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Going Over and Above the Paycheck

Updated on January 28, 2013
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The eighth of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12

You’re giving your employees a paycheck, now you need to make them feel valuable too? Absolutely! According to The Houston Chronicle, “Employees who feel valued will put more effort into carrying out their allotted tasks to a high standard. More importantly, however, is that their attitudes will boost overall morale in the workplace more effectively than any short-term financial reward.” (1)

This hub addresses Gallup Q12 Question 8: Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important? The Gallup Q12 is a twelve question measure of employee engagement. (If you want to see all twelve questions, you will find a link at the end of this article. (2)

Swaminathan Narasimhan, a Human Resources Professional for CSC says that his company established an Appreciation Week for their employees. During this annual event, staff members look for specific ways to express gratefulness to colleagues for attributes including professionalism, attitude, support rendered, being a ‘best buddy,’ etc.

Office personnel get to choose and send specially created e-cards, or they can place notes of appreciation at their colleague’s workstations. Narasimhan says, “This gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation and gratitude to a whole lot of people every year that we would not have done in the normal course of our day.”

How can you create an Appreciation Week at your company? Here are a few ideas.

1. Have a variety of cards available for staff to use. Include blank cards as well as cards with inspirational notes already in them. Encourage your employees to write and deliver thank you notes to their colleagues, specifically noting the actions/attitudes that warrant the card.

2. Get management involved. Have your managers send a card to each of their staff members. If there are difficult employees, it’s essential for management to consider the things that their employees do well, and acknowledge them for their positive actions.

3. Give each staff member five “gratitude tokens.” These tokens are to be given to co-workers during the course of the week in recognition for good deeds done or extraordinary support. After the original five are distributed, let them have more if they wish. Cheer your staff on, and encourage as much acknowledge during the week as possible.

4. Start off each meeting by having everyone share ‘one good thing.’ Comments can include personal or business matters. Keep it short and sweet - sixty seconds or fewer. This practice substantially elevates the positive energy in the meeting. As a matter of fact, you may enjoy it so much you that you decide to begin ALL your meetings in this manner.

After your first Appreciation Week, poll the staff to see what worked and if there are any areas that they would improve for next time. Ask for suggestions and implement their ideas as soon as possible. If you find something that works particularly well, you may want to offer it more often. Just make sure that anything you do does not become rote, boring for taken for granted.

Pay attention to the “before and after” effects of your Appreciation Week. The positive energy and results may last a lot longer than you may suspect. Little things go a long way in creating a sense of appreciation in the company's culture. Make your employees feel that they matter today.

References:

(1) How to Make Employees Feel Important | Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/make-employees-feel-important-25270.html (accessed January 20, 2013).

(2) http://www.artsusa.org/pdf/events/2005/conv/gallup_q12.pdf

(3) What was the BEST thing an employer ever did to make you feel .., http://www.linkedin.com/answers/professional-development/career-management/PRO_C
MA/1037515-26269848 (accessed January 20, 2013).

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