This week’s question: Some experts believe that it’s important in a healthy workplace for bosses to show gratitude to their employees. How do you let your employees know they are valued?
It’s as simple as recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of those I work with. I have high expectations because our clients deserve our best efforts. So when people I work with do a good job I am quick to let them know it.
Ramon Abadin, president, The Florida Bar, and partner, Sedgwick Law Firm
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I’m a firm believer in servant leadership. The employees at Kairos.com don’t work for me, I work for them. I also work for our investors, as well as our customers. If I can serve and keep those three constituencies happy, then I’m doing my job as CEO.
Brian Brackeen, CEO, Kairos
Wellness is a central part of CREC’s workplace culture. Our employees participate in free wellness classes and programs such as yoga, Zumba, meditation and boot camp several times a week. We serve organic meals, snacks and beverages, including smoothies, organic juices, salads and coconut water in our company kitchen and to clients. These activities play a big role in fostering healthy living and can change the way employees think about wellness outside the office.
Carol Brooks, president and co-founder, CREC (Continental Real Estate Companies)
The InterContinental Miami has been open for 30 years and we have a number of employees who have been here since the beginning, as well as more than 200 people who have been with us more than 10 years. Creating employee loyalty begins with making sure our team members are engaged and proud of their workplace. We recognize performance that goes above and beyond with our “It Pays to Wow” recognition program and celebrations to mark specific milestones. We take great pride in our being named one of the best places to work in South Florida.
Robert Hill, general manager, InterContinental Miami
I agree 100 percent with these experts. No matter how you look at it, employees are the lifeline of any business. Happy and engaged employees create a better customer experience, and in order for employees to be happy, they need to feel valued. As a company, we thank our employees with birthday lunches, group happy hours, wedding/baby showers, as well as recognition at our staff meetings and monthly newsletters. I also like to establish a personal relationship with every employee and making an effort to get to know them outside of the office. Little things, like asking about their children or recent vacations, or buying them a little something on their birthdays, really do go a long way.
Miriam Lopez, president/chief lending officer, Marquis Bank
We have a very strong employee culture at United Way and we work at it. We value one another, we support each other and we celebrate achievements and milestones. Our staff team understands the meaning of family and community and feels empowered to make decisions and go the extra mile. Even failure in the pursuit of big goals is acceptable. We want staff and volunteers to operate outside of their comfort zone in order to achieve greater results than might be otherwise expected.
Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Recognizing our employees has been a long-standing tradition at DHL and something we take great pride in. We show our gratitude in some cases by offering monetary rewards like gift cards, but we also believe simple gestures like sending thank-you cards and recognizing career milestones and safety accomplishments are equally important. This year, we’ll start to give employees who reach a career milestone — including retirement — a personalized “yearbook” with commendations from various executives as well as colleagues. We also host our very own talent contest, DHL’s Got Talent, which is a fun way for all of our employees to engage with each other and learn about the amazing people that work for our company.
Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas
It’s important for us to show our gratitude to our employees while also conveying to them that they play a role in our community that goes beyond their job description. We do this by recognizing individual and team successes, hosting bonding events such as picnics and field days and more. We also give our employees and their families the opportunity to attend and experience performances for free through a year-round reward program. But my favorite way to show our appreciation for their hard work, by far, is giving them a handwritten personal note on their anniversary.
M. John Richard, president, CEO, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
I praise employees when they go above and beyond so that it’s meaningful. I let employees know they are valued by asking for their input on key decisions that affect the future of the company, thanking them for work well done, and providing them with spot bonuses when they perform like rock stars.
Ania Rodriguez, CEO of Key Lime Interactive
Expressing and showing gratitude is imperative to a healthy workplace and a powerful motivator. It is part of our company culture. Through ABCD Cards (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty), all team members can submit one for another team member to express gratitude for what they did. We recognize those employees by awarding an employee of the month as well as an employee of the quarter. These employees receive a gift card, time off and a special parking space. They also are recognized in our monthly employee newsletter. We celebrate everyone’s birthday by decorating their workspace the night before their birthday, giving them a card signed by everyone in the company and a gift card. We also close our office and hold quarterly events that are fun and serve as a vehicle for team building. I strongly believe that keeping team members “in the know” is a critical component to a healthy workplace. So, we constantly communicate what is going on in the company and have quarterly “State of the Union” meetings. I am so proud of my entire team and hope to continue to find serendipitous moments to show my gratitude and appreciation for everything they do.
Rachel Sapoznik, CEO & president, Sapoznik Insurance
Gratitude is my mantra! That, along with mindfulness, have become my most important priorities, and I bring them with me everywhere I go. We show our employees gratitude by taking the time to form personal relationships with each of them. Every person who works at our manufacturing facility has a life outside these walls and deserves an equal amount of respect and attention. ginnybakes would be nowhere without the teamwork and camaraderie we’ve established here.
Ginny Simon, founder, CEO, ginnybakes