Merge's Blog

To motivate employees, thank their spouses and families

GiftBasketLast fall I started an occasional series of posts that focused on zero-cost or inexpensive ways to motivate employees – ways to create a positive workplace atmosphere so as to secure your employees’ cooperation and loyalty, and thus improve productivity and performance. Saying thank you and offering employees flexible hours started off that list. Earlier this week, I experienced another way, this time first-hand, when a gourmet food hamper arrived at my front door! It was accompanied by a card – “Please accept this small gesture of my appreciation for your family’s patience and sacrifice during the company’s year-end close” – and it was signed by a senior manager of the company my husband works for. What a pleasant surprise!

Some background – my husband has been working 14+ hour days for the last almost three weeks as he helps finalize the corporate worldwide year-end for the organization he works for. Glimpses of him have been rare as he vanishes in the morning when I am barely awake and stumbles back home in the wee hours of the morning. Some nights I haven’t seen him at all as they’ve pulled “all-nighters”, and he’s squeezed in only a few hours of sleep at the hotel across the street from his office. In fact, he’s been away so much that I’ve jokingly referred to myself as a single parent!

I’ve always said that saying thank you to an employee’s spouse and family is an important and effective way to show employees that you care. I now have recent first-hand proof that it works. Let’s face it, when employees go above and beyond, it usually affects their personal lives and thus their families. Saying thank you to an employee is effective, but saying thank you to those who are impacted by the employee’s late hours is brilliant. If you can secure the support of your employee’s spouse, you’ve just taken a giant step towards a happier – and more productive – employee.

So, what are your thoughts? Either about this specific blog post, or about what else you do to create a positive and motivated team of employees? Please share.

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