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It’s the Little Things…

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It’s the Little Things…

In January we wrote about National Employee Motivation Day.
It’s a subject that always generates enthusiastic conversations.

Employee Appreciation Day, held on the first Friday in March raises similar points in the US, with more thoughts and ideas being shared last week.

Both days were launched to help organisations better understand the power of motivation by rewarding and incentivising those who matter.

Sadly it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of connecting rewards with monetary value – annual bonuses and cash incentives. However, we know from our own experiences and countless studies on the subject that people aren’t necessarily driven by financial rewards.

We talked about the concept of little gestures that connect people together. Also known as ‘TNTs’ or Tiny Noticeable Things. We shared some examples of those powerful gestures that boost motivation and since then, we’ve been inundated with stories of TNTs in full swing.

We thought we’d share some of them with you.

And as I write this post, a grumble from my stomach reminds me of a Site Manager from a client of ours who was famed for taking bacon sandwiches along on his depot visits …

Here are some more top suggestions we’ve been hearing:

  • Listening and not interrupting
  • Kindness/thoughtfulness in all actions. Pleases, thank yous and authentic concern
  • Birthday cards for employees
  • Events where beforehand, employees write on colourful paper/Post-its what they were grateful for from their colleagues
  • ‘Ask for my opinion, involve me, keep me informed.’
  • Free food always goes down well, even just cakes or cookies
  • Competitions and chances to get involved
  • Collecting stranded employees who’ve been let down by public transport
  • Conversations that go beyond “Hi, how are you?” Take an interest, get to know employees
  • Directors sending handwritten thank you notes to all team members
  • Celebrate work anniversaries
  • Recognise top time-keeping and attendance
  • ‘Taking an interest in me as an individual, asking how I am, even offering a hug when needed!’
  • Public acknowledgments from leadership to employees on a job well done – this can be as simple as an email to people on the team saying thank you
  • Being mindful of language – this will be different for each organisation but teams definitely have ‘trigger words’ that people need to watch out for and either use or avoid
  • A nice idea from Yammer’s office – The Employee Appreciation Wall where employees post customised stickies of thank yous to their coworkers
  • When working late, offering to help another colleague finish up for the day so they aren’t stuck behind in the office
  • Asking people about their personal lives and then remembering this later – for instance, remembering to ask about an employee’s family. This article from Harvard Business Review explores how the root causes of engagement issues are actually found outside the workplace. It reveals how the insights that lead to real improvements in engagement arise when we consider the whole person.

Rewarding behaviours

We love the ‘Terrific Tickets’ initiative, recently introduced by a client of ours, BHR Hospitals – A simple way to say thank you to employees. Each Clinical Director receives a book of 25 tickets, replenished every quarter. These tickets are given to employees observed demonstrating PRIDE behaviours (Passion, Responsibility, Innovation, Drive and Empowerment). Terrific Tickets are redeemed at Costa for a tea or coffee and they’re sponsored by Sodexo, the hospital’s estates and facilities partner. Employee have been known to hold onto their tickets as a proud memento of the recognition they’ve received.

Wins and triggers

And finally, we were struck by some of the points raised at the IoIC Central region’s annual seminar by Laughology’s Stephanie Davies when she touched on happiness wins and triggers. We love the sound of these and how they encompass the spirit of these meaningful, impactful gestures:

  • Turn on your people before you turn on your computers
  • Make contact to congratulate
  • Awards of the week
  • Make time for fun and engagement
  • Notice and know everyone
  • Encourage ‘what’s right’ thinking rather than ‘what’s wrong’ thinking

Share your thoughts…

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject of TNTs. What works best for you? How do you avoid getting it wrong? And how do you make sure it’s a 365 day policy rather than an infrequent or occasional gesture?

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