The way toward employee engagement can be so simple!
Harvey Mackay, the well known author and writer, has a very simple title on his weekly column (November 21, 2010). It merely says, "Say thanks to your employees." Such simple words, but so rarely followed!
Mr. Mackay quotes Don MacPherson, President and Co-Founder of Modern Survey, a locally-based human capital measurement company (I have quoted Don and his company's work/research on this Blog in the past). Don's company's research states that recognition and appreciation is the top driver of employee engagement.
Don's Thanksgiving Routine
Every Thanksgiving, Don goes into his office and personally calls each of his employees and individually thanks them for their work. He personalizes each call based on some special contribution they have made or attribute that they bring to their work. Imagine how wonderful it is to come back from the Thanksgiving holiday to a personal message from your company's President.
The routine does NOT end there!
Don not only calls his employees, but he also calls his clients, his prospects, close friends and immediate family members to thank them as well. While some of these people may get the message (or a live call!) during their time away from the office, most people will get the message Monday morning. Again, imagine how wonderful it is to arrive on a Monday morning to such an uplifting message.
Harvey Mackay ends his weekly column with something called Mackay's Moral.
In this case, it is a simple but important reminder. "You may not spend your Thanksgiving like Don MacPherson, but really, is Thanksgiving limited to only one day a year?"
The column points out that employee recognition is a fundamental concept of successful companies. One of the past Presidents of St. Paul's AgriBank was known for going into each employee's cube or office around the holidays to personally wish them a wonderful holiday season. That personal touch was and is legendary. As the column points out, the holidays are a perfect time to thank employees. It also points out that it is not the only time to do so.
The message is not only in the moral; it is also in the last sentence (prior to the moral). Mr. Mackay states, "Don't assume employees know how much you appreciate their efforts just because they still have a paycheck. Never waste an opportunity to say thank you."
My final thought - Don MacPherson - what you do is inspirational, and you do it from the heart. Keep up the great work!