Merge's Blog

To motivate employees, thank their spouses and families

This blog post was originally written in January 2014, and has been updated since then. 

GiftBasketOver the years, I have posted many times about zero-cost or inexpensive ways to motivate employees.  Each time my focus has been on ways to create a positive workplace atmosphere.  If you can secure your employees’ cooperation and loyalty, you can improve productivity and performance.

In fact, last year, in 2018, I posted an entire series of video blogs (33 in total) that focused specifically on ideas to motivate employees.  Each video was a 2-3 minute specific actionable idea that leaders could use to build positivity, productivity and performance.  But it’s always very exciting to actually see these tips in action … even better when I experience them first-hand.

It happened to me!

Which is exactly what happened to me in January 2014 when a gourmet food hamper arrived at my front door! It was accompanied by a card – “Please accept this small gesture of my appreciation for your family’s patience and sacrifice during the company’s year-end close”.  It was signed by a senior manager of the company my husband works for. What a pleasant surprise!

Now some background is in order.  My husband had been working 14+ hour days for the previous almost three weeks. He was helping to finalize the corporate worldwide year-end for the organization he works for. Glimpses of him had been rare as he vanished in the morning when I was barely awake, and stumbled back home in the wee hours of the morning. Some nights I didn’t see him at all as his team pulled “all-nighters”.  If he was lucky, he squeezed in a few hours of sleep at the hotel across the street from his office. In fact, he was away so much that I jokingly referred to myself as a single parent!

Take it to the next level

Saying thank you to an employee’s spouse and family is an important and effective way to show employees that you care.  I mean, it’s been over five years since this happened, and I’m still talking about it!!  Let’s face it, when employees go above and beyond, it usually affects their personal lives and thus their families. Saying thank you to an employee for going above and beyond is effective, but saying thank you to those who are impacted by the employee’s late hours is brilliant. If you can secure the support of your employee’s spouse, you’ve just taken a giant step towards a happier – and more productive – employee.

So, what are your thoughts? Either about this specific blog post, or about what else you are doing to motivate employees? Please share.

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