It’s an easy thing to do, and few actions that a credit union leader can take will have a bigger impact.

But it’s also easy not to do, and that’s why it often doesn’t get done.

Yet no act of leadership is more powerful than personal appreciation–the simple act of extending your genuine thanks to an individual employee for something specific that they have done.

For the best impact, follow these three guidelines (and make time to do this every day for at least one member of your credit union team):

1. Deliver the thank you either in person, via a handwritten note, via a letter sent to the employee’s family, or in a public setting at an appropriate time.

2. Make the thank you specific by tying it to something that the person has done versus just saying something like “we appreciate all that you do for the credit union.”

3. Don’t wait for a special occasion or event, but rather deliver the thank you as close as possible to the performance of the act so that you are connecting the behavior to the recognition.

ACTION ADVICE: Identify someone on your credit union team who deserves a thank you and deliver it before you do the next thing on your to do list for the day.  Don’t wait.  Just take action and do it.  Repeat it tomorrow and the next day and the next until you develop the habit.  You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make for your team if every day they see you taking the time to show your appreciation for the specific things that team members do.  And over time the focus of activity will be directed toward doing the things that you are appreciating…which are the things that you need the team to do and the things that will grow your credit union.