12 November 2018, 09:01 am
Speciality Bites by Paul Hargreaves

On attending a performance in London’s West End this weekend and talking afterwards we were reflecting on what an unusual job it is being a stage actor. Working at night, spending hours each day being made-up and months of practice before the real job. One thing actors and others in the public arena such as sports stars don’t miss out on though is appreciation. After and during every performance these professionals enjoy several standing ovations and many minutes of loud appreciation.

This started me thinking about how much appreciation other people receive in their jobs. The answer is probably not enough. I know for one I am not as good as I should be in expressing my appreciation of those that work for me. I am better than I used to be, but as I don’t need appreciation myself, like many entrepreneurs, I had assumed others were the same as me. They are not! Most bosses need to learn more about the art of appreciation.

Just small words of thanks on a regular basis can make a huge difference as can written notes or cards, which are a very rare event these days. I received a postcard of thanks the other day from someone I met fleetingly at a conference in September. A lovely note very well expressed and so unusual it made my day and made me resolve to write notes myself more frequently.

Feeling appreciated by your manager always scores highly in company surveys of employee’s happiness, sometimes, amazingly, higher than financial remuneration. But do not doubt that money is also important. At Cotswold Fayre, two years ago we implemented an employee profit-share scheme that has helped ensure complete engagement in our purpose from my team and complete openness by the management team on exactly how much profit we make as a company. Everyone knows at the end of each month exactly where we are tracking for the end of the year pay-out. This is one way we show appreciation, but it isn’t a substitute for living your work life expressing our appreciation of anyone who works for us.

Why don’t you this week just try to say thank you a few more times than normal?

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