11 Jan Just say thanks
We have a wonderful postman who delivers to our office. He knows us all by name and has saved us from several misdirected letters, but more importantly every time he walks into the office he’s full of energy and jokes, and always leaves us with smiles on our faces. Before Christmas I called up his company to let them know how much we appreciate him. In the midst of the Christmas delivery rush the man on the phone was thrilled to hear some positive feedback, it sounded as though he hadn’t heard any for a while.
My first day back in the office and our postman arrives mid morning. He set down his letters and gave me a huge hug saying “thank you – you know what for”. The company had made an announcement over the loud speakers to all 700+ employees, calling him to an executive’s office. He arrived unsure of what he’d done after a difficult morning of being berated by customers waiting for missing Christmas packages. He was very surprised when he was congratulated, thanked and applauded by a group of senior managers because of the positive feedback. He was given reward points as well, but they didn’t seem to matter nearly as much as the recognition he had received from his company and also from us. He welled up a bit telling us the story and how touched he was that we had gone to the trouble of sharing our feedback.
We work a lot with clients to design reward and recognition programs that celebrate and share stories like these. And we truly believe that visible recognition is a powerful driver of employee engagement. But we don’t often hear the individual and personal reactions of staff to this recognition. So it was wonderful to hear our postman’s story and see how motivational it was for him to receive great feedback. Everyone involved in this interaction got a boost because of it; me, the man I spoke to on the phone, the managers and especially our postman.