You can’t have dessert until you eat your dinner, make sure you look both ways before crossing the street, don’t talk to strangers, always say please and thank you – especially at the grandparents house! Remember teaching or being taught these basic safety rules and manners? But what about now?

Wind the clock forward to 2020 when we all have so many things to think about – even going to the grocery store can be stressful and dinner out has turned into curbside pickup. Here is a question for all business owners, leaders and co-workers – whatever happened to saying thank you to others and showing your appreciation? It’s such a powerful and simple thing to do. Given the current pandemic world we live in even having your employees come to work may deserve a thank you.

For most businesses, recognition can take many forms. Of course, some companies have very elaborate and costly reward and recognition programs. However, in our complex world sometimes going back to basics may be a good thing. There is a lot to be said for simplicity and politeness that has become lost in today’s world. The power of a sincere “thank you” can really go a long way. It is very interesting to hear that many business leaders are very uncomfortable with saying thank you to their employees for some reason. When asked why, quite often the response is “we have to give them something more than a thank you, that’s too easy and it isn’t attached to anything of monetary value.”

Ironically, one of the top reasons employees leave their company is they don’t feel appreciated by their boss for the work they do. This fact hasn’t changed in the last 20 years in exit survey data. Taking this into consideration, is a genuine thank you to an employee really something we should ignore? We don’t think so. The beauty of a thank you is that it costs you absolutely nothing, but can mean the world to a hard working employee who is wondering if anyone notices their commitment and dedication.

Here is a challenge for you this week. Reach out to at least 3 employees on your team or 3 clients and tell them thank you. Let them know they are appreciated and you’re glad you work with them. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised by their reaction. Making a sincere thank you a part of your leadership toolkit could be the best thing you ever did.