November 16, 2009

Give Thanks to Employees on Thanksgiving

During Thanksgiving it is traditional to give thanks and gratitude for family, friends and the many other things in our lives. How about starting a new tradition and give thanks to your employees for all they do for you and your organization?


Some organizations recognize employees during Thanksgiving by having office parties or giving turkeys. Of course, it is usually not a good idea to give a frozen turkey the day before Thanksgiving…it will not defrost in time! What if your budget does not allow a tangible form of thank you…what do you do?


Many employees are starving, not for turkey, but for a sincere thank you. Employees are working harder than ever in an economy that has led to reduction in staff but may not have led to an equal amount of reduction in work. They are taking on more responsibility and working longer hours. Your employees may be thinking, "Does anyone notice what I am doing?" or "Are my extra efforts appreciated?"


Remember to BET on your employees and they will know the answers to these questions. BET is an acronym for:


· B - Behavior: The behaviors you want to recognize. Be as specific as possible so the employee knows you have actually witnessed the behavior.

· E - Effect: The effect the behavior had on you, the department, or the organization.

· T - Thank You: Saying a clear thank you, letting the employee know you appreciate the effort.


Here a few examples of BET:


· "George, I want you to know how much I appreciate your working the extra hours this week to complete the customer report. I am sure that this will lead to a better relationship with the customer, thank you again."

· "Shirley, thank you for your suggestion on how we can improve our return process. Your new process will save several hours a week and make us all more efficient. I welcome any further ideas you may have."

· "Carl, thank you for training the new employee this week. I know you made him feel comfortable and part of our team as well as decreased the time it usually takes to train someone new."


Notice that the examples are very specific. If you just say a general "thank you" to employees they may be thinking "what for?" By being specific and sincere you are not only letting your employees know that you value them, but that you have noticed their extra effort. By BETing on your employees you also reinforce the type of positive behavior you want in the workplace because they will be much more willing to continue the behavior if someone notices and says thank you.


Your employees will remember how they have been treated in good times and bad times. If you BET on your employees they will remember it when making a decision on whether to leave your organization when the economy improves.


Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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