Of all the perks a company can offer, appreciation may be the most significant in creating an engaged and happy workforce.
To be clear, this goes beyond "thank you" and "great job" or recognition awards and other incentives to do more, do better. I'm talking about real, sincere, top-down, appreciation that makes everyone in the company feel valued. That their role and the work they contribute is important and vital to the company. The type of appreciation that goes beyond your last sale or achievement. The type of appreciation that allows for people to feel safe enough to experiment, to try new things, and yes - even fail at times. The type of appreciation that values an individual's worth, not just the sum of tasks that person has performed.
It sounds so simple doesn't it?
Yet is is so rare in most businesses. But I guess if it were easy, every company would be full of happy, engaged employees with long tenures and limited turnover. It can be so easy to be distracted by customer count, bottom line growth, capital improvements, and day to day operations that the people aspect gets lost or equated into productivity measures.
It's an art, and one I am fortunate to witness this type of appreciation first hand.
Appreciation is built into the culture and nurtured at the highest level at my company.
To provide an example, all of our associates were given a hospitality basket for Thanksgiving as is tradition.
While a nice and much appreciated gesture, it's not what conveys appreciation.
It's the art of appreciation in the form of an annual letter from our shareholders that accompanies the basket.
The type of appreciation that contributes to a feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself, something that inspires, motivates, and fosters company loyalty:
Nov 24, 2015
Dear Beekley Associates
As we approach this time of Thanksgiving, we are once again reminded of all that we are grateful for. While contemplating our many blessings, beyond our family, we recognize the Associates of Beekley Corporation among our greatest. ear after year you surpass expectations and surprise and delight with your dedication and enthusiasm to doing whatever it takes to make a difference.
We are continually in awe of your commitment, discipline, and the service you demonstrate, as well as the dedication and inspiration of Beekley's leadership. We've always known that Beekley Corporation is a special place, reflecting the values and principles of our father and grandfather, and of course, Ayn LaPlant.
Those values are reflected in everything you do, from your interactions with each other, the quality of products you make and sell, the service you provide to customers, and the relationships you have with vendors and partners. You all work hard and have fun together. So, it is no surprise to us that Beekley Corporation was voted a Top Workplace in Connecticut by the Hartford Courant and Fox 61. Our Father would be so proud! You have surpassed his wildest dreams.
We truly believe the success of Beekley Corporation is dependent on each one of you. It is people who make the difference. A commitment to the development of every associate within Beekley is evident in the results you bring and growth of the company year after year.
Your commitment to each other and the community around you is inspiring. The fundraising results you achieve through your numerous ARC Angel charity events, golf tournament and Designer Handbag Bingo experience are remarkable by any standard, especially for a company of your size. We are proud and thankful for your generosity and the the difference you all make in the lives of so many.
As is often the case, we like to reflect on the words of our father, W Mason Beekley, while we prepare this letter for you. In 1999 he closed his letter with these words and we feel they are as relevant today as they were then. We'd like to share them with you:
"On this Thanksgiving we have so much to be thankful for...Our families, our happy and successful work, our beautiful and bountiful country, and for life itself. And of course I give particular thanks for each person on our Beekley Team, how very, very fortunate we all are!"
Yes, we are all so fortunate! We thank each of you for your contributions, commitment, and spirit. We wish each of you a happy and healthy holiday and all the joys of the season. Happy Thanksgiving!
Liza-Lee, Sayre, Francie , the Daughters of W Mason and Licia Beekley, Shareholders of Beekley Corporation
A simple gesture, but one of many such gestures of appreciation that contribute to making ours a great small company.
Appreciation, genuine and sincere, has a ripple effect and you can be surprised at how powerful it can be or how much a heartfelt recognition can touch someone. It may be an art, but it can be learned and practiced.
We all know too many people who really don't like their jobs or who feel that what they do doesn't matter or that they are just cogs in the system. We are indeed fortunate that appreciation is built into our culture and is practiced at every level.