Recognize THEM!: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value [Kindle Edition]

Recognize THEM!: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value [Kindle Edition]

by Zane Safrit

ISBN: 9781483518480

Publisher BookBaby

Published in Business & Investing/Business Culture, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Business & Investing/Management & Leadership, Business & Money

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Book Description

This is a manual, showing 52 easy-to-execute ways to recognize your employees in ways they value. The operative words are 'easy-to-execute' and 'ways they value.' Easy to execute means very affordable, too. 'Ways they value,' well that's clear isn't it.

Why should you care? This is how you create a culture of engagement which in turn creates superior results for your organiztion. These are results like higher profits and faster revenue growth and a place you feel proud to call your own.

Sample Chapter

The Wake-Up Call

The quarterly and monthly reports told a dismal story, one marked by new records and all of them bad. The monthly advertising and marketing report showed fewest clicks to our website for the month and the quarter and the highest number of bounces. Calls to our sales line were the lowest...ever. Topline revenues continued to grow but at the slowest pace since I began tracking it three years prior when I became CEO. Cash flows slipped while expenses rose mainly from failed advertising and marketing campaigns. In summary, these reports were the exclamation point for the growing reality that This is not a sustainable business model. I might have used more colorful terms that day in my office.

Early in the week I had listened as the sales agents grumbled about leads. No news there; sales agents always complain about leads. Only their complaints were real now. The newest sales agent had reminded me of my promise that he would see so many leads a day. I was honest, even understated, in that promise. But, now, that reality was long gone and all he cared about were his leads. Collectively, the sales agents told me our prices were no longer competitive. They were right. Three years before we competed in the lap of luxury with a price advantage of as much as 75%. Prospects then asked Are you for real when they saw our prices. Now, almost three years later and after our competitors, some whose advertising budgets dwarfed our company, drove our prices down by 70% to new and existing customers we heard the same question asked. Are you for real? Only now, they were asking why charged so much. We were no longer the lowest.

Customer Service wasn’t happy seeing so many customers either cancel or demand lower prices. Their days were demoralizing.

I had no ideas. That’s not sustainable if I wanted to remain as CEO of this small company located in SE Iowa where we had competed successfully against global telecommunications companies until now.

I would love to an epiphany, a zigzag streak of lightning, as Winston Churchill called it, struck me between the eyes some time, any time, that day. However, this is a nonfiction book.

No. I kept my lunch date that day, hiding this reality from her as best I could - which was not at all she told me that night. And for another two quarters, I tinkered here, tweaked it there until finally I decided we could no longer afford traditional advertising and marketing. The return on those amounts was no better than if I donated it to a 501C whose passionate members fought for the rights of lemmings, all lemmings everywhere, and their right to throw themselves off a cliff en masse. That’s what I was doing with our company by spending money on Google adwords, direct mail, email, display ads, sponsorships, banner ads...

So, that was the first step of not doing the same thing and expecting different results. That was the first step in my journey towards uncovering the power of employee recognition.

Within two days, I stepped forward again when I discovered Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba and their book: Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force. Over the next few weeks, maybe a month, I realized that before you create customer evangelists you need to create employee evangelists.

To do that I needed to answer this question:

Other than meaningless rah-rahs around empty slogans like ‘world class customer service,’ how do I create employee evangelists, unleash the ideas and passions I knew resided in the already excellent people in the company?

That signaled the official, focused, start of my journey discovering or rediscovering the power of employee recognition, creating a culture of recognition and engagement that inspires employees to become brand evangelists, passionistas for each other and their customers.

I hate to segue into business buzzwords. Employee recognition, employee engagement and even brand evangelists are buzzwords du jour. Employee recognition is such a buzzword that it’s become a $40+ billion industry. However, judging from its results on employee engagement that’s where its impact ends. Employee engagement numbers in the U.S., the percentage of employees engaged emotionally and intellectually with their work has remained at underwhelming 30% for the past decade. Through this book you’ll see links to support these numbers.

However, here’s why I’m sharing these tips and steps. (Reminder: nearly all of them cost nothing more than a few moments of your time and your willingness to try.) The results we generated by taking these steps, rebuilding our brand from the inside out, from our most important stakeholders - employees - to our customers included:

Revenues Grew 80%

Cash Flows Returned to Previous Levels

Sales Conversions Rose. With advertising and marketing we generated a healthy 50%. With brand evangelists, employee evangelists, engaged employees, we generated over 80%.

A Steady Stream of Referrals and Testimonials. They served as a daily source of inspiration, motivation and celebration. Imagine that! Customer Service is too often seen as a painful, must-have, expense. Our Customer Service became a source of inspiration from customer testimonials, up-sells and cross-sells and real-time market research.

