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Friday, March 2, 2012

Lean Quote: Employee Appreciation Day

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." — Voltaire (1694-1778); Philosopher, Essayist

Today, March 2, marks annual Employee Appreciation Day, which has taken place on the first Friday of every March since 1995. Employee Appreciation Day encourages managers of all levels to support and reward their employees, and to show their appreciation!

Employee Appreciation Day is all about your employees. Celebrating the value they bring to your organization as individuals is a great way to increase employee engagement, commitment, and motivation. It's important to make employees feel valued.

It seems like a simple concept: Make employees feel appreciated, and they will work harder and be more loyal. But there is often a disconnect between the type of appreciation employees want and what their managers think they want.

Let's be honest: If you have to make a special "day" for it, then it probably isn't happening as often as it should. Maybe that is to be expected. We're all busy. We get consumed in our daily tasks and forget that a few small words of gratitude go a long way. Today is an opportunity to correct that - and a reminder to make appreciation a part of our daily working lives all year long. Even if you think you show your appreciation for others regularly, it never hurts to tell them again.

A key point in respect for people is that actions speak louder than words when it comes to employee appreciation and engagement. Clear communication of expectations, honest and spontaneous acknowledgment, public recognition, and doing what you say you will are all ways to appreciate employees. Develop their talents and respect their diversity. Encourage and empower them to contribute to their causes and give back to the community.

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