I recently received an unexpected thank you card from an employee. Why? Because I told her I'd get back to her by the end of the day with an answer to her questions and I did.
Jane called me requesting information about her training pay, getting a locker assigned and help in accessing our payroll website shortly after she began work. Since I was in a the middle of a project when she called, I explained I needed a little time to get her the info she wanted and asked if it was okay to forward the information to her via email (because it was simplier for both of us to send the website instructions she needed in writing) by the end of the day.
I sent the email in the afternoon and within a few hours received an effusive email reply thanking me for my detailed and prompt response to her questions. While I appreciated her thanks, I was puzzled over its intensity; even more so when I received another hand written thank you note in the mail from her the following day.
Is follow through so unexpected these days that employees are surprised when they get it within their companies? If so, it makes me sad as one of of the few "entitlements" I strongly support in any workplace is the right of any employee to receive quick and accurate answers to their questions. If we expect employees to be accountable for their own performance, I hope we're regularly leading from the front of that pack.