I was looking at the calendar for inspiration and saw that it was national cookie day--one of my favorite food groups! Homemade cookies call my name if they’re in the house. Literally. I can be three rooms away and their enticing voice lures me into the kitchen!
So what employment lessons can we learn from cookies? What are the things that call your employee’s names? What motivates them? Do you know?
It’s so easy to take our staff for granted, especially when they’re doing a good job. We tend to pay more attention when there’s an issue as we get frustrated when they don’t do their work, or, at least, don’t do what we think they should. But if we put more emphasis into the things that inspire them, how much better would our departments run?
If you don’t know what your staff want, ask them. Often, it’s just acknowledgement that they’re doing a good job. Who doesn’t like to hear that occasionally? Think about how often are you involved in some sort of disciplinary measure; if you’re not spending at least triple that amount of time on praise, what do you expect? Do you express appreciation at least weekly to one of your staff?
It’s difficult to have conversations about things going wrong, but we also tend to refrain from acknowledging when things are right. We get bogged down in the work and, that’s what we’re paying our staff for anyway, isn’t it? Why do we have to praise them? Shouldn’t the expectation be that they do a good job regardless?
But how do they know if they’re doing a good job? If you haven’t been acknowledging it, are they just trying to guess? Is it enough to reward them once or twice a year with an increase in pay and/or a holiday gift?
When’s the last time your supervisor (or a customer or anyone else) told you they appreciated you or that you were doing a good job? How did those simple works make you feel? Wouldn’t you like to make someone feel that way at least weekly?
So give your staff a cookie (or two). Let’s pass on our appreciation (and, bonus, it’s calorie free!)!