Please and Thank You
When she was a junior associate, my ex-wife once told the partner she was working for that please and thank you were like dress down day. It didn’t cost anything and they boosted morale.
And, as in many things, she was right (and the partner improved his behavior. A little).
Unfortunately, please and thank you aren’t enough. Because please and thank you can’t compensate for ridiculous requests. Sometimes it’s about the hours, as in “thank you so much for the weekend marathon we hadn’t planned”. But other times it’s just poor management. As in “thank you so much for rescheduling this meeting for the sixth time”. Or, “thanks for redesigning the process again because we didn’t give you the full information.”
And it’s good to be appreciated. And it’s certainly better having a courteous manager driving you crazy than having a nasty manager doing the same.
But ultimately, please and thank you are no substitute for good management.