There is no excuse for not saying thank you

Star business writer Jo Davison
Star business writer Jo Davison
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It was one of the first words most of us were taught.

We say it automatically to the waiter who delivers our dinner and the girl on the supermarket till. It trips of the tongue for family and friends.

But some bosses are either too dumb, too rude or too mealy-mouthed to say thank you to their own staff when praise is due.

Half the 2,500 people surveyed for a recruitment company report complain they don’t receive enough thanks from their boss. As a result, they felt under-appreciated and saw their bosses as ungrateful and lacking in manners.

Why is thank you absent in so many workplaces? I can’t understand the rationale. Do control freak types think they get the best out of people by treating them mean to keep them keen? Frankly, any reason is simply inexcusable.

If these bad bosses did but realise, though, it’s SO not a cost-effective management technique, either.

It costs you absolutely nothing, the word thank you. But uttering it to your workforce every time it’s deserved could up your productivity - and actually save you money. (I’ll bet that’s got the ears of Scrooge types pricking up).

They say money doesn’t buy you happiness. But what price feeling appreciated at work? A whopping £1,600 a year, apparently.

Staff who have to put up with ungrateful bosses feel so unhappy, they reckon it would take an extra £134 a month in their pay packets to compensate. Not that most of these workers are motivated by money; 63 per cent would simply prefer a verbal vote of thanks for what they do.

That’s the cost of a family summer holiday they would sacrifice just to feel appreciated; my first thought was I’d prefer the money. And say thank you, of course.

Then I remembered the news editor, many years ago, who took the time to give little notes of thanks to the cub reporters he thought had done a particularly good job that week.

I still have my letters, tucked away. Worth their weight in gold, they are.