How to Create a Thanking Culture


Something on a PowerPoint slide at a presentation recently captured my attention and fancy. The point on the slide was about the “thinking culture” of a particular company, but the word “thinking” was misspelled to “thanking”. Hmm (I thought)….a “thanking culture”. What might that look like? We so often hear that a paycheck is thanks enough for employees. For many, this just isn’t true; people are hungry to know that they are appreciated. Thanking them not only makes people feel good, but it could make you and your organization more effective. As a leader, you set the tone – if you start appreciating others, it just may catch on.

When you create a culture of appreciation, it’s good for your followers, for you, and for your organization because:

Employees feel valued for the work they do and chances are that when employees feel valued, they will be more engaged and willing to go the extra mile when it’s needed.

Clarity of direction becomes evident because as you reinforce the right work through thanking others, you also spread the word about what is valued and important.

Employees take personal responsibility to be their best because when you thank them, you reinforce their desire to get even better at what they do.

Your organization will develop a habit of expressing their gratitude because you are modeling it. Others will follow, spreading a culture of thanks throughout your organization.

Appreciation is scarce in so many organizations. As a leader, you can change that. Start by noticing what people are doing right. Thank them for it. Then notice what people are doing exceptionally well. Thank them for it. Public recognition, a note, a small token of appreciation go so much further than a paycheck will. Who needs your appreciation? When will you give it to them?


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Mary Jo Asmus is the founder and President of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC, an executive coach, writer, internationally recognized thought leader, and a consultant who partners with organizations of all kinds to develop and administer coaching programs. She has “walked in your shoes” as a former leader in a Fortune company.


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