Benjamin McCall and Employee Appreciation

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Today’s guest post comes from Benjamin McCall. He runs ReThinkHR.org and specializes in OD, T&D and business strategy (& he is for hire). You can follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenjaminMcCall

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I recently read an article on Inc.com about Tony Hsieh entitled WHY I SOLD ZAPPOS. In the article, Tony mentions the board thinking that employee happiness is nice for PR but his “social experiments” weren’t as important as moving the business forward or profits. Think about that as you read this article…

In the current economy, employee appreciation and celebration is not often seen. Some would argue that this appreciation is equally unappreciated by the workforce. An easy argument to make when many supervisors and employers have a hard time justifying celebrations much less extra perks to recognize people in this economy.

These days we forget the little and even big-fun surprises that can be done — not in the form of pay, a pat on the back, or a short review/evaluation in the secrecy of the managers office.

Below is a video of an experience one public transport operator had. His Danish employer, Arriva, arranged a surprise birthday celebration. This guy is only a bus driver but received a king’s celebration.

(Click to view via the ‘Daily What’ – 2 min & 44 secs)

I wonder, in these moments, what was going through that driver’s mind? I’m sure you can assume by the look on his face.

Even bigger questions:

  • Do you think he will promote his company?
  • Do you think he will be appreciative and show appreciation to his customers (passengers)?
  • Do you think he will work harder and go the extra mile in the future?

and above all

  • DO YOU THINK HE WILL EVER LEAVE?

Hmmm…

I wonder… when is the last time you took the time to appreciate or help someone feel appreciated?

Do you remember when an employer, supervisor, colleague or a client saying sincerely “Happy Birthday?” A well-to-do “thank you” for all you have done? When is the last time you have given appreciation? When is the last time you felt appreciated?

How do you think the small, sincere things you do to celebrate your employees will effect their morale? How do you think it will affect the bottom line and image of your company? Better yet, how will the actions you take affect your culture?

I would love to hear what you have done to give recognition. Would love to hear the examples of how you have been appreciated. Would love even more to see examples of the results!

BUSINESS NOTE: I know this is not possible for every company/employee. I know that many will say this is not cost effective. Yet can you imagine the idea of it? The bottom-line is to appreciate and show recognition of the fundamental driving force of your organization. While business thinks that profits move the business forward, it is really the innovative and appreciated employees that rock.

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