I don't do PSA type posts often but today's post is a break from more in-depth subject matter. I was reminded recently that I need to say thank you more often to the people in my life. No one said this to me or called this out. But I was having a conversation with someone that was clearly exhausted from busting their butt and when I said I appreciated their hard work (and meant it) their face lit up. It was almost as though a weight was lifted off their shoulders. Their exhaustion seemed to matter and make a difference. That was all the reminder I needed. I was reminded how important it is to just stop and tell someone that you appreciate them.
How many times have you busted your butt to finish a project on time, help out a co-worker, or generally do something awesome or thankless for your team only to have the act go unrecognized? In my opinion, this is a big problem in the technology industry, but one that doesn't need to exist. This is especially important if you're a manager of individual contributors.
All too often we have very packed roadmaps and very busy schedules. As an industry it's not uncommon for us to be queueing up the next big thing before we even have the current thing we're working on out the door. This is great from a delivery perspective and can be helpful in providing a sense of urgency. But what often gets lost in the transition is taking a moment (and I really mean just a moment) to recognize the hard work of those around you.
As managers in the tech industry we often make the mistake of believing that as long as our employees are well paid that they're happy. But a well paid employee who isn't getting recognized isn't getting fully compensated. They're lacking the ability to feel like they matter. A simple thank you goes a long way in making someone feel like a valued member of the team.
Saying thank you can come in many forms. The most obvious is verbal public recognition. But it can also be a small note in an email. Or bringing donuts for your teams daily scrum or planning meeting.
The end of a project isn't the only time to say thanks. You should be saying thank you when you see something that you appreciate. Saying thank for the small things also lets people know you're paying attention. This could be noticing someone be extra helpful in helping a co-worker to solve a problem. It could be for someone doing a better job than you in communicating to the team. It can be someone who's just always on top of things and doesn't let them drop on the floor.
My advice to you is to take the opportunity to stop for 1 minute and thank the people on your team that are busting their butts each and every day to make the team successful.