I'm going to keep this post incredibly simple. Though I'm not going to give you this incredibly important answer right away, I'm sure you will guess it before the end. You don't have to search very far to find great leadership advice and tips. These tend to be spot on, but sometimes the most simplistic--and important--little things get lost.
We want to have an engaged workforce and you can try all sorts of elaborate methods to create a better and more effective workplace. You can bring in management consultants, continuous improvement experts, or any other type of guru; none will be able to identify a solution more powerful than this. This simple statement will lower your turnover, lift employee engagement and morale, and improve the productivity of your workforce.
You can pay people more money, which will give you a short-term lift. You can give away free food, but that too will pass. This phrase, however, will give you a continual benefit. People will not only want to work harder, they will want to tell others about where they work. They will serve as advocates for your business.
What is this underused statement? If you have not guessed it by now, the answer is "Thank You." Thank you for what you do. Thank you for a job well done. Thank you with any form of verbal recognition can pay huge dividends (and don't forget about a good old-fashioned written thank you).
Businesses are more fast-paced than ever. There is an understandable expectation that everyone should do their job, and do it well. But don't let the chaos of the workday serve as an excuse to not to thank others. Don't take for granted that people know that you appreciate what they do. Tell them. And don't tell them just to tell them, tell them because they deserve it.
Next time you feel overwhelmed at work pause for a moment. And then go find someone who has done something great and thank him or her for it. They will appreciate it and you will gain energy from doing so.
So my last message to you is Thank You. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing this important message with others, and thank you for creating a better workplace.
PS: Don't forget, this also applies to customers!