Last month, a 17-year-old Hardee’s employee (Kailen Young) in Knoxville, Tennessee went above and beyond by helping an elderly woman across the parking lot to her car. A passerby took a picture of the two and posted it on Hardee’s Facebook page: it went viral. Hardee’s in turn acknowledged their employee’s good deed with a $1,000 check.
It doesn’t matter whether Hardee’s had given Kailen $100 or $1,000. It’s not the amount that is important. Hardee’s showed how much it appreciated Kailen as a person, not a mere cog in the company wheel, by valuing its employee for his humanity, not just how does his job.
A happy employee is one who feels appreciated and valued by his or her employer. Study after study show that employees will be on time and work harder when their employers never take them for granted. Money isn’t the only reward. Start with the basics: say please and thank you. Notice and call attention to what an employee does right. Be aware of what employees do that goes beyond their job description, as did Hardee’s. And although giving deserving employees a half day off work, buying them lunch or handing out gift cards is always a terrific way of saying “you are appreciated,” it really is the thought that counts.
For more practical workplace tips, go to http://www.noellenelson.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/HappyEmployeesEqualProfits or at Twitter.com/HappyProfits.