End of the year – a perfect time to say thank you

I was sitting down to a drink yesterday afternoon with two friends (they would hate me using the word mentors, but they are both friends and mentors) and we were discussing many different things.  One idea that we discussed was saying thank you to those people you valued in 2010.  Our relationships, both inside and outside the public service are a key part of being an effective public servant and often we don’t put enough effort into maintaining and building our relationships.  Sure we are all professional, but I think being professional is not enough, we also need to be people first.

It is the end of 2010 and there are many people with whom you have worked with over the year. These people have, in many cases, provided valuable input into your projects or programs, taught some new skill, helped you gain a different perspective.  Whatever they did, it was something that you can respect and value.  Now is a great time to acknowledge their contribution.

So here is the challenge: Take a few moments before you rush off to your end of year break and pick 10 people (or more, but 10 will be a challenge for most of us) and take a moment to thank them.

Remember you don’t have to just pick public servants, there may be people working in other organisations that you worked with this year that made a recognisable contribution.

A few tips on the thanking part:

  • email, note or phone – you can call up your people and say thanks.  Personally, I like the idea of them having an email or a hand written note, something they may keep and re-read in the new year
  • make it personal – don’t just say thanks, but highlight why you valued them this year
  • gifts are not essential – you don’t have to give a gift or other token.  In some cases, you may be moved to give a gift, that is your choice but think about the recipient and whether they will feel comfortable with receiving a gift
  • do it before Christmas
  • remember in 2011 that you don’t have to wait until the end of year to say thanks

regards, Jason
A public servant since 28 June 1999.

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