7 Reasons to Say Thank You at Work
As children, we were taught to say please and thank you. As adults, we know that saying thank you is a good thing, but do we understand why? And if we knew the full impact of saying it, would we thank teammates more often? So, do you say thank you enough?
“In a 2018 study published in Royal Society Open Science, researchers examined everyday conversations between friends, families, and neighbors in countries around the world. Their focus was simple: Identify when one person asked another for or to do something, and then count the number of times the requester expressed gratitude. On average, the requester only responded with “thanks” about 5 percent of the time.” — Inc — Want to Be a Better Leader? Science Says Say ‘Thank You’ a Lot More Often
7 Reasons to Say Thank You at Work
1. It’s Healthy
Thanking someone can mean a lot to them, but it also means a lot to the person giving thanks. “Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough point out that gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research. They point out the benefits of expressing gratitude as ranging from better physical health to improved mental alertness.” — Psychology Today — Giving Thanks: The Benefits of Gratitude
2. It’s Motivational
Giving thanks is not only a leadership motivational tool to inspire teammates, but it also reinforces long-term motivation for the person who says thank you. When we say thank you to someone at work, it strengthens our resolve and commitment to the organization. For example, saying thank you for a job well done reminds us of the mission of our organization and reinforces our purpose.
3. Improves Productivity
When we thank someone for activities, character, or results, they’re more likely to repeat the behavior. “Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.” — Harvard Health — Giving thanks can make you happier
4. Improves culture
“I have always believed that the way you treat employees is the way they will treat customers, and people flourish when they are praised.” – Sir Richard Branson.
In a Gallup paper, State of the American Workplace, they report that engaged employees are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales.
Saying thank you impacts how people see themselves and others. People want to know that what they do matters and their contributions have meaning. There may be no easier or more impactful way to create this environment than saying thank you.
5. Strengthens Relationships
The strongest workplace bonds are not made by commanding people or fear-based motivation but by sharing gratitude. If you want to build a loyal team dedicated to the organization’s mission, one of your best tools is gratitude. Thank people for what they do, and they will do more for you and the team. You must give respect to receive it.
6. Reduces Stress
Saying thank you does as much good for you, if not more, than the person on the receiving end. The last couple of years has been stressful at home and work. Anything we can do to reduce stress is significant.
“Gratitude is an emotion that grounds us and is a great way to balance out the negative mindset that uncertainty engenders,” said Dr. Guy Winch, author of the book Emotional First Aid. When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin — two hormones that make us feel lighter and happier inside.” — Harvard Business Review .
7. Reduces Employee Turnover
It’s been said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. There may be some truth to that. Have you ever left a position because of leadership? Sharing gratitude, saying thank you, helps people feel appreciated, and people who feel appreciated are less likely to want to replace you.
Yes, saying thank you is good for your team. It makes people feel good about themselves, improves customer service, enhances well-being, and helps define your culture. However, what may be the best thing about saying thank you is how it makes the giver feel. Thank you for reading this.
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