A Little Thanks Goes a Long WayOctober 29, 2020
A metal forming company executive once told me, “We’re looking for more employees to work on the system, not just in the system.” Emphasis on the words “on” and “in.” Take a moment to reflect on this, and then think about the employees at your company who are motivated to more than just do their jobs, but also seek to contribute to improving your operations.
Another industry executive provided this feedback: “We look for people who can develop an opinion and back it up with logic. We don’t like ‘yes’ people, we want them to say, ‘yes, and… .’ We look for people who cannot just be part of a team, but who also can lead a team.”
Finding prized employees with these attributes is akin to unearthing a gold mine. But the most forward-thinking employers, especially in these trying pandemic-affected times, take the extra steps needed to create a positive organizational culture where employees feel valued, cared for and safe. Under these circumstances, your prized employees will show themselves.
As our world continues to look vastly different than it ever has, we can see a range of effects—mostly negative—on the people on our plant floors, in our management suites and in our homes. This is a time for managers to pay extra attention to their staffs, the dedicated workers sacrificing not only in their personal lives but also doing so on the job. These employees not only are performing but are working ‘on the system’ to help forge the best path forward through uncharted territory.
Oh, how life can change. And so, there’s no time like the present—as Thanksgiving approaches—to pause and reflect on what we have to be thankful for, and also to take steps to ensure that your employees feel valued and their contributions appreciated.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, author Sabina Nawaz, a CEO coach, reminds us that “in times of crisis, a little thanks goes a long way… gratitude strengthens relationships much more when it is conveyed as appreciation for what the other person did, rather than about the way it benefited you.”
So, as we approach Thanksgiving 2020, even during this extremely strange and challenging year, it should not be too difficult to identify those who deserve our thanks. Besides, of course, our friends and family, teachers and healthcare workers, let’s start with thanking the dedicated workers who don’t shy away from learning new skills, taking on additional tasks and putting new ideas on the table. In this era where manufacturers struggle to recruit, train and retain skilled and dedicated workers, we rely more than ever on those rare, valuable folks who step up to the plate whenever asked, and even when they’re not. Be thankful for them. And, be thankful for working in businesses that continue to move forward in these challenging times, and that continue to innovate and evolve.