Stop right now, thank you very much

Stop right now, thank you very much

What infuriates you more? When you hold the door open for someone and they don’t say ‘thank you’ or when someone doesn’t hold it open? Find out how 74% of those asked responded. And why recognition matters so much.

Take a moment to ask yourself this:


Why does not being thanked for a simple act annoy 74% of us?

It’s just a door, right? It seems not. It’s about more than applying gentle pressure to a surface for a little longer than necessary. It’s about respect.

We’ve been saying thank you since the 14th Century. And in 2018 we’re all time-poor – so the simple gesture of saying thank you carries more weight than ever. And not being thanked for our efforts can be perceived as disrespectful. We want our efforts – no matter how small – to be valued. Simple acts like holding a door open and being thanked for it help us build meaningful relationships with each other.

So, what stops us from saying ‘thank you’?

Dr. Laura Trice gave a TED Talk on the subject of the power of a simple thank you. It’s well worth 3 minutes 29 seconds of your time. Laura noticed that she’d want to say thank you to people but often didn’t. Largely because she felt shy or embarrassed.

Saying thank you means giving praise, but it’s a two-way street. You’re likely to be praised in return with a smile, a nod or a response like “that’s ok”. We all need recognition and appreciation but asking for what we need can be difficult.

Crucially, Laura also points out that thanking people for things we expect them to do is just as important as recognising the ‘extra mile’ moments.

And it’s no different when we’re at work.

The Open University’s Enduring Love project found that “when adults were asked to identify two things their long-term partner does to make them feel appreciated, saying ‘thank you’ was the top answer. Ways of expressing thanks varied from ‘she thanked me for cooking dinner and ate it even though it was awful’ to telling the children they have a great mother. And making a cup of tea.” 

We can take some of the things we do well at home and apply them to Post Office to make it a better place for everyone.

This means rewarding and thanking people for the things they do every day.

This can range from a simple thanks from line manager in a 121 or more formally using the  

the ‘giving thanks’ template on the People Hub for something a little extra.

And for anyone who has really gone the extra mile, you could take a moment to nominate a team member for their everyday excellence.

The People Awards are coming up. Nominating someone is just like holding a door open: you don’t have to do it, but it has a halo effect. Recognising someone you feel deserves to have their efforts recognised is a specific, genuine way of saying thank you. One that helps us build and nurture a culture of trust at Post Office. As we’ve said before, trust is created by many small actions over time.