The Two Most Important Words Managers Should Say Regularly

The Two Most Important Words Managers Should Say Regularly

“Thank you.” It’s such a simple thing to say, but it’s incredibly powerful. If you’re a supervisor or in a similar leadership position, a show of appreciation for your team can be even more motivating and loyalty-building than money.

Picture: Paul Downey/Flickr

The Harvard Business Review quotes Mary Kay Ash, who put it this way: “There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.”

Saying thanks isn’t mind-blowing advice, but I bet there are plenty of organisations where “thank you” could be said much more often. HBR offers these tips for showing appreciation more effectively:

  • Set aside time every week to acknowledge people’s good work.
  • Handwrite thank-you notes whenever you can. The personal touch matters in the digital age.
  • Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.
  • Remember to cc people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”
  • Foster a culture of gratitude. It’s a game changer for sustainably better performance.

For more on the magic of these two words in the workplace, check out the article below.

The Two Most Important Words [Harvard Business Review]


  • Simple but profound! I couldn’t agree more!

    The challenge unfortunately in the corporate world is that managers seem to be trying to get more out of their employees for less which unfortunately creates the opposite sentiment. Even when managers use the “thank you” words very often it is seen to be empty by employees given that the maaager’s managers are pushing the manager to get more out of their employees for less.

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