If your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers” – Sybil F. Stershic, Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care.
Few people would argue with the sentiment expressed in the above quote. The problem is not in the “what”, but rather the “how to”. There is an abundance of advice on the subject to the point of being overwhelming.
As with most things, the most difficult part is getting started. Where is the best place to start? The precondition is that it must be easy and not time consuming!
I gleaned a few ideas during a recent assignment. A significant feature of this workplace was that people felt valued! Interestingly, there were no formal recognition or reward systems in place.
What did they do? They simply focused on the seemingly small stuff. There was a however consistency in behaviour that resulted in people feeling included and valued.
- Keep in touch: A quick phone call to enquire how things were going.
- Face to face contact: When in the vicinity, pop in and say hello.
- Send a note of thanks: Send an email of thanks or appreciation when someone has gone the extra mile.
- Invite someone to drop buy: Invite someone to drop by for a few minutes to give feedback.
- Take time to celebrate: Do something special to celebrate an event or success.
The key seems to be in the planning. At the start of the week, a manager would select the names of a few people to make contact with. On average 15 – 20 minutes a week was invested in making people feel valued and consistency was the key. Focusing on small things seems to be a good place to start!