Just five little words that make all the difference and can have an enormous impact on performance. And believe me, they really do work.
So what are these vocabulary gems? And do we hear them as often as we should?
I firmly believe that every person who is responsible for managing staff needs to practice using these all the time – and not just from simple courtesy.
They are: Please, Thank you and Well done. It doesn’t take much to make them part of your everyday interaction with colleagues, and their appropriate use – not simply routine – can bring about transformations in how other folks interact with you, and respond to the tasks they have been assigned.
For almost 19 years before I retired, I worked in an international organization that was multicultural and multi-national – and rather hierarchical. I forget how many different nationalities were represented. And of course, not everybody views the world in the same way. Background and upbringing play an important part as well. But when expectations of performance are filtered through this perspective of culture and background, the outcomes are not always satisfactory.
In a recent post I talked about performance management. In any organization where there is little room to financially reward good performance, employee recognition is so important. Everyone wants to know how they fit in, and to have their contributions acknowledged. Treating all employees – whatever their status – with respect and courtesy, and rewarding good performance when it occurs (not just once a year) can pay dividends, and bring about significant increases in productivity. I’m ashamed to say that I did not always see this respect towards their staff by some of my colleagues. There again, was that just a reflection of the society in which they had grown up, and maybe how they themselves had been treated as juniors? They simply didn’t see any other way to behave.
So remember, a little courtesy and encouragement go a long way.
Incidentally, here’s a nice blog about management speak.