The Power of ‘Thanks’

ThankYouInfographicWe here at The Curci Group talk a lot about leadership, communication, and engagement, offering a lot of advice on various things to do and not do. But there’s just one very small thing you can do today that will have a dramatic impact on the productivity and engagment of your employees: say “thank you.”

A study recently release by Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino performed an experiment using 41 call-center employees. At the end of the week, the supervisor personally thanked about half of the employees. The remaining employees did not receive a “thanks.” The following week, those employees who were thanked saw its call volume increase by about 50% while the call volume of those who were not acknowledged did not change from the week before.

The next experiment studied the trickle-down effect that gratitude can have on the willingness of your employees to help one another.  They asked 57 students to give feedback to a fictitious student, Eric, on his poorly written cover letter. “Half were emailed a terse confirmation: ‘I received your feedback on my cover letter.’ The other half received gratitude: ‘I received your feedback on my cover letter. Thank you so much! I am really grateful.’”

Next, students received another request for feedback, this time from “Steven,” on his fictitious cover letter. It turns out that those students who were in the gratitude group were more likely to help Steven. “More than double the percentage of the students from the gratitude group (66 percent) helped Steven, versus just 32 percent of those in the non-gratitude contingent.”

Hearing thanks makes us feel good, so we’re more likely to work hard and  want to help other people. So take a second and say “thank you.”

Thank you.