Mathew Cropper

March 5, 2021

Say thanks. Connect the dots.

First, some context, then my point..

The context

Last year, one of the Engineers on my team put in place a more structured process for talking about and prioritising both our technical/product debt and ambitions. He made sure that this was a regular activity, and gave it enough structure that it was a much more meaningful input into our planning process.

This year, we're reviewing and refreshing our team's strategy. The structure he put around our debt was critical to one of the updates. We now have a dedicated initiative around modernising and improving our mobile products, centred around solid outcomes for our customers. Not having that structure before meant that it was a handled in a more piecemeal way. We're in a much better place because of it.

Now, to the point

It's performance review time, and so I was reflecting on all of this. Two things occurred to me. Firstly, I never took the time to say thank you for the work he did and the impact it had. Secondly, I wondered whether either he or his manager had connected the same dots that I had; did they realise his work had this impact?

So, I dropped them both a note. A thank you, and an opportunity to share my perspective on how that one act of ownership had made a huge difference to the team's direction this year.

A thank you is always well received. I was right about them not having associated that work with the impact it had.

Take the time to thank people for what they do, and help them see the impact of it, especially if it's not necessarily going to be immediately obvious to them. You'll make someone's day. I promise.