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Hearing words of praise from your boss or superiors is uplifting, but it’s temporary. ‘Great job’ and ‘good work’ are nice to hear from time to time, but they don’t increase your job satisfaction. After all, you’re doing your job – what you’re supposed to do, it’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it, right?

But there’s that one phrase that everyone wants to hear, no matter if you work in the mailroom or as an executive.

“Thank You” increases your job satisfaction no matter your job title

Studies show that when bosses don’t thank employees for a job well done, employees don’t feel appreciated. Makes sense. What it also showed is that employee morale fell significantly when employees didn’t get either a verbal or written thank you?

Big jobs deserve big thanks

Some jobs deserve more gratitude than others.

Not that we don’t want to hear thank you for everything we do, some jobs that make us go above and beyond deserve formal gratitude. In other words, a written note of thanks or even an email will suffice.

There’s something about seeing your name in lights that makes you feel appreciated and may even make you want to work harder next time. 

Small jobs deserve thanks, too

Sometimes we just need to hear ‘thank you,’ even for the little jobs we do. A quick ‘thanks for your hard work’ or ‘good job, thank you for doing that’ goes a long way in making you feel good about your job. It makes you feel like you’re more than a number to enhance your company’s bottom line.

When your boss treats you like a person, not a means to an end, it can go quite far with you.

Gratitude catches on quickly

If your boss thanks you often, even for the little things you do, it’s bound to catch on. Hearing ‘thank you’ often makes you want to pass it on, so to speak. Do you know how you pay it forward when someone buys your coffee in the drive-thru? The same is true of gratitude.

If your boss expresses gratitude to you, you’re more likely to express gratitude to a co-worker or subordinate who does something for you. It’s called the ripple effect, and it can have a positive impact on the entire organization. 

“Thank You” may keep you at your job

Studies show that more than 20% of employees who feel underappreciated leave their job for a better one. They get tired of feeling like a number and want to see if the grass is greener on the other side. 

Compare that to the 12% of employees who do feel recognized and yet still look for another job (changing jobs is inevitable for some).

If your boss isn’t in the business of expressing gratitude, why not start it yourself? Start saying ‘thank you’ more, even if it’s just in passing. Gratitude is contagious, and eventually, you’ll find more people doing it.

If your boss catches the drift, who knows, maybe you’ll start hearing the phrase you’ve wanted to hear for a long time. The one phrase that can motivate you, make you work harder, and maybe even keep you at your job. 

— Samantha Hawrylack

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This article originally appeared on Ladders.

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