As many of you know, we have recently opened a logistics office in Nashville, TN otherwise known as Music City. Being a new employer in Nashville, it was exciting to learn that there is a week devoted to employee recognition; which is this week. As a big believer in employee recognition and ensuring employees are treated like rock stars, I thought it would be a good idea to share what Nashville does and highlight some of key points I think are a catalyst to employee recognition.
What does Nashville do? They have five fun filled days of activity themed events. The week is kicked off with a walk through the city with the mayor that offers free lunches. Every day has many of the downtown business sponsoring events with free items and activities as a way to show their community appreciation – which is pretty awesome. The rest of the week has themed days like the Largest Coffee Break, Fresh and Local highlight with the popular Farmers Market, a party and bike ride with the Nashville Predators (NHL Team), Corporate Tug of War, Live Music Festival, and a day dedicated to enjoying sweet treats. This highlights how Nashville appreciates its community and supports the local workforce.
On to some key points I would like to make in regards to employee appreciation. As companies seek to hire and attain top talent, employee appreciation is a main ingredient to this success – if not the most important. There have been multiple studies pointing this out with statistical adherences. However, we all know as employees ourselves (without fancy studies) that being appreciated is the number one thing that will motivate and keeps us around.
As someone that has been granted the privilege to lead other employees, I’m constantly thinking about whether my teammates feel appreciated. Not just because of the business benefits, but to also lead with the character of caring for one another. Here are some key items I believe in as it relates to employee recognition:
· Close Circle Appreciation
I feel that you have to genuinely have concern and care for your employees. People can sense whether you really care or just going through a motion. Studies show how humans can only effectivity manage a certain number of close relationships. It is how we are wired.
You have to develop an appreciative bond with your close circle (direct reports). This will be ground zero to show how you care and treat employees on a personal level. You want to set the tone within this circle. From here, they will go and do the same within their circle and so on, creating a chain effect. This will touch a much larger number of employees than you could do personally, with the goal of keeping a genuine appreciation for one another.
· Original writings
This concept is pretty simple – use the good ole method of hand writing thank you notes. I’m not saying don’t use email, phone, or an appreciation application to say thanks. I feel that from time to time these methods should be complimented with personalized handwritten notes. That’s it.
· Brag, Brag, Brag
Look for reasons to brag on someone. If you take a minute to think about it, I bet you can find multiple points throughout the day to highlight something a team member has done well or something you are thankful for. Find reasons to acknowledge team mates and try to incorporate doing this to where their leader sees it as well. This will have a lasting effect on people – try it.
Use an automotive rewards system. This is a way to incorporate all the previous key points. You can create close circles to interact with constantly, write custom notes, and brag on employees for others to see. Most importantly, it provides a platform for mass appreciation. This will help with the morale of the company which will directly benefit your customers.
Side note – out of all the appreciation systems I have used, You Earned It is by far my favorite. It is simple to use and creates a great environment for appreciation. Highly recommend checking it out http://youearnedit.com/