Really enjoyed this article from Attorney at Work, because stories like this one just go to show how important it is to acknowledge the people who work for, and with, you:
Consider the late Bob Bergland, a former U.S. secretary of agriculture and member of Congress who later worked as the general manager of an association with hundreds of employees. He was known for making the effort to learn the names of as many of those employees as he could, and for taking the time to stroll around the building every now and then to shake their hands and thank them for their service — by name.
When it came time for him to ask employees to go the extra mile, they were happy to return that goodwill.
Think about this for a second. In a mid to large law firm, or a large tech company, when the boss talks about their staff, say to a customer, how do they refer to them? Is it, I’ll get my paralegal to do that, or our “tech geeks” can take care of that? Or is it, Steve can take care of that for us, or Karen will contact you about that?
Notice the difference? One is very non-personal, to the point of not even being able to refer to a person, in fact. The other, creates a picture in the mind of one particular person who is going to be helping you.
Steve and Karen, are granted personhood within this communication. That’s not to say that they need to be granted personhood by anyone, but what it does is communicate that you see them as an individual person on your team, as opposed to just another cog in the machine. Nothing demotivates an employee like feeling like you are just another cog in the machine. That you’re just another nameless, faceless drone who is easily replaced.
Knowing who those people are, acknowledging them when they do good work, knowing what they do, and how they contribute, and valuing what they, as an individual, bring to the table goes a long way toward having a healthy work environment.
Or, you can be too important to bother with all of that, and continue to wonder why you just can’t find and keep good help.
I might have a suggestion for you.
If you want to find ways to show appreciation, the article below has got you covered. Personally, I’ve always been partial to the email or handwritten thank you for a specific action. It shows that I’m not being taken for granted, that you not only appreciate the work I do, but see a specific instance of something that you appreciate, and gives me something to save and look at on those days when I feel like I’m not at my best.
Try it, you might like it.