Thank you – and I mean that most sincerely


There are many ways for you as a leader to say thank you to a member of your team for a job well done, but one of the best ways is to recognise the specifics of that job, the behaviours you observed and the impact they had; and finally to deliver that message of appreciation promptly.

Working with leaders who are new to people management, I find that they often need some structure to the way they can communicate their appreciation to their staff. They need something clear, concise, relevant and accurate, so that they can be sincere and leave their team members in no doubt about what they are doing right.

There’s a model you can use here called SBI; that’s Situation, Behaviour, Impact and I’ve mentioned it before in a LinkedIn post in relation to delivering corrective feedback .

However, that same model can be used for saying thank you; here’s how.

Situation: Think about the specific scenario(s) in which the job was well done, the environment, the setting, the timing, who else was involved etc.

Behaviour: Focus here on what it was specifically that you observed or heard about.

Impact: Think now about the benefits of that behaviour and the immediate and longer term results which would follow.

For example:   Steve is one of your team members who is the main contact for customer ABC, and you have just had ABC’s commitment to continue their service contract for another year. Here is what you could say to Steve:

“Hello Steve, during yesterday’s customer review with ABC, with our contract hanging in the balance, I noticed how you stayed focused, provided the reports they needed and drew ABC’s attention to the most critical data for them. They told me this morning how impressed they were with your presentation and they’ve decided to extend our contract, so well done.”

Steve, having heard this from you, should be in no doubt about what he did well and why you appreciate his work.

You can also use SBI as a foundation for goal setting and development reviews, by asking yourself the next question: If Steve can demonstrate those skills under pressure, what else can he do and how can I stretch him and use his talents and potential?


So, during the coming week, start to notice the opportunities for saying “thank you”, think about what you want to say and then say it, showing that you did notice a job that was well done.


Finally, if you need some proof about the importance of this skill, you could check out the latest “Job Exodus Report” from Investors in People. Poor management and not feeling valued are the 2 top reasons for employees being unhappy at work.

Here’s a quote from that report.

The one thing (other than a payrise!) that employers can do to make increase overall happiness, according to employees, is ‘say thank you more’.


Have a great weekend.