The Power of “Thank You”

October 22, 2015


It’s a fact: More people leave jobs because they feel unappreciated than they do to seek better pay. Yet two simple words—“Thank You”—have the power to change all that.

Research shows that we flourish when our contributions are acknowledged. Gratitude increases our engagement, excitement and productivity. It can even make us happier.

All it takes is a verbal pat on the back: “Thank you!” or “Good job!” from a boss or a colleague. What’s more, when you express gratitude to someone, you are likely to feel happier yourself—because the person being thanked is almost certain to reward you with a huge smile.

Whether you thank others via an email or a written note, praise them on the way into the office, or commend them in a staff meeting, saying “Thanks” can literally make someone’s day.

Here are simple ways to express appreciation to those you work with.

Thanking a co-worker can be a wonderful way to strengthen your connection with that person. Stop by his or her cube or send an email. Thank the person for something specific they’ve assisted you with. They’ll be thrilled to realize how much you value their help.

Direct reports
Everyone needs to feel appreciated by the person they report to. It takes only a moment to pay a compliment. Say a casual “thanks” after a job well done, or says thanks in a public arena. See if that person doesn’t work even harder after you’ve acknowledged them for their contribution.

The boss
What boss doesn’t hear a daily litany of problems? So think how he or she will feel when you offer them a compliment. Make sure you don’t kiss up, and make sure your compliment is both sincere and specific. Explain how the boss helped you do a better job or gave you an important opportunity. (But don’t give a gift; it could easily make your supervisor feel uncomfortable.)

In short, there’s a huge upside to expressing your appreciation to co-workers, direct reports and supervisors; even friends and family. See how a genuine “Thank You” can make someone else’s day—and yours!

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