The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

Two Simple Words

When times are tough and businesses have to reduce budgets or cut back, IT support often has a big target on its back because they are typically a cost center with a fairly large number of employees. There have been times in my career as a manager when I’ve had to let my staff know that there would be no raises or bonus checks during their annual evaluations. This is a difficult message to give and to recieve, but like it or not as managers we are accountable to our leadership.

This nearly always raises questions from the manaagers who work for me. If we can’t hand out money, how do we let people know they’re doing a good job? When all else fails, there’s always two simple words.

Thank You.

In our fast-paced lives we often forget those simple words. You can use them any time, any where, for practically any reason. Many would be surprised at just how effective these words can be in motivating a team or individual.

canstockphoto6302505There are a few ways you can do this. As my team is distributed around the world, I’ve frequently used written notes. If someone has done something exceptional or finished a long project, a brief handwritten note that is specific and thankful will always be appreciated. In fact, even in good years when we’ve been able to hand out bonus checks or awards, I’ve followed up with a handwritten note – the bonus or award would be delivered by the person’s direct manager, and they would get the thank-you note from me as the department head.

Don’t underestimate the value of publicly thanking people, either. When someone has put in a lot of effort on a project that has a wide-ranging impact, let everyone know about the success of the initiative and thank the contributors by name.

Words have power. Long after money is gone, people will remember your words and actions. Always use those two simple words! Thank you.

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