Every Sunday, I have breakfast with my dad. This time of year it can be a little challenging because he owns a CPA firm and it is his busy time of year...TAX SEASON! While having breakfast yesterday, he told me that he has started to bring in a masseuse on Friday's. She stays for an hour and gives 15 minute chair massages to his employees. He mentioned that he has been reading a lot of articles/books lately on motivating Millenials and thought this would be a nice way to show his employees his appreciation during their busy season and said, "I think it is working!"
I was intrigued! I continued to ask questions because I wanted to understand his thought process. As we chatted, I made a bold statement and said, "you know, it is not the massages or incentives that motivates your employees right?" He looked at me surprised and asked me to explain. I told him, it is the company culture and work space that you have created over the years that motivates your employees to work harder. Employee appreciation is part of that work culture and the chair massages are one of the many avenues that you use to show your appreciation for them". He continued to look at me inquisitively, so I continued and said, "when an employee works in an environment where they know they are appreciated. Where they know their ideas, thoughts, and opinions are heard. Where they feel like a integral part of the company...that is the true source of motivation. Adding fun things such as chair massages, act as reinforcements that their value is appreciated by the company. The chair massage alone is not the source of motivation."
My dad has always done a great job of creating a strong company culture. He intentionally encourages and pushes his employees to learn and grow in a safe environment. Where it is ok to make mistakes, as long as your learn from them. That is why he is so respected in his industry and has next to zero employee turn over.
My question for you this week:
What are you doing to help your employees feel like they are an integral part of your organization? You don't have to buy them massages, ping pong tables or bean bag chairs but as a leader it is your responsibility to show them how much you care, appreciate and value them as part of your working team.