Employee appreciation is a hot topic these days, and it’s usually focused on rewarding your top talent.
In honor of National Custodial Thank You Day (October 2), let’s talk about showing gratitude to those invaluable, behind-the-scenes employees.
As prominent Internet marketer Carina Wytiaz blogs in an a Magazine post, “How can I make sure all my employees feel appreciated?”:
“We often recognize the shining suns inside a company while forgetting the daily stars. Even more common, managers are concerned with the squeaky wheels to the detriment of the rest of the team.”
What would any facility be without its custodians? A mess—that’s for sure. And there are many similar positions in every company that often fly under the radar. Here’s how some businesses show employee appreciation for custodians and other unsung heroes of the workplace.
Employee appreciation from clients
An Everything Summer Camp post, “How will you celebrate National Custodial Worker Day?” gives camp kids ideas for showing appreciation:
- First, thank them face-to-face. Simply tell them how grateful you are for their role in keeping your environment clean and safe.
- Second, try to keep the mess you make to a minimum.
- Third, get them a card. Cards are an easy way to incorporate everybody with signatures from everyone in your class.
Appreciation from clients—and in this case, kids—goes a long way. That’s likely true of your employees too.
Employee appreciation from the top
Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah makes sure its custodians feel valued.
The top of its district news page for October 2 features this quote by Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle (he lived from 1795 – 1881, and we’re sure that today he’d include women):
“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.”
Well said, Thomas. The Canyons District page goes on to recognize the district’s custodians, starting with:
“On National Custodial Workers Recognition Day Oct. 2, 2014, Canyons School District wishes to honor the men and women who work behind the scenes to provide students and employees with a clean and safe learning and working environment.
Thank you to all 708 Canyons custodians and custodial support staff, who dedicate their workdays to maintaining CSD schools, offices, and campuses. Custodial workers’ efforts truly are critical to the District’s daily operations — and certainly have not gone unnoticed. The Board of Education in 2011 provided its highest honors to one custodian: Vo Lam of Sandy Elementary. Lam has worked nearly 30 years in custodial services, starting as a school sweeper. For his outstanding service and dedication, Lam received the Board’s Apex Award for Education Support Professional of the Year.”
The district’s Apex awards photo caption says “Honors given to best, brightest.” Its custodians surely know they’re appreciated, to be included in that list.
Behind-the-scenes workers can be top talent too!
Which brings up another point. Who says custodians and other less-flashy workers aren’t top talent?
“Imagine a job where your work isn’t appreciated, your effort goes unnoticed, and you could be replaced in an instant. Not exactly a place you’d want to stay for very long, is it?” the article asks.
You want to recognize your “shining suns,” it acknowledges, but:
“Of course, you don’t want to ostracise the rest of your team—and you certainly don’t want to play favorites—so, it’s important to pay attention and actively look for opportunities to reward all the members of your team. But individually recognizing your employees for their specific achievements will spell it out, loud and clear: They really make a difference to you and the company.”
The article recommends:
- Be intentional with everyday conversations—when giving direction, tell employees why the work matters.
- Show them that others need them, too—create a culture where peers and leaders from other department show employee appreciation.
- Challenge them—give them projects that let them stretch and show their skills to demonstrate your confidence in them.
- Recognize them as individuals—watch for a job well done and acknowledge it!
You’ll see results. As Wytiaz writes:
“Companies that have instituted rewards and recognition programs can expect to see their cultures transformed. Improving retention rates, employee productivity, and healing broken cultures are all possible with the right recognition efforts.”
For comprehensive how-to information on workplace recognition and building a vibrant culture of respect and appreciation, download our FREE eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving” now.
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
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