Thursday, June 05, 2008

The power of "thank you"

At work, I'm in charge of employee relations. It's a broad job that encompasses hiring, firing and a lot in between. One of my main goals is to make our managers even better all the time, so they make our employees better and happier. One of the things I've tried to teach managers is that sincere recognition means more to most people than anything we can give them. Yes, they are there to make a living, but that's expected. This goes beyond that, so we can show our staff that we really appreciate them.

Interestingly, I was able to utilize the simplest of these skills on the way home from work. I had stopped at a supermarket to buy food to make dinner. I used one of the self-checkout lines, and there was a young man at the end of these lines. He was bagging groceries as they reached the end of the conveyor, so all customers had to do after they finished checking out was pick up their bags and go.

He was a nice looking young man whose name tag said, "Ryan." (And no, I wasn't nice to him because he was nice looking. He was all of about 17 or 18, so it wasn't like that!) By the time I got to the end to pick up my bags, he had moved to the next line.

I put my bags in my cart, and, having noticed his name earlier, said, "Hey, Ryan." He turned and looked at me. "Thank you." And with that, his face lit up with a big smile. "You're welcome, sir."

With that, the world got a little happier and friendlier. So simple.


Greg said...

It really is that simple, and I think we all know deep down how good it feels to be recognized for what we do, beyond the necessary evil of cash.

Please and Thank You, greasing the wheels of society for time immemorial!

(So, explain to me now why Ryan's being only 17 or 18 actually precluded you from impure thoughts?)

Jess said...

Greg: Oh, he looked more like a kid. You know, there's that age line, below which I feel less like jumping a guy and more like offering him milk and cookies. He was just too young. Not that there aren't exceptions, but I usually like to ogle guys in their late 20s or so. That's just me.

ATG said...

I agree with you 110%. I like how something as simple as direct eye contact and a sincere thank you means so much to anyone and everyone.

RE: Your comment above, I used to say 23 was the magic number. ;) For ogling, not pursuing.

I don't think I have your email address. I guessed based on your profile. Am I correct? Look for an odd underscore vegetable in your in box. :)

CoffeeDog said...

I have recently decided to turn over a new leaf at work and try to be nicer. It's not that I've been an ugly monster before, but now I make sure I voice my appreciation a little louder.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

What a nice post!

Kiss My Mike said...

Simple gestures make a big difference. Thank you for this post!

Matt said...

It's always nice to receive a simple "Thank You". I know for me it boosts my self confidence knowing I'm being appreciated, and I think that's something we all can relate too.

Jess said...

ATG: As you know by now, you got the address right!

CD: I understand. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to be nice, unfortunately... especially if someone already pissed me off earlier in the day!

Todd: Thanks. It felt like a moment worth sharing.

KMM: They sure do!

Matt: Yup, you hit it on the head!