Posted By Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame,
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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“People get just as excited about receiving a compliment as they do at the prospect of getting money!” ~ Journal Neuron
As you are thinking about applying some of these ideas in your own organization, first think about the people who have made a difference in your own life. List five teachers or mentors who believed in you and encouraged you, five friends or co-workers who have helped you through a difficult time, five people who have taught you something worthwhile, and five people who have made you feel appreciated and special. If YOU want to be remembered for making a difference in someone else’s life, make them feel appreciated. Remember, appreciation is a FREE gift!
- When you are forced to sit somewhere for a period of time (commuting, waiting for an appointment, even watching something boring on TV), get in the habit of writing short “thank you” notes. . Carry them in your purse or briefcase so they are easily accessible. Mention two or three specific things that make you glad that person is in your life.
- Draw an outline of your hand. Put it on the wall of your office, and when you’ve done something great that no one has noticed, walk back and give yourself a little “pat on the back!”
- Call someone’s parent, spouse or significant other at home to thank them for the good work that employee is doing.
- Go to the store and look at all the candy names: Skor, Extra, $100,000 Bar, Snickers, Payday, Lifesavers. Plan little surprises with notes tying into that theme to surprise and thank employees.
- Ask each of your direct reports or colleagues to list the letters of the alphabet and think of something they are thankful for that begins with each letter.
- Give an employee the day off to work with his or her favorite charity. Ask them to take pictures and write about it for the company newsletter.
- Give an employee a gift related to their favorite hobby or passion with a personal note. (First, you have to FIND OUT what their hobbies and passions are, however. That, in itself, is a form of recognition!)
- Take an employee someplace that would personally delight them – attend a baseball game, go for a walk together, go shopping, attend a class together, take time to discuss a good book, attend an event to see one of their children perform.
- Commit to finding someone doing something right each day and thank them for that on the spot.
- Send a positive, encouraging voice mail to someone and then send one to YOURSELF!
- Have an “Appreciation Board” posted in your breakroom where employees can publicly thank others who have gone the extra mile for them.
- Make a “Thanksgiving Tree” and keep it in your lobby all year long. Ask people to write things they are thankful for and hang them on the tree.
- As a special thank you to the whole team or company, host a half day event where employees pick an expert to come in and teach them a new life skill (photography, cooking, decorating, golf lessons).
- Learn the American Sign Language sign for “thank you” and teach everyone in your department to use it when things are hectic.
- Send a gift to the employee’s family to thank them for sharing that person, especially when an employee has been working hard on a project – a restaurant gift certificate with a letter, flowers, or movie tickets for the whole family.
- Put 5 pennies in your right hand pocket in the morning. Every time you thank someone, move a penny to your left hand pocket and do not go home until all 5 are all on the left side.
- Prepare a home-cooked meal for your employees. If possible, invite them to your home.
- Sponsor a Family Day at work so that family members can share in the mission of the company where their mother or father works. As a special perk, give them a logo gift of some kind.
- Place five silver dollars in your pocket each week and pass them out to someone who is doing a great job during the week.
- Give an employee the gift of time – permission to come in an extra hour later or leave an extra hour early or take an extra hour at lunchtime.
- Have everyone on your team create an AIG folder (Ain’t I Great!) and ask each person to fill it with things that encourage them or bring them joy.
- For one year, name a hallway, favorite dish in the cafeteria, or special room after an employee. Post their picture with the nameplate.
- Have your team brainstorm creative ways they would like to be recognized or appreciated.
- Invite an employee to lunch and ask him or her to share some ideas with you that could make a difference in your workplace. Be sure to take good notes and acknowledge any ideas that you implement.
- Think of practical needs your employees may have. For example, invite a laundry service to come in once a week to pick up clothes or provide a caterer who will prepare meals to be picked up as the employees leave for the evening.
- Place a large poster page next to everyone’s office or cubicle door for a week. Ask other employees during the week to stop by and write something they appreciate about that person.
- Keep a “crazy gift” closet (the Dollar Store is a great place to get them), and when employees have done something exceptional or are just having a bad day, let them choose something fun from the closet.
REMEMBER: It does not have to be something big and the more fun and surprising it is, the better. As Mark Twain said, “I can go two months on one good compliment!”
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