The Power of “Thank You” in Business and at Work


In this season of Thanksgiving, now more than ever, I continue to marvel at the power of “thank you” in business and at work.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down.  The childhood prospect of feasting on my favorite foods (e.g. stuffing and more stuffing) has taken a back seat to the real joy of pausing and taking stock of gratitudes, both given and received, from clients, colleagues, family and friends.

A recent gem was included in the envelope with the weekly payment from one of my clients.  This client, by the way, holds the prompt payor record to date in the history of my business.  Last month, I emailed an invoice for the prior week’s services at 6 AM the morning of my weekly onsite meeting.  When I arrived onsite at 8:30 AM that same morning, a check for the 6 AM invoice was waiting for me.  Talk about radical customer service!

Earlier this month, I opened the envelope containing my payment for the prior week’s work.  The handwritten note on the check stub, for me, was priceless:

Deb –

Thank you!

[Owner]

I can’t begin to describe how delighted and touched I was by this note; in all of my years of working, I’d never received a spontaneous thank-you note like that from an extremely busy and senior customer, internal or external.  It pretty much eclipsed the lyrical letter I received years ago accompanying a management award I was given for successfully facilitating a team to work better together and successfully complete a $30 million project.  Why?  Because it came authentically and spontaneously from the heart of appreciation for my work, acknowledging, seeing my goal to support my client’s success.  It’s hanging in my office, and every time I look at it, it continues to delight me.  The COO for the same client does the same in their emails to me, brightening my week with unexpected (but always welcome) thank-you’s.   These genuine thank-you’s underscore how much I enjoy my work with them.

To paraphrase Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly:  Gratitude, pardon the expression, is like manure:  it’s not worth a thing unless you spread it around, encouraging young things to grow, in business and at work.

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