People are our most valuable asset and competitive advantage. That’s the adage expressed by CEO’s and Leaders across every industry, both private and public. But how are we actually expressing that value to “Our People”? For many, it is as simple as Money – may it be salary, bonus, 401k, stock option, vacation, etc.
The cornerstone of financial theory is incentive drives motivation. While that may be true, it doesn’t drive long-term satisfaction. The majority of studies indicate that job satisfaction isn’t directly correlated to financial metrics; rather it’s just one portion of the equation. What the findings do show, is that attaining and retaining talent is more closely aligned with how people feel, how they are treated, and their ability to make an impact.
Let’s not kid ourselves, compensation is important. But the truth is that no compensation package is complete unless you add in a true investment in your people. So what are some ways you can add that ‘true investment’ in your people beyond the package? Here are some tangible ways to compensate your team that are free, but are worth much more:
Private Thank You
Saying “thank you” is the easiest way to show your employees you are aware of and appreciate their hard work and dedication. It doesn’t always have to be post a great victory but is sometimes best after a difficult defeat. Appreciation is a force multiplier.
Anytime is a great time to say “great job”. To show that gratitude in front of others is special. Be it a team meeting or a conference, there is a special moment when you point out your gratitude to others. It’s great for self-esteem and could be an opening for future promotions as your employee’s work ethic, output or quality of character is on showcase to others.
Communication to Senior Leadership
A ten second email from Senior Leadership is immeasurable. Most email communication is fire drills, calls to action or just another CC. However, opening an email that reminds or alerts you to a great employee is a nice respite from the mundane. It’s also an easy way to let your employees know that you are paying attention to their career and taking notice of their successes.
Assign Special Projects
The day to day grind can often go without notice. A special project is a way to show that you acknowledge and have pride in your employee’s ability to do great work. It can be more work, but it can be a great way to show appreciation, gain more exposure and potentially do something amazing. Being challenged to be great is worth a great deal to many people.
Acknowledgment is empowering. Praise should be showered, not horded. Valuing your people shouldn’t be a throw away sentence on a Vision Slide. If we don’t show that our people are the key, then we will lose them to other companies that will.
So, to my team, “Thank you”!
*Team Leader Category Management, Walmart & Sam’s Club – RB (Reckitt Benckiser)
*Title and company of the author reflect their position at the time article was written.
The opinions expressed here by guest bloggers are their own, not necessarily those of Stout Executive Search.