One thing I was taught when we launched Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC, was that our employees are our biggest asset and therefore, take care of them. As a business owner starting out, taking care of your employees monetarily can seem a little scary because you want to keep the lights on, right? But making the investment in people creates a solid foundation and can end up having a huge impact on your business. Plus it really feels good and is just the right thing to do!
To be honest with you, sometimes I am floored by the success I have had with the business. My Business Coach says I need to start documenting my “secret sauce” – what it is that makes me a good leader and business owner. I have to really ponder what that is. I feel like I am an ordinary person (with a few extra pounds to lose ;o), who just does what I think needs to be done. But when I really think hard, I truly believe that this concept of taking care of my team is one of my “secret sauces.”
Taking care of people was a pretty easy concept for me to grasp because of how I grew up.
My mom was always doing “special” things for people and/or taking the time to show her appreciation. It wasn’t always “big” things, but it was something to let them know that she was thinking of them. I saw how she made people feel, the connection she created and what they did in return for her. My mom is tiny and petite but for some reason we call her “Moose.” So this phenomenon of her special touch on people was nicknamed “Moose Magic.” Moose Magic was everywhere and oftentimes the benefits trickled down to the whole family.
Appreciation is a huge thing that takes little time, effort and money. Thank you notes growing up were a huge part of our childhood. We did them for everything, and they were handwritten and personal. I have carried this into my girls lives as well. Sometimes I have to push them to complete their thank yous timely, but they do get done. My motto is, “If you have time to spend that birthday money, you have time to write a thank you.”
Recently, we stayed with some friends in California and they were so good to us and made the trip special. When the girls and I got back, we wrote thank you notes and got them sent out immediately. Rick (we will call him), called right when he received the notes to say how touched he was. He actually said that in his 57 years he has NEVER received a thank you. WOW! I was honored that we were his first and sad that thanking people doesn’t happen enough.
So going back to taking care of your employees! Here are a few things that I go by that have worked well for me and that I know my team has appreciated:
- Start by paying them a more than fair wage
- When you receive positive feedback about them, share it with them, post it in the office and/or share it with the whole team.
- If possible, offer a flexible schedule to help balance life. Our business concept really allows our team to own their flexibility and it has resulted in high retention.
- Create fun Appreciation events – Click here if you would like to be sent our Sweet Perks Calendar. It is filled with unique days to celebrate that create ideas for fun ways to appreciate your team.
- Write personal notes on their Birthday and Christmas (or whatever holidays you prefer), thanking them for what they bring to the company. Try and touch on a personal aspect about the job they specifically do.
- Gifts: Customize what you give to your team. If you know someone is really into cooking, have the gift be around their personal interests. When we had fewer employees, this was easier to do.
- When you see them at the office, take a moment to check in and see how they are doing, their family, etc.
- Acknowledge them when they have had an illness or loss in their life.
- Create team-building activities out of the office.
Those are just a few ideas to get your mind going and make a HUGE impact! You will start to see a pattern – and just how much your employees can impact your business by simply taking a few moments and personally acknowledging them. In fact, according to Socialcast, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being better recognized. Not only does it help them, but it helps YOU too. When I take a moment to send a note or acknowledge an employee, it makes me feel so good and happy inside. It is kind of like I am reflecting on my gratitude at that moment, and I can literally feel that emotion run through my entire body.
Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life and you’ll find that you have more of it.” -Ralph Marston