It can be difficult to carve out time to thank our colleagues and team members. Leaders, as opposed to managers, make sure that giving thanks is a priority that doesn’t fall to the bottom of their to-do list. Why? Because there are a host of great benefits that result from this virtually expense-free leadership technique.
of employees said they’d feel better about their work and themselves if their boss
them more regularly. 
Below are a few of the reasons that leaders make time to thank their team members regularly:
- Regularly thanking others shows appreciation of work and confirms the value of the work performed.
- Saying “thank you” is a sign of respect. If we do not care enough to say “thank you,” then it may be inferred that we do not care about the person who has helped us.
- Giving thanks can inspire and motivate others.
Are you unsure of when to thank someone? Do you worry that too much thanks will dilute the importance of saying thank you? Some thanks are more meaningful than others because timeliness and authenticity are critical components to offering memorable and appreciated thanks.
The timing: Human beings (as compared to, say, poorly trained Labrador Retrievers) are able to maturely delay immediate gratification. For example, we can convince ourselves to “save” dessert until the end of the meal. Despite having the ability to delay gratification, humans benefit from immediate gratification. Waiting for our annual review to hear a few words of praise and thanks pushes the limits of our human abilities to fully enjoy, or be gratified by, praise and thanks. Giving thanks the day after a big presentation or sending a written note a few days after the completion of a large project are exponentially more rewarding than verbal thanks in a performance review a few months later.
The authenticity: People are also savvy when it comes to sniffing out authentic versus inauthentic thanks. Years ago, I worked for a CEO whose standard form of praise was to say “’preciate it.” Of course, he meant to say “I appreciate it,” but instead he truncated the phrase and slurred the words into an almost unrecognizable phrase. There were a number of reasons why this thanks reeked of being inauthentic but the most troubling was how impersonal and generalized it was. Everyone got the exact same “’preciate it” for any good works – large or small.
Leaders-those who are formally recognized and those who work as unpaid and unofficial leaders-know the power of timely and authentic thanks.
To learn more about how and why to build an engaged workplace, read Sarah Robinson’s soon to be launched book “FRESH Leadership: 5 Skills that Will Transform You and Your Team.” To order your book from Amazon, click here.
Below are comments from early readers and reviewers.
FRESH Leadership, by Sarah Robinson, is a must-read for any leader focused on building an engaged, high-performing team! The insights and tools presented in each chapter of this book are practical and easy to implement. I found myself leveraging them immediately after I started reading; challenging myself and my leaders with the self-examination questions and then utilizing the group discussion questions in leadership team meetings. Among many of the topics addressed in this book, Sarah’s take on service as an essential piece of what distinguishes a leader from a manager is fantastic! I have found that “servant-leader” is such an overused and misunderstood concept, yet Sarah describes it beautifully. Overall, her common sense approach to leadership, bringing together “book smarts” and “street smarts”, make this book perfect for all leaders.
David Mangan, Executive Director, Marketing, Indiana University Health
Sarah does a beautiful job of engaging the reader by mixing research statistics with personal stories. The self-examination questions at the end of each section are powerful and allowed me to refresh the learnings into my own business and personal life. Sarah’s FRESH model is focused and easy to remember; it applies to all of us, no matter our position; it’s a book everyone should read!
JoDee Curtis, SHRM-SCP, Purple Ink LLC, Author of JoyPoweredTM, The JoyPoweredTM family, and The JoyPoweredTM Team
In my company, I am both led by a leader AND I am a leader to a team. Fresh Leadership was very eye opening for me in both aspects of leadership. I now feel empowered to request change from my superiors and implement change in how I lead my team to create the success I aspire for our business. Sarah has filled this book with so many resources to create an environment that will allow myself and my team members to have a work atmosphere that makes us all feel a part of a team. Recognizing everyone’s skills, feelings, frustrations and challenges will enable positive change and solutions. Fresh Leadership is a critical tool to generating a business that employees can thrive, enjoy work and ultimately achieve success!
Elizabeth Urbanski, Etcetera Stylist, District Sales Leader
This is a well-written and practical guide for future and current managers. I love the summary at the end of each chapter and the helpful appendixes. If you ever wanted a list of things to go do, you can find it here. Whether you are a seasoned leader or a brand new one, this book is for you. This is a step by step guide to develop ourselves so we can better develop those we lead.
Laura Hayes, Director of LeadWell, MavPak
Sometimes I think all we need is another book on leadership. But, after reading FRESH Leadership by Sarah Robinson, I am convinced that we did need another leadership book. Ms. Robinson ties together many of the principles we have learned regarding leadership. Then she tweaks those principles and applies them to the fast-paced world we live in today. Covering generational differences – or lack of differences, employee engagement, connection, leading vs. managing, her perspective on each of these topics plus others draw the reader into thoughtful consideration and application. It’s not a hard read but it is one that can make a great impact. I read through the book quickly and then went back to work through the exercises at the end of each chapter. Lastly, I will involve my team in the exercises she suggests to include them in the process. Great points Ms. Robinson! Thanks for sharing!
Sallyann Hulick, Chief Marketing Officer, BSA LifeStructures
FRESH Leadership clearly speaks to overcoming the common pitfalls of a modern workforce – including issues I encounter with my team. Sarah Robinson doesn’t sugarcoat the solutions and the kind of leadership required, instead she makes the real solutions accessible. The self-evaluation and team questions at the end of each chapter get to the heart of what it means to lead a Millennial staff. I am already planning some team building time to apply these helpful tools. “The Unwritten Work Needs of the Present” on page 22 was a big ah-ha and possibly the biggest take-a-way from the entire book – especially as a leader who is hoping to leverage all that Millennials have to offer.
Mathew Feltrop, Executive Director, Patachou Foundation
 “Gratitude Revealed.” John Templeton Foundation, www.templeton.org/grant/gratitude-revealed. 7 Mikel, Betsy. “Science Finds You’d Take a 32 Percent Pay Cut If Your New Job Offered This