Rose Report: Issue 16

Giving Thanks

issue16-pic-story4Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means that many of your employees will be spending time in the next few weeks researching sweet potato recipes and arranging holiday travel. And while making plans with family and friends may be on your mind as well, there’s something all executives should have on their to-do list this holiday season: thanking their employees.

Study after study shows that when you reward and recognize your staff, you create happy employees who are more engaged in their work, more productive, and more likely to remain in their jobs.

To celebrate Thanksgiving at the office, you might consider a family tradition potluck, where each employee brings in a dish that has personal significance to them; a recipe exchange; or a food drive to help give those in need in your community a bountiful Thanksgiving meal. It’s also a good idea for bosses to give their employees handwritten notes of thanks for their contributions throughout the year.

Of course, the holidays aren’t the only time you should be thanking your employees—it’s important that management recognize and reward employees throughout the year. A recent study of 3,000 employees by Research Now found that being thanked and recognized for work is the second most popular employee benefit, after a pay raise.

So how does senior staff ensure that employees feel thanked? Provide timely and spontaneous recognition when an employee does something well, offer employees chances to grow and challenge themselves, solicit their suggestions and ideas, and show that you see them as people, not just cogs in a machine. “Senior leadership, including those at the very top of your business, should regularly interact with lower level employees. Getting to know all your employees at an individual level will make them feel appreciated and valued at work,” writes American Business Magazine.

Finally, creating happy employees helps businesses, too. A white paper by the Corporate Leadership Council found that between 40 and 80 percent of customer satisfaction and loyalty is governed by customer-employee relationships. “Companies from Sears to PNC Bank to Nortel have found that when they address employee happiness issues, they see their customer satisfaction and loyalty figures jump,” writes Jean O’Brien Coffey in a magazine called Executive Travel.

So, in the end, happy employees mean happy customers. And who wouldn’t want that this holiday season?