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Chicomm Blog

Pointers from the Principals: It's the "Little Things"

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Employee Appreciation:A Little Extra Goes A Long Way

     Every person wants to feel part of something – a family, a group of friends, a team, or if an employee, the company they work for.  As an owner of a company, the challenge is, and always has been, how to make employees feel part of a team.  Many of the articles written on the subject say it’s the “little things”.  And you know what?  It is.ChiCommgroup resized 600

     Companies spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing the “big things” they can do for their employees, but many times these “things” are never executed due to cost restraints, or if executed they tend to have little long-term impact because they are impersonal.  But, a thank you note or thank you phone call for a job well done, small tokens of appreciation for extra effort put forth, or even a company barbeque or lunch can go a long way.

     Recently, we held an employee barbeque at our company.  This is no small feat for us to pull off, as most of our employees are in the field or at a satellite location, which makes it very hard to bring everyone together at one time.  This past July though, through the effort and coordination of many, we held a great one!  The date was scheduled in advance, so our Service Director and Service Supervisor scheduled a training session the morning of the barbeque in order to try to have as many of our field employees in the area on that day.  Our Marketing team planned fun, inclusive activities that employees could participate in throughout the day (even by those who weren’t physically in the office), and had some team t-shirts made for everyone as well.  Employees were asked to bring in their specialty dish to pass for the barbeque, and our office team was on point for set-up and clean-up.  With everyone working together we were able to have the largest turn-out for one of our employee barbeques/lunches that we’ve ever had, while at the same time keeping our business operations going.  Again, no small feat.

     After the barbeque, I had one of our field employees stop me and say, “Thank you for doing this.  It really helps those of us in the field feel part of the team – that we’re not just out there by ourselves.  Believe it or not, it really helps us to be more productive.”  Wow.  A little extra goes a long way -- a recertification of what I had already known, but just what I needed to hear.  Because the funny thing was, while I am usually a total supporter of having employee events, I was not my usual enthusiastic self in regards to the planning of this particular barbeque.  Having gone through the planning of several employee events over the past years and experiencing lower turnout I was instead what I guess I would call indifferent about the barbeque.  But, thanks to those around me who pushed for the barbeque, creatively worked with each other to make it happen, and pulled off a great one, I am back to my enthusiastic self.    

A little extra goes a long way.  Thank you to all of my colleagues who reminded me of that.

 

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Cindy Glashagel

This is a guest blog written by one of Chicago Communication's Principals, Cindy Glashagel. Cindy has over 27 years of experience in the industry. She held many positions during her tenure at Motorola, beginning with Systems Engineer and other various customer service, quality & operations management, and HR positions before resigning to start Chicago Communications, LLC.