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Mind your manners

Remember the good old days when people said "Please," receiving thank you notes wasn't a surprise, and handwritten business correspondence was de rigueur? Blame it on the advent of email, a hyper-speed pace of doing business, a rebellion against the old ways, or just plain laziness, but simple manners just aren't as common as they used to be. James Redfield, best-selling author of the Celestine Prophecy says "leadership in the new millennium will possess an interpersonal ethic." That's another way of saying that good manners mean good business.

Let's look at two simple words...Thank You.

A recent Maritz Research poll reported that only 10% of employees surveyed had supervisors who said "thank you" for a job well done on a daily basis. 26% of employees are thanked seldom or never, 29% receive occasional thanks, and 25% are thanked frequently. Yet we know that one of the most things Generation X & Y employees want is appreciation. Here are some simple ways to say thank you to your staff everyday, starting today...

  • As employees leave work at the end of their shift, say good bye... and thank you. We say it to our guests as they leave. Why not to our staff?
  • Notice a team member do something above and beyond, or perform their job particularly well? Write a quick hand-written note to say thank you, and put it in their employee mailbox or paycheck envelope. We've written some sample messages that you can download and use as an inspiration when writing your own.
  • Post comment card praises on a bulletin board or in an employee newsletter for all to see. A little public recognition for a job well done goes a very long way.
  • Allow other team members to say thank you, too. Make a stack of simple cards available for everyone to fill out and submit to an employee directly or to management, or to post in a designated place. We've created some note cards you can download and print.

And how about your guests? We're (hopefully) quick to say thank you as a guest leaves the restaurant. But take the idea one step further, and follow up with large reservations, special event parties and loyal customers by sending a handwritten thank you note. Write some sample thank you messages that can be copied and/or customized by a manger or a server who took care of the party. Provide the thank you cards, stamps and business cards, and encourage everyone to follow up with the guests. Trust me...this will make a huge impression and help differentiate you from your competition.

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