Merge's Blog

Employee motivation 101: Say thank you!

Employee motivation tip #8 was to eat together.  In our continuing series of video blogs on this topic, here is another easy tip on increasing employee motivation on your team.

Say thank you!

Ground-breaking research on employee motivation conducted by Dr. Elton Mayo in the 1930’s gave rise to the Hawthorne Effect.  In essence, the Hawthorne Effect describes a fundamental concept that may seem obvious to us today: that workplaces are social environments and people thrive in positive and respectful surroundings.  And the most (glaringly) obvious way to create a positive and respectful work environment is to say thank you!

You can’t just think it, you have to say it!

It’s what our mothers taught us years ago, and it’s as golden now as it was back then.  Now the important word here is “say”, as in verbalize it, put it into words, don’t just think it, say it.  And say it to the employee, not to others!  Very often we think about saying thank you, we have the best of intentions, but then other priorities come up, and our good intentions fall by the wayside.  For this employee motivation tool to work, you actually have to verbalize your thanks, not just think it.

When you take the time to say “thank you”, you accomplish two things.  First, because it’s the courteous thing to do, you create a respectful workplace.  And second, you set an example for others.  If you’re in a position of leadership, then you’re also a role model (whether you know it, like it, or want it … or not!), and when you make it a point to say “thank you”, you establish the accepted behaviour norms on your team.

Employee motivation 101: say thank you.  It doesn’t get any easier than this!  Agree?  Or disagree?  Please share your perspective.

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