How Should An IT Manager Say “Thanks”?

by drjim on March 27, 2014

There is a lot of power in saying thanks

There is a lot of power in saying thanks
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In the movie Dune the good guys come up with a sonic weapon called a Weirding Module that allows them to transform their spoken word into a powerful weapon. It turns out that among the IT manager skills that we have, we have powerful words at our command that if we know about them we can use to create powerful results.

The Power Of “Thanks”

If you were to take a poll of the members of your team and ask them what attributes of their job they felt were the most important, what answers do you think that you’d get? A lot of us would assume that salary would be #1 on any list that we got. However, we’d be wrong.

When such surveys are conducted, the #1 desired job feature, by a wide margin, has always been the need to feel appreciated. Since this is such a big deal to our team members, it needs to be a big deal for IT managers. We had better get good at showing some appreciation to the people who work on our teams. Too bad none of us have ever had any IT manager training on how best to go about doing this.

It turns out that this is not all that hard to do. Simply saying “thanks” when someone on your team does a good job can be what they are looking for. As simple as this action sounds, the results can be amazing. Likewise, if you are a manager who never takes the time to thank your team members you may discover that people start to leave your team.

How To Use The Power Of Thanks

It turns out that using the power of “thanks” is just a little bit more complicated than just remembering to say the word every so often. In order to do this right, the person that you are talking with is going to have to truly believe that you mean it. There are two steps to the process and you’re going to have to do them both.

First, you are going to have to be very clear about what you are thanking the person for. Just exactly what behavior, performance, or action did they do that you feel deserves a thanks. Next, you’re going to have to tell them why their action deserves your appreciation and the positive business impact that it’s going to have.

I fully realize that this may look like I’m taking something that should be simple and I’m making it seem harder than it should be. However, the power of thanks comes from the fact that the person that you’re telling it to really believes that you mean it. Follow these steps and you’ll have yet one more powerful manager tool to use.

What All Of This Means For You

As IT managers we may often feel that our hands are tied in terms of how we can reward our teams. Funds for IT team building activities are limited, raises are on hold, and our competitors seem to be offering a better work environment. What’s a manager to do?

It turns out that what our team members really want is for us to acknowledge their accomplishments. We can do this by simply remembering to tell them “thanks” when they’ve done a good job. Appreciating them for what they’ve done will go a very long way in boosting their job satisfaction.

Being a successful IT manager comes down to doing the little things correctly. Showing appreciation to your team by telling them “thanks” when they deserve it is part of this. Look for opportunities to acknowledge accomplishments and you’ll start to develop a reputation as an IT manager who “gets it”.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that it is possible to overdo the “thanks” thing?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The most interesting case is starting to unfold in New York city. The Manhattan District Attorney (their top cop) has filed charges against three IT workers. The crime that they are accused of is leaving the company and taking a copy of the firm’s proprietary high-speed trading code with them. If they did this, then it was wrong. However, does some of the blame have to fall on their IT management?

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