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The shelf life of thank you

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A culture of recognition has to start at the top. ‘Thank you for doing a great job’ acknowledges exceptional staff behaviour and costs nothing.

That said, there’s a shelf life on ‘Thank you’ and ‘Great job’. Here’s why:

Situation #1

As a manager you invite Jane into your office for a one-on-one discussion. You say: “Jane, I was to thank you for your efforts over the past month. You’ve done a great job. Well done.”

Jane leaves your office feeling motivated and inspired that she’s been recognised.

Situation #2

At a team meeting you recognise Peter as follows. “I would like to make everyone aware of the tremendous job Peter has done over the last three months. He has come into work early, left late, and ensured that our project deadlines with company ABC were met. Peter, thank you.”

Peter receives a round of applause and is pumped with the accolade.

Situation #3

At a company meeting you praise Natalie. You say: “Guys, I would like to acknowledge Natalie. Over the past six months she has worked tirelessly to promote our business and sell our new product lines.”

“As a result of her fantastic efforts, we have made an additional $1.5 million profit so I bought myself a new Ferrari. Thank you, Natalie.”

How does Natalie feel? I can guarantee it won’t be positive. Remember the ‘What’s in it for me?’ rule.

While ‘Thank you’ and ‘Great job’ can play a significant role in a culture of recognition, at some stage you need to share the spoils of your success by rewarding your high-performing employees.

Rewards should inspire your staff to continue performing at a high level. They should also reflect the value of their contribution to your business.

Tony Delaney is the founder and managing director of Brownie Points Australia. Tony has 30 years experience selling software and services solution to major corporations around the world.

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