Some may say that leadership is something of a thankless task, and it can certainly feel that way. But if you’re in a leadership position, this can sometimes go with the territory. After all, it’s lonely at the top – or so they say. But what about the reverse situation? Should leaders be using those two little words – “thank you” – a little more with their employees?

Gratitude and the power of positive feedback

If you’ve ever read any research on the power of positive reinforcement, you’ll know that it’s often a superior motivational tool than the opposite.  Praising people for what they do right rather than chastising them for their mistakes is often the path to success – especially in business.  And it’s this idea of praise which links directly to gratitude and our key phrase, “thank you”.  If you’ve ever had a boss who was hard to please, you’ll know how great it felt when they praised your work and thanked you for the effort.  A core part of developing effective leadership skills is knowing that a simple “thank you” can have a hugely positive impact on employees.

Closing the hierarchy gap

Another key aspect of employee development is the understanding that having a perceived hierarchy gap can be damaging to morale.  What does this mean specifically?  Well, if your front-line employees never hear any positive feedback from their managers or their manager’s manager, they’ll feel totally disconnected from the company.  A simple utterance of “thank you” in either a one-on-one or group setting can be enough to make employees of any level feel valued by the leadership of a company.

Delphinium - the surprising power of thank you

Driving motivation and nurturing job satisfaction

Motivating employees is a challenge which all leaders face – no matter how much management training they’ve received.  But if you don’t incorporate gratitude into your day-to-day business life, you’ll find the task even tougher.  The longer your employees feel neglected and ignored by their leaders, the more their motivation will drop, and with it, their job satisfaction.  It may sound almost too simple, but by specifically calling people out with a quick “thank you”, you could give them a shot of motivation which lasts months.

If you’d like to develop your leadership skills and learn more about the role of gratitude, get in touch with Delphinium today for some expert training.  We’re certain you’ll thank us for it.

Gemma Rolstone

Gemma Rolstone

Helping good managers to become great leaders