Meat+Poultry - August 2018 - 92


Employee appreciation
How often have we heard some
company owner or representative
declare, "Our employees are our most
valuable asset?" Some companies have
even adopted this claim as their byword.
In this era of more-than-full employment
and a growing shortage of qualified job
applicants in virtually every industry,
those words have now become a reality.
The unfortunate fact, however, is that
few companies, their owners, their
managers or supervisors have taken that
claim to heart. Despite the increasing
difficulty and expense of recruiting and
retaining suitable employees, little effort
has been made by most employers to
actually demonstrate that they truly
value those "assets." In all but a few
workplaces it remains work as usual,
with little if any effort made to show
genuine employee appreciation.
While wages are finally trending
upward, largely due to the competitive
job market, the recent tax overhaul
and state-mandated minimum wage
increases, it isn't always a matter of
more money that makes employees feel
appreciated. Even today, surveys show
that most managers and supervisors
believe that what matters most to
employees are the tangible things such
as wages, benefits and promotions. Yet
studies have for years confirmed that
what is actually most important to the

majority of employees is having a boss
that genuinely cares about them - one
that is fair and makes them feel a part
of the company.
So how does a small business owner,
plant or department manager, or even
a supervisor create that employee
goodwill and a caring workplace
culture? Trite as it may seem, an
occasional "Good morning," "Thank
you for staying late yesterday" or "I
really appreciate your extra effort in
completing that project so quickly"
and similar sincere remarks can
make a world of difference in how
employees feel about their company
and management. Over the many years
that I have worked with employers,
the most successful managers I have
known were those who every day
made their employees their paramount
concern. How is that done? Most of the
time, it is easier than you might think.
Giving daily attention to your
employees and their concerns is
critical and requires a sincere effort.
But, it is obviously not the only way to
show that as their employer, you truly
appreciate what they do to make the
company a success.
One employer I know implemented
something that has been around for
years - an incentive program. The
company rewarded the production
line with the best numbers for the

month with a chicken luncheon - as
well as additional time over lunch to
enjoy the meal. In addition, they were
joined by the entire management team.
This simple and well-known method
of rewarding employee productivity
created such a competition between the
production lines that by year's end plant
productivity was up over 8 percent. Here
something seemingly small and low
cost paid off in a big way. The company
was so pleased with the results that
they are exploring other similar steps
to demonstrate their gratitude for the
employees' efforts in 2018.
The ways in which to show
appreciation for your employees and
all they do are only limited by your
imagination. Any effort you make, large
or small, is effort well spent. Something
as simple as resolving to have everyone
in management and supervision make
a point of regularly and sincerely
thanking their employees for what
they do can make a real difference.
Singling out employees who have made
a difference in front of their peers
is another small gesture that speaks
loudly to all.
A genuine and caring employee
focus will go a long way in helping
you retain satisfied and productive
employees. All that it requires is your
decision to make it happen.
R I C H A R D A L A N I Z | m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d .c o m


MEAT+ POULTRY | 08.18 |

Pamela Maxwell/

While wages are finally trending upward,
it isn't always a matter of more money that
makes employees feel appreciated.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2018