The topics on Leadership and Management often discuss the importance of praise and complimenting your employees, as it increases their self-worth and inspires them to do a great job.

What is not seen much are topics for leaders and managers about showing their employees the importance of passing praise and compliments along to those they come in contact with, that are not coworkers, but are people who they come in contact with for the business from the outside, i.e., customers, vendors, delivery people, etc.

Not too long ago a patient was having her last visit at our medical office because she was moving out-of-state.  During her visit she told one of our medical assistants “you have the best medical office that I have ever been in.  You run on time, everyone has always been very pleasant and helpful.  You always made me feel important and cared for.  I can tell you all enjoy your jobs.”  She also told her “I will miss coming to your office.” The impact of this patient’s compliment was tremendous on all of us.

How nice for this patient to take the time to tell us how she felt about the care and service she received from us.  It made us all feel so good about what we do and we see the value of striving to do better each day. Leaders and Managers not only need to praise and compliment their employees but they need to show appreciation and praise to those that they encounter each day on the job and train their staff to do the same.

Here are a few examples of “making people feel important.”

1. A company you purchase supplies from does a great job with your order, getting it to you on time.  Now I know that this is expected, but what if you gave the manager of the company a quick call and told them what a good job that “Bob” did with your order and you just wanted him to know how much you appreciated it.  How do you think Bob will feel when he hears that you called?

2. Say thank you and have a great day to the mail person, UPS or FedEx person, the person who delivers the drinking water, etc.

3. The toilet broke in the office and the landlord sent someone over right away to fix it. Yes, it was their job to do, but letting them know how much you appreciate that they cared and took care of the problem right away will make them feel great about what they do.

4. There was a mistake on a bill and you called the vendor and the staff person was able to figure it out and fix the problem.  Not only tell the person thank you for helping you, but also send a thank you card or e-mail to them.

5. Tell customers, clients, or patients thank you for coming in to your place of business, let them know you appreciate what they buy, or service that get.  Tell them it is people like them that make your business successful. It takes so little, yet it means so much when you let others know that you appreciate them, what they do for you and the company you work for.

It is amazing how a few words of praise can make such a difference in one’s day knowing what they do is important to you.

Take the appreciation challenge today and see how many people you can thank while at work today.