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Just spoke to a potential client. On the spot coaching. She said she was just writing out her thank you/Christmas cards to her employees to go with their paychecks this morning. She is including their paychecks in their Christmas card/thank you card.
I could not resist. I asked her if she sees her relationship with her employees as mutual or hierarchical. She asked what I meant. I explained that a paycheck is a mutual agreement. You do this, I do that. You work, I pay you. It ought to be an even exchange. In that sense, working for someone is mutual and not hierarchical as slavemaster over slave.
But Christmas, end of year thank you notes, are symbolic of an overall relationship and the value that you ascribe to the person. To give them a paycheck at the time of expressing your overall appreciation for that person is the equivalent of saying thank you as part of an obligation you have to each other.
The card is a gift, right? So do not make it a transaction. It feels like you are just throwing a thank you on top of what you are supposed to do. It feels like a “supposed to” instead of a carefully thought out action.
I asked her to consider sending the cards separately or at a different time or with a bonus check. I asked her to reconsider the meaning behind her actions.
She was stunned. She had never thought about any of those aspects of her work.
I invited her to intentionally create a relational aspect to her paying her employees instead of a transactional exchange.
How do you say “thank you?”
Are your “thank yous” transactional? Or relational?

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