Show Employees How Much You
By Dale Collie
stress costs American businesses as much as 45 percent of after-tax
profits, according to Foster Higgins Inc., a New Jersey insurance company.
We see these expenses in things like absenteeism, health care
costs, and accidents. These
costs add up fast, and it’s smart to control workplace stress while
we’re all looking for ways to improve productivity and boost the
of the causes of workplace stress most often mentioned by employees is
the lack of appreciation. It
seems strange that so many people feel unappreciated.
You pay them well. They
have all of those hotshot fringe benefits: health insurance,
retirement plans, holiday pay, and paid vacation.
You might even provide free coffee and soft drinks in the break
room. So why do so many
employees feel unappreciated? Poor
communications, that’s why.
though we spend thousands of dollars a year on employees, many don’t
see it as a form of appreciation.
Even if you list all of their benefits and show how these perks
actually double their compensation, some employees will ask that you
cut the fringes and put it in their paychecks!
doesn’t make people feel appreciated, but they know you care when
you listen to them, ask about their families, understand what they are
going through at home, at school, or at work.
They feel valued when leaders compliment them on a job well
done, even if their accomplishment is simply always being on time.
comments you hear at a retirement party are a good indication of what
employees value. If the
departing person is a dud, the remarks are going to reflect their
incompetence in a joking but revealing way.
However, if people admire the honored guest, you’ll find out
that it doesn’t take much to make people feel appreciated.
like these tell you what is important:
remember when she visited my daughter in the hospital.
That’s when I knew how important I was to the company.”
don’t know how he did it, but I saw him on the shop floor everyday.
He always came by and greeted me and asked about my family.”
know, the thing I appreciate most are the company picnics she started.
She always served the potato salad herself, and she cleaned up
when it was over. She’s
just one of us.”
might be some mention of a leader’s commendable management ability
at the going away celebration, but the business achievements are
typically left in the boardroom. What
motivates and inspires people is the personal communication.
Here are five easy ways to let people know how much they are
personal touch on the high-tech communications:
Leaders can use a personal touch
in the high-tech tools needed to communicate with large numbers of
people or with remote locations. Merging
first names into documents with short, personal notes can personalize
sterile announcements. Everyone
appreciates your attention to their welfare and your interest in their
Personal follow up by telephone
means a lot to those involved in conference calls, bridge lines, or
emails. You can make notes
about individual input during the electronic meeting and follow up by
phone to show employees that you were listening, and that you care
about their ideas or comments. Your
calls to explore subjects in detail can motivate people for future
input and develop some profitable ideas.
Simple, personalized remarks
written on the face of routine memos can make all the difference to
employees who otherwise do their jobs and clock out at quitting time.
Your “atta boy” remarks might be the only compliments some
people ever receive. Many
of these meaningful remarks will become souvenirs and kept forever.
first names with your compliment and you’ll be surprised how this
short communication boosts morale and productivity.
Write comments on items going home with people and impact the
morale of the entire family. If
staff size permits, write a personal note right on their paychecks,
such as “Thanks, Bob. We
couldn’t have shipped that big order without your help this week.”
notes to your people pay big dividends.
Some employees will even write you a thank you note for your
Recognize superior achievement
with awards ceremonies. Highlight
daily involvement with framed certificates of appreciation, letters of
commendation, public announcement of achievements, extra vacation
days, and documents recognizing the families’ volunteer efforts.
Use these formal and informal ceremonies for emphasis and
whenever possible, include family members so they can see how much
their special person is appreciated.
Showing concern for ongoing work
is just as important as formal recognition.
Make employees feel special and get a lot of information by
asking things like: “How’s it going with the X project?” or
“Is there anything I can do to help you get this done on
your “walk-around” time on the calendar so you don’t feel
pressured by other responsibilities.
If you don’t have enough hours in the day to exchange remarks
with employees, maybe you need to look at the stressors in your own
life and delegate certain tasks to permit personal involvement.
return, for your efforts, you may enjoy higher returns on your
investment in people and improve your bottom line.
These easy tips take only a few moments to make employees feel
recognized for their efforts and show that you care.
Keywords to Show
Use this list of key words for complimenting people on their work.
Read other articles and learn more
about Dale Collie.
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