Thanking your employees this week is at best a cliché, and at worst hollow and counterproductive.
The litany of emails, blog posts and other messages expressing thanks to your team and employees has been in full effect all week. Many of these messages are indeed heartfelt and genuine.
But the messages that mean the most this week to their recipients are, ironically, the messages that are least necessary. Companies that treat their employees well all year and regularly express thanks for their work and loyalty are reaping the rewards of greater employee retention and a halo of positive brand awareness and word-of-mouth.
On the flip side, if an organization doesn’t prioritize its employees, doesn’t regularly thank them for their service and loyalty in word and deed throughout the year…that same message of thanks right now, this week, will more likely be seen for the marketing ploy it is.
Thanksgiving isn’t a day. It isn’t an email to employees. It isn’t a pre-written message from the CEO.
Genuine appreciation and thanks is built into your organization’s DNA. It’s something you live every day. It’s built into your product, your daily interactions. It’s something that comes natural, is a habit, and is encouraged and rewarded all year long.
In those environments, a note this week isn’t even necessary.
So how do you make thanking employees and other key constituents a habit year-round? Here are a few recommendations that can become part of your regular communication rhythm:
Hand-written and/or email. At minimum, look at your calendar from yesterday and thank at least 2-3 people you met with — for their time, their insights, etc. If you think you’re thanking people too much, it’s likely not perceived that way at all. A simple word or two of recognition goes a long way, every day of the year with your employees and partners.
Bring your team coffee sometime. Cook the sales team breakfast at the end of the month. Pick up the tab for your booth staffers the next time you’re at a trade show. These little extras go a long, long way towards gratitude, appreciation and loyalty.
Give your leadership team a short list of employees and partners to call each week. They’ll likely get voicemail 80 percent of the time, so it’ll only take a few minutes to make the call. But the impact that has on employees and partners who may have little to no direct interaction with these high-visibility people is huge.
The split-second it takes you to click that Like or Favorite button on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook pales in comparison to the value you get from that individual for having taken the time to do so. This is something extremely process-driven and scalable that you can do every single day.
What can you do to make thanking employees a more regular part of your everyday communications and marketing?
Matt Heinz is the President of Heinz Marketing. Matt brings more than 15 years of marketing, business development, and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes.
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