Every day we interact with others gives us the chance to recognize acts of sincere servitude and a job well done. But, have you noticed that generally we don’t hear the verbal acknowledgement of thanks often? Let us illustrate an actual event. We were at the airport when we heard the public broadcast system inform us that our flight had been cancelled. In stereo, we hear the other travelers at this gate exclaim, “No way!” As the frenzied travelers began to rush the gate attendant's desk, one particular business traveler pushed his way to the front of the crowd demanding immediate attention. The smallest of the attendants, in physical stature, promptly responded with, “Let me help you sir.” This gate attendant not only found another carrier for his flight destination; but also, printed a new set of tickets for him to use at the next carrier gate. He took the new tickets and left without a word of thank you!
Why does this happen? It is often accepted that ‘thank you’ is not deserved for fulfilling your job description. Or, it is a common convention that each of us has the same work ethic regardless of culture, educational degrees, or generational profile. This is proving not to be true as the generational workforce is now a mix of core values ranging from the Silent Generation, loyal to church and state, to the entrance of the Millennials. The Millennials, the newest workforce, has grown up with audio & video technology; and, treasures the value of more free time from work as opposed to the exaggerated hours they saw their parents endure. Additionally, this younger labor group performs their job responsibilities well; but,
Sometimes the lack of gratitude for excellent service is related to arrogance or the sense of entitlement. The thinking of the customer can be, as a vendor, you should perform this service because you owe it to me since I paid for it. While this is true, this perspective inflates the level of service you think you paid for, and now deserve. Views from the service provider staff see the resulting behavior as smugness, snobbery, even superiority. The consequences of behavior such as this can produce resentment or anger on the part of the service staff. The long-term effect for the staff is that they stop excelling at their job, doing what is satisfactory; and, creating a non-ending cycle of mediocrity.
Other folks can’t express thank you viewing it as a personal weakness or an encouragement to their staff to slack off and not excel. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable with the internal tension that builds up when the current reality doesn’t match their inner expectations. This tension increases when they are unable to verbally state those expectations. You will hear statements such as, ‘They should know how to do their job, or They ought to know what is will required!’ When given the chance, almost all employees will surprise you with magnificent service when a genuine act of gratitude is expressed. Simply start the visioning process and step back. Watch them. Listen to them. When you involve people in the process and ask them to connect their work with something they care deeply about, you'll be amazed at where people in your company want to go.

Think of the hidden advantages of thank-you and follow-up thank you notes. From the hiring managers at CareerBuilder.com, 70% state that thank-you letters are essential and appropriate to the hiring process. Nearly 15% of the managers would reject a job candidate who neglected to send a thank-you letter after the interview, while 32% said they would still consider the thankless prospect; but, their opinion of him or her was diminished.
An example of a global ‘thank-you’ is, a giant gratitude card tours Australia during the "Thank You" Day campaign, stopping for high profile media events in each state and territory. The card collects the signatures of well-known Australians and leading researchers for children and adults who have benefited from medical research. Research Australia members and supporters host these events on the last Monday in September.
When you think you can’t give a sincere thank you, ask yourself:
• How many times in the last year have you chosen not to convey thanks to colleagues for a job well done? Did you make time to return later and express a sincere thanks? How did you feel afterwards?
• How can you re-assess your opinion about a colleague’s past behavior so that you can truly express gratitude for a recent success now? And, does their success make you re-evaluate their value of the work ethic? Has their value always matched yours, yet you didn’t know it?
• How does the expression of appreciation shape your level of professionalism? How do you think you are seen by your colleagues by the demonstration of genuine appreciation of their efforts?
• Do you crave words of appreciation from others that you cannot express yourself?
• When was a time that you didn’t do the best job you could because you didn’t feel appreciated? What changes do you want to make to your work or personal environment to foster gratitude and appreciation for innovation?
• What's the best work-related compliment you ever received, and whom did it come from? How did this compliment make you feel about future work or projects? Did it matter that the world at large may not have known?
• How many ways can you demonstrate appreciation for the combined talents for each other in your department, your community, your family?
• If you practice a true sense of appreciation for your colleague, what do you think will change in their response about future collaboration with you and your ideas?
• What would happen if your customers, clients, and constituents were asked how much they felt appreciation for the service of your staff? Do you think their response would match yours? If it didn’t what changes do you need to make so that clients have superior service as well as appreciation for being served?

“All men who live with any degree of serenity live by some assurance of grace.”
Reinhold Niebuhr