Is Leadership a Thankless Job? 3 Ways to Change That

Appreciation-Blog-11-20-13 Is Leadership a Thankless Job? 3 Ways to Change That - Fierce, Inc. - Fierce, Inc.

When doing research for this blog, I looked for studies and articles that focused on the importance of telling leaders thank you. Truth is there’s not a lot out there. The dialogue around employee appreciation and the role leaders need to play in recognizing their staff was tremendous; however, when it comes to telling leaders their doing a good job the conversation was nonexistent.

A Fierce Survey conducted last year, that focused on the relationship between leaders and their direct reports showed that, in fact, 80% of respondents reported a positive working relationship with their boss. So if most of us appreciate the job our bosses are doing, the question then becomes: Are we telling them?

Some are, and with employee engagement at an all-time low, my guess is the praise is thin all around. The truth is leadership should not be thankless job. When leaders feel under appreciated the morale, productivity, and engagement of the whole organization suffers. Below are three ways to say thank to your leader for a job well done.

Give a Personal Example

Our organization has a very generous maternity policy, one that I did not appreciate until I became pregnant. Upon returning to work, I made sure I specifically thanked our CEO for her commitment to family. Sharing personal stories or how their leadership has impacted you directly can be a great way to say thank you.

It’s Not About You

I’m uncomfortable with receiving recognition and so I think others are too. Then I don’t give it out as often as I should. Add on top of that the extra anxiety you might feel about saying thank you to your boss – what if I look like a suck up? And all of a sudden a year has gone by and you haven’t told your leader you appreciate them once. The reality is, it’s not about you. It’s about the other person. Make it about them and share something appreciative.

Don’t Wait Tell the Holidays

While it’s great to say thanks during the holidays, it shouldn’t be the only time of the year your boss hears from you. Immediate positive feedback and appreciation is so powerful. It builds emotional capital and encourages a culture of gratitude. It also lets your boss know that you are actually onboard with their direction and leadership, which is very helpful for them to know.  That means when a misstep does occur, it can be talked about openly and the relationship is strong enough to have the conversation.

What stops you from saying thank you to your leaders?

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