An enlightened leader just told me a great story. After experiencing 2 years of difficult times, a recent quarterly employee meeting was dedicated to looking to the future and celebrate furtunes starting to turn for the organization. There were four parts to the presentation: Vision/Strategy, Financials, Quality, and an HR update. While the first three received polite attention, the last piece received thunderous applause. Why? Because the announcement was made that the holiday tradition of giving each employee a frozen turkey was back after a two-year absence.
The learning? Never underestimate the value of the little things.
The action? Don’t go and add a turkey giveaway to your organizational traditions. Do continue to focus on communicating to all levels of your organization. But never underestimate the appreciation people have for the little things. A personal thank you, an early quit to spend time with family, flowers to show concern or appreciation, or just a few extra minutes to learn some facts about someone beyond their name.
For a leader, casting vision, communicating priorities, updating people on where the company is financially, and sharing news from different parts of the business is important. But also remember to hand out a few turkeys between powerpoint slides and annual reports.