A vibrant, exciting, culture where laughter was heard far more than groans and our days were spent pointing out our recent victories far more often than minor and temporary setbacks. Oh, and I encouraged everyone to work no more than 7 hours a day, preferably six.

All these and more were achieved in the conference calling industry, by a small company, whose headquarters in rural Iowa. There is nothing sexy about conference calls. No one goes home and talks about the features of a conference call unless it’s to complain. And yet, with the power unleashed with these simple steps, we were able to not only survive but thrive in a commoditized industry.

You, Reader, you create, produce, sell products with more interesting features than a conference call. That’s a huge leverage. You’re looking for solutions, another great advantage. You know you work with great people with solutions waiting to be shared, to be discovered, to be implemented. However, for many in your position, they recognize that the enthusiasm they once saw especially for new hires has long been absent. The thrill is gone.

I’m not pretending to be SME, Subject Matter Expert, or ‘thought leader.’ I’m not the world’s leading anything. I’m not an ivory tower academic at a prestigious university. I’m you, staring at the same reports showing the same disappointing results and wondering how do I change them. I’m you, working with friends and colleagues I respect but now we grumble too much. I’ve stumbled, fallen, scraped my knees and even scrapped the knees of others. But, I’ve risen, they’ve risen and with their help and the grace of a restless, relentless mind I discovered these steps and walked their journey, rediscovering what I knew all along: the solutions sat around me, met with me in my office, performed heroic acts every day rescuing our customers and sustaining our brand. I share them so you can take them if you think they’ll work or help you discover ones better suited for your company and stakeholders.

Nearly all of these steps are you can take when you close this book. They are paced so you can learn as you go, learning your steps not mine, rediscovering your solutions that sit around you and meet with you and whose achievements drive your company’s success. And, who want to do more and would do more if given the right chances.

A few are steps I wished I had discovered and taken myself. You’ll recognize them.

Some are so-o-o obvious. They will remind you that the sources of even more simple and obvious steps, solutions and ideas are working all around you. They’re sitting in your meetings and in the next cubicle over. The more you recognize their contributions, the more you find to recognize. Each recognition is the start of a conversation, bringing more steps, solutions and ideas. It’s a virtuous cycle.

It’s also my experience that these are the ones I overlooked more often than any others.

I do not know where you are in this journey. There are tips in here for big companies and small. Most importantly, there are plenty of tips anyone in any size company can take. Right now.

I’ve organized these 52 ways into four categories: Show You Care, Be Their Champion, Empower Your Employees, Let Them Shine. Stephen Lynch, COO of RESULTSdotcom, generously shared his personal story discovering the power of employee recognition: Stephen’s Story. The last chapter is titled Conclusion: Sometimes You Just Have to Try.

Included in each category are quotes to inspire you for one more step and exercises to stretch your recognition muscles to take bigger steps and take them more frequently.

As you read these ways and take these steps you’ll discover others, better suited, for your challenges. Excellent! Let me know, let others know, about these new steps. We have to recognize each other’s successes and lessons. There’s plenty to go around.

Also, as you take these steps, let me know what happens for the same reasons.

Lastly, you may find yourself surprised by the responses and wonder why or what steps to take. Ask someone. Tell them your story. Ask them Well, what do you think? Please feel free to reach out and contact me here, too. I may have a solution; I may not. I may ask you questions to help you find the solution that’s resting just behind your surprise. Or another solution may surprise us, the result of recognizing your journey, your experience and what you’ve accomplished so far.

I wish you the best.


Excerpted from "Recognize THEM!: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value [Kindle Edition]" by Zane Safrit. Copyright © 2014 by Zane Safrit. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Zane Safrit

Zane Safrit

Zane Safrit’s spent his career in call center operations, many of them serving international customers and sales forces. From an entry-level position as a customer service rep to team leader to Assistant Director and Country Manager to finally CEO he saw the language of employee recognition and employee engagement is a universal language and so are the forms of its ROI. As Country Manager, he opened his company’s first overseas office in Duesseldorf, Germany and used employee recognition and engagement to double sales and triple the number of new orders within the first six months. As CEO of a small conference call service provider he re-budgeted the company’s advertising and marketing budgets towards employees and customers. This resulted in revenue growth of 80% while retail prices were pushed lower by over 70%, all the time generating positive cash-flows, the lifeblood of small business. In his book Recognize THEM: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value he has compiled many of the ways he used to recognize and engage employees, many of them require no financial investment, research and data to show the positive impact on a company’s performance and inspiring quotes from business leaders on the value of employee recognition. He also shares his mistakes to help you avoid them as you begin this journey towards a culture of engagement.

View full Profile of Zane Safrit

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