I was talking to a couple of my younger clients this past week, and they said something that really jumped out at me. They were talking about how their leaders had bragged to somebody in their workplace about them, and then told them directly how great they were doing. My clients told me how great it made them feel, especially since they had only been working there a short time.
I responded by telling them how important it is for leaders to always recognize their people… not just when they begin working for them, but continuously throughout their career. I continued by telling them that one thing people never get tired of hearing is how well they are doing, especially from their boss. Simple words like “thanks” and “great job” never seem to grow old, and continue to motivate and inspire employees throughout their entire career; from the first day to the last.
Think about this for a moment. It really makes no difference whether you have a great day or a really rough day. If the final words you hear just before walking out the door are words of encouragement from your leader, chances are those parting words will stick with you for a while—possibly a long while! If you had a bad day, you’ll now have some encouraging words to think about instead of all the bad stuff that occurred throughout your day. In both cases, you will walk out the door holding your head a little higher… knowing that your leader recognized your efforts and took the time to tell you.
The 7 words that all great leaders say daily are “Thanks, you did a great job today!”
Those parting words at the end of the day can make a great day greater; they can make bad day, not so bad. Those words can inspire employees leaving work feeling beat down, and allow them to feel great about themselves (and their job). Those 7 words can give hope to your entire workforce.
Those 7 parting words can be even more powerful if you can add specific job-related events to them, as that will make it more personal for each employee. Tell them how great their customer service skills were; how great their attitude was; how great they handled a tough customer; how accurate their work was; how quick they are learning, etc. Make it personal!
I know what some of you may be thinking… sometimes it’s difficult to find the “greatness” in your employee’s daily work! However, I’m sure if you look close enough, you will discover something they did throughout the day that was great. Of course, if you can’t find something great, you should be addressing their “not-so-great” performance as you see it during the day—not at the end of the day! Then, if they improve as the day goes on, you have something to compliment them on at the end of the day.
The bottom line is these 7 words can change your entire workforce—it can encourage, motivate, and inspire them. These 7 words cost you nothing, yet can leave a lasting impression with your employees. The parting words you choose to say (or not say) to your people as they leave work each day will be what they remember on their way home, throughout their evening, and possibly throughout their career… make them count!