It was 2002, and during the preceding months I had worked my way up from an inbound customer service agent, to a team lead of 4, to supervising the company’s 2000+ telecommunication accounts within the United Kingdom. The company was thriving, even during a challenging post 9/11 economy. For me personally, it was an exciting time as it was my first job where I wasn’t delivering furniture or selling shoes. It felt good to have multiple responsibilities, it felt good to be trusted, and it was fun to serve the good people of the UK.
About that time, a new CEO, Brent was his name, was hired to guide the next phase of the company’s growth. His accounting background made him logical in his approach, and his genuineness and mild mannerisms were well received by the staff.
One day I remember returning from a lunch break to find a Post-it note on my desk. It read:
Thank you for all the great work you do in the UK.
That note, although a small gesture, meant a great deal to me. The thought that the CEO would take time out of his busy schedule to leave a handwritten note on my desk was energizing. It made me feel validated and valued. It taught me a lot about leadership. And it showed me how a little recognition can go a long way.
In fact, 15 years later I still have that note.
Business blogger Brandon Gaille stated in 2013 “Statistics show that half of employees switch jobs to gain more recognition…Gallup found that employees who receive praise, perform better. This act helps to engage your employees saving you from the $350 billion that is lost each year from an unengaged workforce.”
Do your employees know they are appreciated? If there’s any doubt, perhaps for starters it’s time to leave a Post-it or two on some desks. As my saved note will attest, taking an approach like Brent’s could make more of a difference than you’d think.
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