2. Invite employees to have breakfast or lunch with you, one on one. Ask them what they love about your organization and what their ideas are to make it better. You will be amazed at the important feedback you will receive in a relaxed and trusting atmosphere.
3. Give them something that relates to their passion – a book, article, tickets, a tool, etc. First of all, learn what IS their passion—what they love to do in their free time, what makes them “come alive” when they talk about it, and then REMEMBER that passion and mention it to the employee from time to time. This shows them that you care about them as a human being with a life outside of work and will build loyalty and connection. Don’t forget to share YOUR passion with them, too!
4. Give them an opportunity for some learning completely unrelated to their job – financial planning, music lessons, a wine seminar, dancing lessons, presentation skills, golf lessons, creative writing. You are helping develop an individual in all facets of his/her life which will make for a better and more well-rounded worker and perhaps helping a dream come true.
5. Surprise them at the holidays by giving them an extra hour at lunch for Christmas shopping. (If times are good, give each employee $25 or $50 to buy something for themselves and then share what each purchased.)
6. Call someone in the employee’s family (mother, spouse, significant other) to thank them for sharing such a great person with your organization. This will be an experience that NONE of you will ever forget!
7. Write them a note telling them all the specific things you value about them. Many people will save these letters forever because no one has ever done this for them before.
8. Give each employee 5 paper cutouts of your hand. Each paper hand represents one hour of your time to do anything for them that they desire (within reason, of course! ;-) They will have the most fun teasing you with all the things they threaten they are going to have you do…..
9. Serve your direct reports breakfast or lunch. YOU cook! Or bring a brown bag lunch you have prepared for each employee and show a fun video while you all eat lunch together. We need more JOY in our workplaces!
10. Invite employees to your home for a party. This may be for families if you choose. Just seeing you in your own environment will create a special bond that can last forever. When I was a high school English teacher at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois, I always invited all my students to our home for a Christmas open house. Just last week, 35 years later, I was invited to dinner with one of my former students when I was speaking in Chicago. He told me that of all the teachers he had ever had, I was the only one he remembered!
BARBARA GLANZ BIO
For free articles you can use in your company newsletters and an archive of dozens of immediately applicable “Ideas of the Month,” go to www.barbaraglanz.com. Barbara Glanz, CSP, works with organizations that want to improve morale, retention, and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the author of Balancing Acts — More than 250 Guiltfree, Creative Ideas to Blend your Work and your Life (Dearborn 2003), Handle with CARE — Motivating and Retaining Employees (McGraw-Hill 2002), CARE Packages for the Workplace -- Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work (McGraw-Hill 1996), The Creative Communicator (McGraw-Hill 1998), CARE Packages for the Home (Andrews McMeel 1998), and Building Customer Loyalty (McGraw-Hill 1994). As an internationally known speaker, trainer, and business consultant who has a Master’s degree in Adult Education, Barbara lives and breathes her personal motto: "Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™." She has presented on six continents and in all 50 states since 1995. For more information, she can be reached directly at 941-312-9169; Fax 941-349-8209; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.barbaraglanz.com.