The “Magic” Words that Can Increase Productivity Over 10%!

Thank You!

No, it is not Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or even Meeska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse. It’s the simple, yet powerful, words your Mother taught you from the time you were just out of diapers: “PLEASE” AND “THANK-YOU!”   It seems that those words were spoken in yesteryear a lot more frequently than they are today.

So, where have we gone astray? Over the past several years, I have asked Disney Way workshop participants two questions: “Do you get enough feedback at work?” and “If you got more feedback at work, would you be more productive?” The overwhelming majority enthusiastically answers, “yes” to both questions.

Position “power” (not “personal” power) could be part of the problem. It appears that when many workers are promoted to leadership positions, the feeling of power and control becomes so overwhelming that they completely forget about common courtesy and fail to thank their associates for their efforts.

For over one half of US workers, the time between moments of feedback is more than 30 days. Mary Prescott of reports that only 30% of workers receive any praise from management, but 82% say recognition inspires them. A Bersin and Associates study revealed that companies that regularly thank employees outperform those that do not by 14% in engagement, productivity and customer satisfaction.

Let’s look at a simple way to increase your workgroup’s productivity, moral, and turnover. First of all, discipline is required to provide feedback on a regular basis.  However, this doesn’t mean acting like a robot – walking through the work area every day at 2:30 pm and thanking everyone! That lame method could make people think you are running for a political office and will never pass the sincerity test.

“Appreciative” feedback should be delivered as follows:

  • Be Sincere
  • Be Specific
  • Reinforce Positive Results
  • Care!

Some many think this list may be insufficient to addressing complex performance problems. But, remember the wisdom of two great philosophers: Goethe the German philosopher AND your mother! Goethe said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And our mothers said, “Remember the “magic” words!”

New Year’s resolutions often do not pan out, but try committing to giving appropriate and timely feedback on a regular basis…it will cost you absolutely nothing and the results can be phenomenal.


Next Week:  Stay tuned!