A genuine “Thank You” is a great leadership trait.

ThankYouThe two words continually underutilized in business today are “Thank You.”.  We have gotten to the point in society in which people all over the world add thanks to their email signature so they don’t forget to type it?  I mean, I understand not wanting to forget to say thank you but there is a lack of authenticity when you see that it is obviously “pre-written’ with no real thought behind it.

Appreciating employees for their contributions to an organization has become somewhat of a mantra, and deservedly so. But when there is true meaning behind that appreciation studies have shown that it can improve engagement and productivity incrementally. That being said, there are many creative ways to show your team that you are grateful for the work that they do and I am pretty sure that as you read this (somewhere in the world) there is an assigned task force meeting right now in a boardroom to figure out how to show gratitude towards their employees.  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe all organizations should continue the journey towards increasing engagement but I am not sure it is as difficult as some have made it.

IT TAKES LESS THAN 5 SECONDS to say or type “thanks” or “thank you”.  Seriously, I literally just did it!  We are all pressed for the time but when someone does what you’ve requested them do or they go above and beyond the call of duty saying thank you should be an expectation.  Of all the things a leader has to do, from a time perspective, this one ranks in the top five all day every day.

IT WILL MAKE SOMEONES DAY whether you believe it or not.  Interestingly enough we take for granted that employees view their leaders in a different light and sometimes that light is way more bright than we anticipate. In other words, they think and talk more about their leaders than the actual organization and saying thanks for what they are doing may seem like simple words but those words can make a difference in someone’s day or week.

SAYING IT WITH MEANING does not mean a leader should shed tears every time they say it, but it does mean it should be authentic.  Looking someone in the eyes and saying thank you is much more appropriate than finishing a conversation and saying thanks as you turn and walk away.  Sincerity when appreciating someone is the true measure of the impact that a leader can have on an individual and we must not take for granted the opportunity to show vulnerability.

So make saying “thank you” a core competency within your organization and then have fun adding on all of the other cool and exciting engagement ideas because you will have a solid foundation of appreciation.  “THANKS” for reading this!