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At some point in your life, you have likely experienced the nourishing quality of being thanked for a job well-done. It is also likely that at some point, you have experienced the depleting experience of not being appreciated. Did you know that psychological research has verified that saying “thank-you” can help increase the quality and efficiency of employee performance?




This topic of work-place gratitude came to mind when I heard a recent discussion on CBC radio about good bosses versus terrible bosses. One woman called in to say how much she appreciated it when her boss wrote the words “thank-you” on her pay cheque. “Sometimes getting paid isn’t enough.” explained the caller. “It is nice to have a personal acknowledgement of a job well done.” she said.




In our fluctuating economy, it may seem practical to reduce spending on gifts. It may seem as if gifts are a luxury expense. However, it is important to step back and really acknowledge the true value of appreciating workers and clients. It is also important to evaluate the cost of not saying thank-you. When relationships are not nourished and reinforced, they can become brittle and lead to lost clients or a high turn-over of employees.




According to research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology of the American Psychological Association, employees are likely to be more helpful to others and to work harder when they are thanked. There were several experiments conducted that verified this conclusion. In one study, researchers found that a mere expression of appreciation more than doubled the likelihood that the study participants would provide help again.




In another experiment, when a manager took time to say "thanks" to students for their fundraising efforts, the simple expression of gratitude resulted in an increase of more than 50 percent in the number of calls that the average fundraiser made in a single week.




In a recent article, Leveraging the Power of Thank You, Susan R. Meisinger recounts  the story of her husband, who worked for thirty years and only received acknowledgement for his work when he was about to get laid off. Her husband was elated when a senior executive said in passing, "On behalf of the company, I'd really like to thank you for your 30 years of service." In a matter of seconds, this hard-working man received an overdue feeling of accomplishment.




We hope that these examples will encourage you to feel confidant that your acts of gratitude have excellent, long-lasting business value and ROI. Be sure to check out our “Top 5 Tips for Meaningful Appreciation” in our previous post The Art of Appreciation: how to value people in the workplace. If you have any other ideas or comments in relation to work-place gratitude, please feel welcome to share your thoughts on our Facebook page.