(originally published to the Business Owner Tide Chart newsletter - November 2019)
This is the time of year when we all tend to focus on the things in life we are thankful for. When it comes to your employees, don’t wait until November to show your gratitude and appreciation for their hard work. How you do this doesn’t have to be grandiose or expensive. I worked at Boston University for many years and in my first role I managed a team of twenty part time employees, all college students. We didn’t have much of a budget for employee relations. But these students worked hard, and often dealt with some pretty disgruntled customers.
Every month, the student managers and I reviewed stories of when employees went above and beyond and truly delivered exceptional customer service. At the monthly all team meeting we shared the top stories and one to two people were recognized as employee of the month. They would get a fun sticker next to their profile on our “Get to Know the Team” poster. It was a hand giving a high five, but it had 6 fingers, a fun play on going above and beyond, a high six. The employee being recognized that month also received a gift certificate for two movie tickets to the local cinema.
This recognition program wasn’t complicated, time consuming, or expensive. But it become an honored tradition that the employees really looked forward to and work hard to achieve. The bonus was sharing their stories every month also became a way to highlight the type of customer service and behavior we wanted to see from everyone.
Employees want to know their hard work is seen and acknowledged. Take time every month or every quarter and recognize those who stand out. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or be time consuming. Don’t know where to start? A genuine thank you at the end of their shift is a good beginning.
Download our free Gratitude Guide for a handout of other great employee recognition ideas.