As children, we are taught to say “please” and “thank you,” but oftentimes, as adults, these habits are not reinforced in the workplace. We are not asked to perform tasks, we are told, and we are paid for our efforts; in other words, we do something because it is our job. What more do we need?
According to Bob Nelson, we need a sincere “thank you.”
Bob is the president of Nelson Motivation Inc, and is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on employee motivation. He has written 30 books ranging from The Management Bible to 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, and has dedicated his life to the idea that thanking employees makes for a better work environment.
“[T]hanking people is important…employees will be five times more likely to feel valued, six times more likely to recommend the business as a great place to work, and seven times more likely to stay with the organization for the rest of their careers. So huge benefits from doing this simple common sense notion of thanking people.”
Bob has spent most of his career helping organizations implement programs for employee recognition, and after working with 80% of the Fortune 500 companies Bob really knows his stuff. Rather than focusing on prize drawings and giveaway incentives, Bob emphasizes that it’s the little things that employees want from their employer.
“I see corporations spending millions and millions of dollars on this…millions of dollars in programs and tools, and point systems, and gift cards and then on their employee surveys, employees report that they don’t feel valued for working there…having the respect of your manager, having that future in the company, being listened to when you have an idea, being encouraged to pursue that idea and supported with resources and authority to make it happen…those are some big, big things that send a big message to someone that not only are you important, but your ideas are important.”
Whether you’re praising performance on the latest project or celebrating an accomplished goal, saying a sincere, specific “thank you” can strengthen trust and relationships, and make your team more engaged in their work. Join us on the podcast today as we discuss what employee recognition is, how it can benefit your team, and what managers can do today to get started. Subscribe or download the episode on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or listen in the player below.
Takeaways from this episode:
- The effects of thanking people in the workplace are noticeable—employees will be five times more likely to feel valued, six times more likely to recommend the business as a great place to work, and seven times more likely to stay with the organization for the rest of their careers.
- Top three tips: say thank you in a sincere, specific manner when someone does a good job or assignment; talk with people to find out how they like to be recognized; give feedback.
- Timing of praise is important! The closer to the activity that you’re trying to reinforce, the more it’s likely to happen again.
- Don’t be a power broker—be a relationship broker. Show employees that you are on their side and have their best interest at heart. Less controlling, more coaching, sometimes counseling.
- Listen more than you talk. Trust and respect are big variables in an employee feeling valued. “Focus more on understanding than on being understood.” (Stephen Covey)
- How does your organization handle mistakes? The viability of an organization can often be recognized by looking at how they handle mistakes (per Bill Gates).
Links Mentioned in this Episode:
- Dr. Bob Nelson – Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
- 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees by Bob Nelson
- The Management Bible by Bob Nelson and Peter Economy
- Managing for Dummies by Bob Nelson and Peter Economy
- Consulting for Dummies by Bob Nelson and Peter Economy
- Recognizing and Engaging Employees for Dummies by Bob Nelson
- The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
- Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve by Whitney Johnson
- Download a free chapter from Build an A-Team