There’s Nothing Like a Card

As an employee retention speaker, I tell my audiences that one thing virtually every employee likes is getting a birthday card or a card on their work anniversary with the company.  Not some stock “Happy Birthday” card but a short-handwritten note from the president, plant manager, GM or head of the facility wishing them the best on their birthday.  People love it.  It makes them feel special that someone in a senior leadership role would take the time to do something like that.

If you really want to have an impact, write a brief message wishing them the best and tell them you appreciate their contribution to the organization and mention something that you know about them.  That personal touch will really set your organization apart from other organizations because most organizations do nothing.

Often times, as an employee retention trainer, I hear people say, “That can be a lot of work.”  Yep…it can…but so can recruiting and hiring a new employee.  It is better to invest in the process than trying to deal with it after the person has quit.  You need to do these little things as part of your employee retention strategies even if it is a bit of work.

There are other advantages of writing out cards as well.  It makes you feel good and helps you focus on the value that your people bring to the organization.  Having to think about it makes you realize that everyone makes a contribution.  It doesn’t matter if you are the janitor or the Director of Sales.  Everyone adds value and if writing out a card brings that into focus, that in and of itself is worth the effort even beyond the issue of employee retention.

Writing out a card also makes you feel good even though the task may be arduous at time.  But, what really makes you feel good is when the employee thanks you (which most do) even though it is their day.  People appreciate the little things like this.  It brings us closer together as an organization and makes work worthwhile.

We have to do a lot of things that are a pain as part of our jobs.  Writing cards is one that seems to be the case when you look on the surface.  The key is to get out of your office, buy some cards and start having your president, plant manager or GM writing notes to employees on important days.  The rewards will go far beyond any employee retention strategies.

Jeff Kortes

jeff@humanassetmgt.com

Jeff Kortes is an employee retention expert who speaks and conducts workshops regularly in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana. He draws on his experiences as a human resources professional, father, coach, martial artist and U.S. Army veteran to provide thought-provoking programs that yield results.