It’s sorta expected, in our business.
After all, we’re outside experts or, at the best, business partners who work with companies on a variety of short- and long-term projects. Though we might be around for a while, we’re definitely hired help.
All fine. So the idea of thanks (given to us) is somewhat novel, and one that’s never guaranteed. Nonetheless, we do perk up when we hear good words, and remember the whos and whats of the conversation.
What’s unexpected, though, is the endemic lack of thanks today in the workplace, full-time colleagues and leaders who work for one company. In its typical fashion, The Wall Street Journal, late last year, riffed on a recent “there’s no gratitude” survey, then proceeded to set up a typology of those managers who just couldn’t show appreciation. To us, the publication’s five characters were (pick one): 1) somewhat stereotyped, 2) overblown, and/or 3) created for the sake of a headline.
For whatever reasons (and feel free to make up your own), thanks just isn’t embedded in contemporary vocabularies. Or, if it is, it’s somehow, er, fake. How many times have you gotten an e-missive that, oh by the way, acknowledges your contributions (usually the middle of a list of things you have to do)? Or been lobbed an off-handed compliment on the way out the door?
We’re not imagining this. Survey says, for instance, that only 10 percent utter a thank you to colleagues, while 7 percent manage to be gracious to the boss-person. Are dollars or other tangible rewards good substitutes for an authentic note about “job well done”? Is everyone way too busy to look back and forward on a day’s work to compliment the support given? Or do we need to add an amendment to the Ten Big Ones about being grateful each and every day?
Aretha, you got it right.