4 out of 5 American office workers say that when someone communicates thankfulness to them about a job well done, it makes them work harder. That same pool of workers also admits a 90% failure rate in communicating that thankfulness on a personal level. There is no denying the fact that the best kind of motivation comes from appreciation. The only problem is that we often assume others know we appreciate them, so we don’t communicate that thankfulness.
Maybe saying “Thank you” feels like a foreign concept, but there are some specific reasons why thankfulness needs to be communicated in the workplace that go beyond the need to feel appreciated. Here is why an emphasis on thankfulness is so important.
#1. Appreciation isn’t an extrinsic motivator. There comes a time for most workers when a raise, a promotion, and other intrinsic rewards just aren’t enough. There are nice titles and plenty of extra money, but that cash gets spent. Appreciation falls outside of these extrinsic rewards that often feel like they’re just dues for a job well done. It speaks to a greater importance in the work that is being accomplished.
#2. It places a point of emphasis on giving. There are three basic types of workers: givers, takers, and exchangers. Takers will try to get everyone else to do the job while they sit back and do nothing. Exchangers will do work if they receive something in return. Givers don’t care. They offer their experiences and skills freely upon asking. Givers don’t always wind up on top, but they do more often than the other two types of workers. Giving thankfulness, therefore, is a way to find yourself getting ahead.
#3. Thankfulness can double the response. Information flows fast and free in today’s modern working environment. What is interesting about the data we consume is that the final line of the content we read or the conversation we have is what sticks with us. If that last line is a note of thankfulness, the positive responses that can be received in return will actually double. This increases the likelihood that more help can be received in the future.
#4. A little time can take you a long way. Communicating thankfulness requires a time investment, but a rather small one. Just a simple note that tells people they are appreciated is all it takes to not only have them work harder, but encourage you to work harder as well. Our creativity tends to fade during times of stress and that thankfulness that gets communicated eliminates the stress that everyone – including you – is experiencing.
#5. Being specific makes the value increase. Relationships are built in the working environment and will either be positive or negative. Positive relationships form when others feel like you care for them. Negative relationships form when it seems like there is a selfish element in play. By being specific about what you’re thankful for, that specificity brings you closer to that other person because your observation has been about them instead of being about you.
Consider these 5 benefits and how you could apply them to your workplace. Communicating thankfulness only takes a few seconds, but the impact it leaves could last for a lifetime.