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Thanksgiving Season - A Reminder to Give Thanks at Work, Too
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. No glitz, no presents to buy and a meaningful purpose—to give thanks for everything we have as individuals and as citizens. Here are some little ways that you can celebrate the holiday.
- Thank your employees when they put in a little discretionary effort. Your employee didn’t have to work through her lunch hour or bend over backwards to help that customer. You get what you notice and what you measure. Noticing and thanking employees creates more of the same, good effort.
I’ll bet you spend plenty of time chasing poor performers—documenting below-standard work, disciplining problem employees, checking attendance records—yet wouldn’t it make more sense to take just a few seconds to thank your good employees and compliment them on all the good things they do?
When examining exit interviews, it always makes me sad to see the number of comments departing employees make about not feeling valued. It’s common to see things such as: “My boss never thanked me or noticed anything I did.” “My boss only noticed my work when I made a mistake.” It takes so much money and time to recruit and train an employee, why ignore their contribution?
- Thank your best customers for their business. Sometimes we take our loyal customers for granted and spend more time chasing new business than adding value to the business we have. Tell your favorite customers why you enjoy working with them. Some businesses now send Thanksgiving cards, rather than Christmas cards. Not only does it convey a nice message, it avoids the issue of political correctness.
- Thank those employees who have stayed with you through thick and thin. Tell them how much their loyalty means to you and how much value they add to the business. Sometimes we pay more attention to our new employees…orientation, training, giving them growth opportunities—sometimes even paying them more. Don’t forget the people who are the backbone of the enterprise.
There is a tendency to focus on the employees who are hard to find and keep. Companies create incentives such as signing bonuses, retention bonuses, and special on-the-job training programs, for these folks. Meanwhile, the Steady Eddy’s show up every day and deliver a solid performance. Don’t forget them.
- Thank your vendors. Instead of treating them like “sales people,” let them know how they contribute to your success. If you treat them like a valued partner, they will be more inclined to help you grow your business.
- Give thanks to the community by giving back. Adopt a highway and take the afternoon off to pick up trash, give to the needy during the holidays, hold a food drive, or do something else that provides an opportunity to involve your employees in a teambuilding effort while giving back to the community. Employees like the sense of belonging it creates and the good that it does.
- Thank your mentor for his or her tough advice and straightforward guidance. He or she gives you time and interest, when there is little to spare. They take a personal interest in your career and your life and expect nothing in return. If that person has given you some honest feedback that no one else was willing to tell you, it may have been tough to hear but they cared enough to tell you the truth, so you could do something about it.
- Thank your manager. Yes, why not? If you have a good manager, you’re one of the lucky ones. Managing in this tough environment isn’t for the timid and requires making tough decisions and choices. They get plenty of criticism from the sidelines in a very tough job.
Joan Lloyd has a solid track record of excellent results. Her firm, Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding. This includes executive coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, customized leadership training, conflict resolution between teams or individuals, internal consulting skills training for HR professionals and retreat facilitation. Clients report results such as: behavior change in leaders, improved team performance and a more committed workforce.
Joan Lloyd has earned her C.S.P. (certified speaking professional) designation from the National Speakers Association and speaks to corporate audiences, as well as trade & professional associations across the country. Reach her at (800) 348-1944, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.JoanLloyd.com
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