Managers aversion to saying “thank you”

Two actual work situations:

A) Companies are beginning to see the end of the recession. Many have survived after dismissing workers and / or cutting back on benefits. Not pleasant for those being squeezed, but understandable. And yet, now that there good times are on the horizon, we all know of senior management that do not return the favour in a tangible manner.

B) My friend returned home recently very upset. She was entering the final phase of a project for the parent company and a bug was found in one of her initial tasks. For all her significant efforts, she felt picked on.

Although I have condensed complex issues in to a few lines, they have a common theme. In the first situation, employees know that they have no reason to work hard, because they will never be appreciated. Similarly, my friend’s counterparts abroad will found it difficult to extract that extra mile out of her, as they could only comment on faults.

Bottom line: Nobody can manage to say thanks. Productivity, and thus revenue, and thus profits, suffers.

Simple, ain’t it. You don’t need an MBA to get it , and yet most mangers just cannot understand.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Dale Carnegie training course on this subject. The course is run all over the world, which shows the need and demand. Stats were quoted all over the place to prove the basic point. 

Research from Mercer Delta shows that engaged employees deliver 4 times more value to the organisation than non-engaged employees.

Dr Robert Brooks has written extensively on this theme.

If there’s one thing the winners of the Globe 100’s Top Places to Work have in common, it’s this: They all believe it’s good business to keep employees satisfied, motivated, and working hard. Show them respect. But in today’s economy, when layoffs are more common than bonuses and perks, how do you do that?…… In my consultations I have found that employees will be motivated to perform with quality and energy in those environments in which they feel appreciated, they feel their voice and opinion is heard and respected, they know that they can advance as their skills are honed, and they know that their bosses are accessible and supportive.

Brooks and the Carnegie lecture have two factors in common. First, they recognise that managers are often hired because of academic qualifications or experience, but little emphasis is focused on their ability to inspire.

Second, the key to inspiring is learning how to become a friend with your colleagues. In return, the advice offered and the requests inparted by “friends” are listened to and acted upon. In modern parlance, managers need to learn to network.

Find a way to show workers sincere appreciation and they will perform. It’s usually cheaper than a pay rise. No technology is required.

Ever wondered why so many people in positions of responsibility fail at this task?

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One Comment on “Managers aversion to saying “thank you””


  1. […] recently wrote about how inspiring bosses are those who find a way to become a friend with their colleagues. Call […]


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