Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Say Thank You!!

man-mopping-hotel-floorI spend a lot of time in hotels and airports. Often when I see someone sweeping the floor, emptying the trash or cleaning the bathroom I will stop and say, “Thank you so much for keeping everything clean, it looks wonderful.” You should see the smiles I get when I tell them that. And it is totally sincere, these are people who work hard every day at dirty jobs to keep things clean for us. I do very much appreciate their work and I like to take the time, from time-to-time, to give them an honest and heartfelt “thank you.” So the next time you see someone who is not necessarily in the spotlight, but still giving you great service, I encourage you to let them know that you value their work, it will help both of you have a better day. Better even, it will become a habit and you will begin to look for people who you can genuinely compliment throughout your day, making every day a little bit better for all of you. It’s a nice way to be nice.

Comments

  1. John, you and I both. I recently did a long day, morning in NYC, evening in San Jose. The bathroom in Penn station was absolutely disgusting. The bathroom in Charlotte during a layover was spotless. A business difference I noticed was a tip jar in Charlotte. I placed a dollar in the tip jar, but the thank you was worth more than the dollar to the employee. The extreme opposite of course were the windshield washers of NYC at every red light. But what do we do as leaders to recognize great behavior. Arby’s uses a bell by the door. In sales do we have a “wall of fame” where we recognize achievement? Do we broadcast it? Are we sincere in it’s deliver? Do we give a $1000 sales award, or ten $100 awards? John, let me end by saying THANK YOU for making us think about being better.

  2. Andy Storch says:

    Great post and reminder. I do this sometimes but not enough. So great to be able to thank those in the others “thankless” jobs. And like you and David above, I travel a lot and definitely notice these things. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. That’s a beautiful act John. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  4. Stefanie Bassler says:

    Great post, and great wake up call. Reminds us to appreciate the small things that make our lives more pleasant. Cheers!

  5. Mike Lefebvre says:

    John you are so correct how a simple term that is heartfelt goes a long distance. Just recently I sent a communication to my team with the purpose of showing appreciation of their recent efforts. Although we didn’t hit the target yet I decided to leave the communication to say thank you for the results to date. That communication has generated more responses than prior communications, also it re-engaged those who’s results were sliding. Selfishly in a plain and simple way it left me and my direct reports feeling happy we sent it.

  6. John,
    Thank you to remind us this simple thing that surely makes our world warmer.

  7. I love speaking with REAL people. Saying thanks is one of my favorite things to do-there is dignity in EVERY job done well. Thanks for the reminder, John!

  8. Getting their name and sending a “thank you” note to their boss will change their lives forever!

  9. I agree with you. “It’s nice to be nice.” and to say thank you. It just makes life work better. Not just because you don;t know anything but to be timid. It’s not that at all. It’s in the will to be nice and grateful. Both of which I feel right now about you sending me your information and blog.

    All the best to you

    Elizabeth McCleary

  10. paula green says:

    John, it’s such a simple but profoundly important thing to do. Give Thanks. Be Thankful. it benefits others – as well as ourselves. Thank YOU for reminding us that we can all make a difference – even a small one.
    PG

  11. I agree 1,000%. I make it a point every time I check out when there’s someone “bagging” the groceries to thank them for bagging. I stop, get their attention, look them straight in the eye (well, not menacingly!) and let them know they did a great job. I’d say, 60-70% of the time a broad smile crosses their face and I do believe I see them experiencing some relief!

    Someone recognizes them and is appreciative of them. It DOES make a big difference to them…and to me.

  12. Thank you so much John for this post… it was drilled into me as a young boy by my parents to always say “Please and thank you”… a practice that is invaluable not only in business practice but also in every day life… and you most certainly practice what you preach!

    • Great reminder John. I too try to do the same, but not as often as we should. Even at a drive through line (not that I ever eat fast food…) and the grocery, cleaners, automotive shop, etc a simple smile and ‘thank you very much’ to the other person will often bring a giant smile and may be a very bright point in their day. You never know what they are going home to, or what they are dealing with, so a little cheer can go a long way.

  13. Barry Hall says:

    Hi John,
    I have always said a please and a thank you go a long way. I am pleased that I use them always. Thanks for everything John and keep up the great work.
    Best regards
    Barry.

  14. John, an excellent reminder to see the opportunities where we can express gratitude. To me, there is joy in expressing gratitude and connecting with people.

  15. Elvis HSU says:

    Thank you John for nice post.
    Hard worker is always respected in anywhere/anytime. He/she reminds everyone should be working hard to make things better for the family,for the world we are living. A simple “thank you” with sincerity can make people more closer and comfortable, both even feel the next thing will be great or better things are coming soon. It’s definitely a good habit in everyday’s life beside “say please and I’m sorry”.

  16. Well said, John. I appreciate the perspective. Common sense, but not common practice. Imagine if that employee’s manager would consistently say thank you (I only assume they don’t because most managers don’t understand the power and role of storytelling and thank you at work) and truly recognize the employee, what a difference that would make in the employee’s life at work.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Michal Petras says:

    Succinct and spot on. A marvellous article.

  18. Jeff Caldwell says:

    Great topic and certainly one that does not get enough attention in a results driven world.. yet kindness does get meaningful and long lasting results.
    thanks for taking the time to remind all that small meaningful gestures of kindness pay the greatest life-giving dividends. Keep up the good work John and Thanks for the extra steps you take to do things well!

  19. This was a great blog post, short and sweet. I made sure to share this on my LinkedIn page for others to read. This sounds simple to do, but many people really don’t do it or feel too entitled as people to just say, hey thank you, great work. I have always practiced this, it comes naturally for me and it does make a difference and goes a long way. Thanks John-

  20. Renee Held says:

    Hi John, thank you for this reminder! Too often we are so wrapped up in our own thoughts to appreciate the work of those around us. No matter what job a person is doing, they wouldn’t be doing each job if there wasn’t some sort of “demand” for it to be performed. We are all people and yearn for confirmation of doing a good job.

  21. I have a question regarding telling your customers thank you. I have a subscription based business with the majority of people making weekly purchases from us. I want to implement a scheduled system for acknowledging their purchase and thanking them periodically through email, hand written notes, and small gifts. How often should I reach out and thank my customers for their purchase and loyalty to our company?

    • Matt, thank you for the question. I, of course, know your business well so this is a little bit easier to respond to. First, the THANK YOU should be genuine and specific, a monthly note to thank the customer in an individual way if possible. If you plan to give them gifts, make them at a reasonable price compared to the amount of money they spend with you per year. I would suggest putting on a rolling calendar of different days each 30 or 60 days. In other words, you don’t want to simply send out notes to everybody on the 15th of the month, or send a note at the exact same date to the same client every time. You need to mix it up, make it unique, make it authentic – so that it is a pleasant surprise every time they hear from you. Also, based on the type of business you have, sending them interesting information that would be of real value to your customers would likely be another way to say thank you and show your appreciation. I hope you found this helpful – take good care Matt!