A few weeks ago I was in my local Starbucks, my third place per their culture. While there the store manager and I struck up a conversation. I shared with her how great a job her staff had done at making me feel welcome. They call me by name, know what I am drinking and always smile. They brighten every morning. Recently when I was promoted they congratulated me with a free Americano (my favorite drink on the menu). I shared all this with the store manager not expecting anything in return. It was just a genuine opportunity to say thank you and mean it.
So what happens? The next day I went into the store, the staff knew I had complimented them and they PICKED UP THEIR GAME! They had my drink on the counter before I could even order. The franchise known for legendary service had done so again!
What’s the lesson here? Its simple isn’t it, say thank you. Share with people what they do well. As a leader how can you discard this important ability? Genuine affirmation is a pure motivator. Sprinkle it liberally onto your team and colleagues and watch what happens. See if those around you don’t brighten their mood, work just a little harder.
Caution! If you run into someone who disagrees with this point, thinks you should keep employees down and force them to work hard and not get any recognition. Often they will say things like that’s part of their basic job why should I thank them for doing their job?! Run Away! They are not leaders they are dinosaurs! You know one day I just may hold a leadership development seminar just to get people to learn how to say thank you to one another. Based on the lack of positive affirmation and common courtesy, such a seminar would either be a huge success or a dismal failure