THANKS. A really neglected form of compensation
This is the entire contents of page 129 in the late Robert Townsend's masterpiece Up the Organization. I wrote a raveabout this book awhile back, and I still find myself going back to it often. Townsend was, among other things, CEO of Avis, and a complete character.
I was reminded of this page by a comment at HBR in response to my list of 12 Things Good Bosses Believe. Carmilla, who is a personal assistant to a busy surgeon, wrote that her boss had only thanked her once in five months, and it was a sarcastic throw away line. IT does not sound like she is going to stay in the job much longer.
In addition to teaching surgeons all that fancy jargon and how to do procedures, perhaps they should also have them practice saying "thank you" as part of their training. Unfortunately, from what I know of the occupation, I suspect that veteran surgeons model the opposite behavior when dealing with residents and medical students far too often.
P.S. I was thinking of my favorite management books of all time the other day. As an academic, I guess I am supposed to like more research-based books, but to be honest, right now my top two might be Up the Organization and Orbiting the Giant Hairball -- both books by dead white guys who told personal stories, and didn't use research at all to support their claims. But they were honest and authentic, and both are funny too -- a tough thing to do in a management book.