It’s been an exciting few weeks at Benefex, with the launch of our new Recognition app, which this week we rolled out internally for all of our employees to use. We’ve been huge fans of peer to peer recognition for a number of years now, and having the opportunity to now deliver this via our own software was a pretty landmark moment for us.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why peer to peer recognition is so important and so effective. Explaining it far better than I could, this post from Benefex Insight guru Simon Andrew outlines exactly why the simple gesture of a thank you is so incredibly important.

We all know how great someone thanking us makes us feel. We see the success and the value added by peer to peer recognition schemes.

So why is it, that as managers, we so often forget to thank our people?

A series of unfortunate excuses

It is easily done. In a busy and evolving world of work, we are invariably already focused on the next task ahead before the previous one is even completed. With our minds on what’s still to be done, we can forget to celebrate the successful completion of what’s gone before.

We might also be guilty of the mindset that says we shouldn’t need to thank employees for carrying out what is expected of them. That’s what we pay them for, isn’t it?

Frequently, with the rise in remote and flexible working practices, we find ourselves not in the same location as our teams. The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ clearly articulates the challenge. If we haven’t been there to see someone deliver, it’s unlikely to be high on our list to remember to thank them.

And, in a working environment which is moving away from the annual appraisal process to real time feedback, we might feel that a thank you isn’t required. If we’re going to be sitting down with someone in a couple of weeks’ time to run through their monthly one to one and feed back on their progress against targets, do we really need to thank them as well?

Truly real time feedback

The irony of us using all of the above as excuses not to remember those two little words, whilst at the same time having personally experienced the substantive difference someone thanking you for what you have done can make to your state of mind, surely cannot be lost on any of us.

You might have the greatest ‘real-time’ feedback system in place ever. But, if you’re omitting this most basic of communications from your management relationship with your employee, you cannot ever claim to be truly giving feedback in real time.

The effort of remembering to say thank you is minimal. The impact, on the other hand, can be transformational. In the space of two syllables, your employee might have gone from feeling that no one cares about them, no one notices the efforts that they’re making… to feeling on top of the world, because actually, their hard work is being appreciated and they are a truly valued member of the team.

We will continue to automate our workplaces and take advantages of new technologies and ways of working. As we do so, let’s ensure that we don’t forget the basics. A simple thank you costs literally nothing to say… but can mean everything to the person we’re saying it to.