Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Small Employee Gifts Yield Big Engagement Dividends

Employee GiftRecognition and Appreciation

Not that long ago I visited one of my clients, the Breckenridge Grand Lodge, in Colorado, which, by the way, is an amazing resort. While talking with several of their team members, a florist came in to deliver a plant. My client looked at the card to see who was receiving this gift, and she smiled.

It turns out that the plant was going to one of their employees for their one-year anniversary. I was told that every employee receives a plant like this one on their one-year anniversary. I asked, “What do they get on their second year anniversary?”

She laughed and said, “A bigger plant.” She then went on to tell me that when an employee is hired, the management sends the new team member a nice welcome note and a plant. On their one year anniversary they receive another note and another plant.

Now, this gesture of welcome and appreciation may not seem like much, but to the new employee it means a lot. Sure, there are lots of things that happen when an employee is onboarding, but showing appreciation from leadership is not always one of them. It’s a small gesture, but an appreciated one. And, the one year anniversary plant is another way of showing a little appreciation.

I was told that the employees will also receive a gift catalog for them to pick out a gift for these special occasions. Studies have proven more and more that employees appreciate and remember these types of gifts over a small amount of money.

In the grand scheme of things, this really is a small gesture, but that doesn’t mean it is insignificant. All of these little “extras” go a long way in building employee morale. The happy employee is typically a more engaged employee. They feel a better connection with their company. They are willing to work harder for the success of the company, and perhaps even more important, to take care of the customer.

Other ways to show appreciation might be to take employees to lunch – or bring lunch in. Maybe it’s something as basic as recognizing an employee’s birthday. I worked with the former CEO of a trucking company who used to write a personal note on a birthday card to each one of his 300 truckers. He knew the value of showing appreciation to the employees who were on the road and away from their families while working for his company.

So, a simple question to make you think might be: What little things do you or your company do to show appreciation, engage and fulfill employees?

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXV, Shep Hyken)

 
  1. I found a lot of truth in this article. People remember more the little things that you do for them than a big bonus at the end of the year. I learned this, during my management working experience. I currently work for a company that takes special care in recognizing employees and it is very rewarding. For example, every time we have a new colleague, there is a welcoming breakfast where everyone introduces themselves to the new person. Birthdays are posted online and you get to have a lunch with your team (paid by the company). Starting on your third year of employment, there is a recognition event called “5 a 7” where your direct supervisor tells everyone why you are an important asset to his or her team; this is a very nice and sometimes emotional event and after all speeches are done there is food and wine for everyone. I feel lucky I work for this company.

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