A blog about reputation, marketing and employee morale.

Thank your employees often

Posted by Janet Smith on August 14, 2008

Employees need to be thanked…a lot. So says “guru of thank you” Bob Nelson, author of the bestselling 1001 Ways to Reward Employees—and he should know. Bob wrote the book in 1994, and has updated it a few times. It’s been reprinted something like 52 times—and more than 1.5 million copies have been sold. So this guy knows a thing or two about thanking employees.

In an interview that took place nearly a year ago, Bob said, “The number one reason people leave their jobs today is that they don’t feel recognized for the job they’re doing.” I know this. Maybe you know this. But a whole lot of managers, bosses and others don’t have a clue. I often am told,” All my employees care about is how much money they make.”

Not true. And in this interview, Bob Nelson gives a terrific explanation of why the paycheck doesn’t make people happy. He said, “Peter Drucker, who’s the father of modern management, once said that money is always used initially to reward performance, but in no time at all it becomes an expectation and eventually it becomes an entitlement. People expect to get a raise just for sticking around another year. And in the typical organization, only three per cent of the base pay separates average from outstanding performers; there’s no alignment of compensation around performance. But not everyone gets recognition, and that’s partly why it means so much.”

Bob’s talking about that basic management principal, “you get what you reward.” So if what you want is more outstanding work from an employee, say thank you the very next time that employee performs an iota of outstanding work. Demonstrate appreciation! Write a note, take them to lunch, acknowledge the work in a staff meeting…whatever seems right.

There are lots of ways to say thank you…and if you need more ideas, you might check out Bob’s book. Just make sure that one way or another, you frequently thank your employees.

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