Let’s face it… your employees have been through the ringer this year. So, it stands to reason that they could probably use a lot of encouragement and accolades to keep them going. Yes, you should start that now, but how about if you also declare 2021 as, ‘The Year of the Employee?’
We have some shining examples in business of CEOs who get it, including Gary Kelly. I remember a few years ago, in his Year in Review, Southwest Airlines’ Kelly shared his thoughts: “Through the challenges and triumphs over the year, I have witnessed the Heart of Southwest Airlines shine brighter than ever. For that, I’ll be forever grateful and proud of the magnificent People of Southwest Airlines.”
Why is this so extraordinary? Because Kelly gets it and he means every word. In contrast, many business leaders sign year-end letters that include words similar to the ones in Kelly’s article, but they don’t get it or mean it. They sign the letters out of obligation, not because they think their employees are their greatest asset.
You may be thinking, “If a senior leader does not think employees are the company’s most important asset, what does he/she think is?” Customers, technology, money, shareholders, software, the Board of Directors. The list goes on and on. And because of this, many leaders do not invest in creating an extraordinary business environment (i.e. Culture) that enables employees, and hence, customers, to soar.
WHAT CAN I DO? If I’m describing the head of your company, you can educate him/her and get them to see the light by sharing compelling data that shows the correlation between employee engagement and profitable revenue growth. A savvy leader will get it and may be open to declaring 2021 as, ‘The Year of the Employee,’ which will signal to your people that leaders care. Of course, you’ll then have to pull out all the stops to show people you care, but why wouldn’t you want to? Afterall, this is your greatest asset we’re talking about and the dividends will be enormous.