84% Of Employees Have Not Heard ‘Thank You’ In The Past 6 Months

26Apr 84% Of Employees Have Not Heard ‘Thank You’ In The Past 6 Months

Only 32% of British employees feel appreciated in their workplace and 84% have not heard the words ‘thank you’ from their boss in more than six months! That’s according to a new survey by Podium Designs who conducted research with 750 UK workers to find out about workplace satisfaction.

There’s lots of evidence that business leaders who say ‘Thank you’ have more motivated staff, higher rates of staff retention, find it easier to  recruit and have better reputations, but the depressing fact that only 16% of those surveyed said they had heard a thank you from their boss within the last six months means that there are still plenty of business leaders who still don’t ‘get it’!

I’m sure you’re not one of them, but just in case  you would like a little ‘reminder’ about ‘thank you’s’, here are 7 things to consider…..

1. Spot Things Worth ‘Thanking People For’!

The first challenge is to find people doing things well – create some time to find out what your people and colleagues are doing and let them know you’ve seen them. Can’t find anything? You’re either not looking properly, you’ve not clearly spelt out what you want or you’ve got the wrong people! (I suspect it’s probably one of the first two!). By the way, don’t just dash out now and do it – they’ll know you’ve just read about it! That leads us to ….

2. Be Genuine!

Many, many years ago as a young graduate trainee, I arrived at my desk to find a small ‘post it note’ that said “Well done Andy – Thanks for sorting out that problem with customer x yesterday”. I was really pleased with myself and that I’d been noticed by my boss who was never one for praising people. Amazingly, I came in the next day and there was another note! “Thanks for helping Maria – keep it up Andy” it said – I was on a roll! The notes continued to come for the next few days, and then on the Friday morning, my note said “Well done Andy for…….” There was nothing else written! I looked around the office and there were lots of other yellow notes. Turns out my boss, who’d been on a leadership training course where he was obviously told to ‘motivate his people’ decided the best way was to do it via notes. At the end of each day, he went through his staff and wrote a note – he’d clearly got to my name, couldn’t think about what to write and left it to do later – he forgot and put it on my desk anyway! Result? A complete lack of ‘motivation’ from me – he’d clearly not meant any of it!

3. Do It Consciously!

Another boss did things in a very different way. I remember leaving the office at 5 o’clock one Friday afternoon (ok, it was 4.45, but I had had a hectic week!) and as I walked (dashed?) past my boss’s office I heard him shout “Andy, in here please!” I turned back and walked into his office. “Sit down please.” There was a silence and then he said “Just wanted to say I thought the way you handled that customer enquiry yesterday was excellent – Thank you for that. Right, have a great weekend!” I left 6 feet taller! He could easily have shouted “Well done Andy” as I walked past his door, but that would not have had the same effect – 30 seconds of conscious effort made a difference!

4. Personalise It!

A client of ours who was the MD of a security business wrote and posted a personalised ‘thank you’ note at Christmas to all his men’s ‘other halves’ highlighting how he understood the inconvenience he created with his guys working lots of ‘unsociable hours’, how he appreciated all the support that they had given to his team throughout the year  and thanking them for their support. He said the impact was amazing – he was absolutely swamped by wives and girlfriends at the Christmas dinner saying ‘thank you’ back!!!

5. Be Appropriate!

I always remember publicly praising a junior member of our team in front of all the company – I even made him stand on a chair as we gave him a round of applause and three cheers for an outstanding performance sorting out our IT. He hated it! As a shy young man, he felt embarrassed and uncomfortable – I struggled for some time to get him ‘fired back up’ – a quiet ‘well done’ would have worked far better! Some people like public recognition, some like a quiet word in the ear and others need a little personalised note – work out what’s best for each person!

6. Get Others To Do It!

A friend who’s a regular flyer with American Airlines received some $50 vouchers to use. Not to give him discounts, or extra services, but to give to members of American Airlines staff who made his trip an enjoyable one. What a great idea – a clear ‘Thank you’ for doing a great job. It happened to me at a hotel I stayed at some years ago. I was given a token that I had to give to the person who made my stay a great one. Apparently the staff could then trade in the rewards for prizes.

Think how this could work in your business…. ask customers to highlight and give ‘Thank You’s’ to your good performers. However, do be careful how you reward your people as a result. One shop I visited once asked customers to nominate ‘employees of the month’. I came across one, a seventeen year old lad called Daniel who gave exceptional service. I told him I was going to vote for him. ‘Please don’t’ he said, ‘I’ve already had 4 nominations this week’. ‘You’ll win, then’ I told him. ‘I know’ he replied ‘I don’t want to… the prize is dinner with the MD!

7. Do None Of These Things!

But, please work out what this means for your people and do something!

THANK YOU for reading this!


UBER CultureEstablishing the behaviours you want from your people is a key factor for success in 3D Businesses – Businesses that take a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach.  Our research shows that they establish and embed a culture that creates real competitive advantage and an integral ingredient of that is Rewarding and Recognising their people for demonstrating the behaviours they want.

For a free 18 page e-book that outlines how they do it, simply click on the image


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