps. I told him that even if all his hard work goes unnoticed now, that good karma must be coming his way.
Happy Birthday, big brother.
Yes, we’ve heard about company perks that big employers like Google and Facebook can offer their employees. But, what can smaller companies do? With limited budgets, it can be challenging, but offering attractive low-cost perks encourages creative ideas that will keep employees engaged and happy.
Some good perks to many employees are flexible schedules, telecommuting, and extra vacation days. Depending on the environment and culture, some employees enjoy the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day. There is also job sharing for new parents, or a paid day off per year to volunteer for a favourite charity. These are just some of the benefits that enable employees to work well and live well.
Many years ago, I worked at a company where the Director of our branch office did a lot of corporate travel. He racked up the air miles points, enough to be rewarded a long haul flight, and every year at the staff holiday party he drew a name out of a hat. I remember one year, the winning staff member was our long time receptionist who used the air miles to go on her honeymoon to the Caribbean. Although only one person really benefited from this perk, we all felt great about it. It did wonders for morale.
A tricky thing about introducing a new perk, is the sustainability of it. When financial times are tough, sometimes it’s those little perks that go away first. It can be awfully hard to take back those pizza Fridays that everybody enjoyed for the past year. Outrage may occur, and companies don’t like being the bad guy.
That being said, it can be fun to change things up a bit. Replace one perk with another one. A great morale booster is a peer-led recognition system, whereas the staff nominates one of their fellow co-workers as a star employee for going above and beyond their regular work. The company provides the prize – anything from a paid day off or gift cards. With a values-driven culture, the company should be in tune to their employees’ interests, and the awards can be highly personalized.
While going above and beyond the standard benefits can help boost moral and create a loyal workforce, keep in mind that it is not the dollar amount that matters. Taking a philosophical approach to values and culture, and the thought you put into it will create a culture of happiness and fun in the long run.
We discovered from the results of last week’s poll, that over 90% of you are going out after office hours, to celebrate the season with your coworkers. This is great news to us, as we believe that strong relationships amongst company employees leads to a strong and unifying team. Parties are ideal morale boosters, and the perfect way to put the office walls behind you, and enjoy the company of your peers outside the office setting.
A few tips to keep in mind:
Drink moderately. Granted, the party is a social function, but it is still a professional event first and foremost. A good rule to stick by – for every alcoholic beverage, make sure you drink a tall glass of water as well.
Mingle. Now is your chance to speak with those individuals you might not normally work with and meet the larger team, so be sure to make a good impression. Use the party as a way to strengthen existing relationships or make new ones.
Have fun! Take this time to blow off some steam and have a good time with your co-workers. Laughter is an equalizer.
Don’t forget your manners. Remember to thank your boss at the end of the evening. Hey, they’re paying the bill. Let them know how much you appreciate the party they’re throwing for the company. And if one of your co-workers organized the event, make sure you give a special thank you for the hard work they put into planning the evening.
~ Jessica Rozitis
With summer behind us, and while that time was totally enjoyable, I can honestly say that I love Fall. To me Fall is about planning (perhaps the highly intensive juggle of school schedules ignites this!). I also like to use Fall for imagining, dreaming and looking to the future.
With the team back in full strength it is easy to bring our momentum back into its optimal groove to capitalize on the inspirations Fall brings us. Done correctly company meetings and recognition programs can do a lot for team spirit and engagement. The trick is knowing what components make up the right recipe for each team.
One of my favourite ways to keep momentum is through spontaneous meetings. Some of our best breakthroughs have come from them. The free form nature of these catch ups can weigh strongly in favour of keeping momentum ticking along and the wheel turning. As everyone knows, people tend to spark off of each other. And most of the time innovation emerges from groups. The art of spontaneity can co-exist quite nicely with structured meetings as the ‘x’ factor found in spontaneity breaks the doldrums of routine.
I can already hear the wheels in motion! Gotta run! Momentum calls!
~ Sarah McNeill
photo credit: stefanweihs
My Mom always taught me to write a thank you note right after someone has given me a gift. It was good manners. It was polite.
Canadians, in general are polite. International media regularly reports this about us. When NBC descended upon our city for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the reporters and newscasters got to see us up close and personal, we hoped that our Canadian politeness rubbed off on them a bit. It looks like it did. Brian Williams from NBC wrote a very kind thank you note. This is a tribute to Canada’s culture.
Brian, we’re happy that you had a great experience in Vancouver. Please come back anytime.
Oh, and…”you’re welcome”.
~ Jessica Rozitis