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Two magic words with an exhilirating effect.

Two of the most important words managers and supervisors must remember to use are "thank you." It doesn't matter if you verbalize them, write them, or communicate them through tangible rewards. But make a habit of using them to show your gratitude to employees who work hard for the department. You won't regret it.

* Inside the lab. Once you begin thanking employees for their contributions, it will become second nature. You will quickly learn how powerful these words can be. Consider setting aside a few minutes at the end of each day to write short notes of appreciation to laboratorians who have made important contributions throughout the day. Reward individuals who assumed responsibility for projects and made decisions on their own.

Thanks are contagious. Showing staff members that you notice and appreciate the high quality of their work will encourage them and others to follow suit.

Make a point of thanking people who have helped you to complete an important project or to work out a difficult problem. A brief handwritten message saying "Good job. Thanks!" can make all the difference to dedicated lab workers who routinely complete their daily workloads despite understaffing and having to juggle Stat requests between their regular assignments.

Lack of professional recognition is one of the loudest complaints by laboratorians. Act from within to fight the misimpressions of others. Thanking your staff in public is one way to open their eyes.

If your institution publishes a newsletter or bulletin, submit short items that compliment top-notch employees on their special accomplishments. This initiative will go a long way toward getting other professionals to recognize the laboratory's important role in health care.

Every time you acknowledge an employee's contributions to the laboratory, the staff will see you as a sensitive person who is willing to take the time to make them feel good about themselves. Knowing that you care will encourage them to increase their accountability and prompt them to go the extra mile for you. Building employees' self-esteem leads to a more motivated, more productive work force. That makes you a good manager as well as a good person.

* Outside the lab. Once you have become accustomed to showing gratitude to your staff, set aside some time to thank other health care professionals, both within your institution and beyond. You may begin to develop an unexpected cadre of supporters.

Call the nurse who helped you solve a problem. Draft a short letter of appreciation to the physician whose assistance provided missing information for a patient's chart. Compose a simple note of thanks to your administrator when one of your proposals has been approved.

After attending a worthwhile professional seminar or workshop, do you ever think to send the instructor a thank-you note? In this faxfilled, computer-oriented, telephone-happy age, there remains nothing quite like receiving personal correspondence. (What kind of mail at home brightens your day the most?) While standardized thank-you letters from a committee are appreciated, your note will certainly leave a special impression on a speaker. I cherish the personal letters of thanks that I have received over the years and will never forget those who took the time to write them. They will continue to rank high on my list of top professionals with class.

When completing my term as president of the American Society for Medical Technology (ASMT), I sent out 75 personal thank-you notes to various board, committee, and staff members who had contributed to making my year a success. I felt that composing these letters was the least I could do for the volunteers who had graciously contributed their time, expertise, and comradeship to the organization. I hope the recipients felt as good about receiving those notes as I did in writing them.

* Keep the habit. Don't underestimate the power of simple personal touches. Even the smallest tokens of appreciation can mean a great deal to others, particularly when they arrive unexpectedly.

Avoid using the age-old excuse that working people don't need to be thanked, since they are only doing their jobs. So are you - but don't you like to hear the magic words once in a while? Aren't you glad to be thanked for working diligently on a project, and more apt to repeat your performance?

If you make a habit of showing your appreciation, you may be amazed at how many people will thank you, through their words, deeds, and smiles, for thanking them.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:expression of gratitude in personnel management
Author:Barros, Annamarie
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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