. . . who do we appreciate?
A favorite cheer from our junior high or high school football days. We appreciated the QB, another star player, and maybe even the coach (as long as we won the state championship).
In the corporate world, whom do we appreciate? The IT person who gets us back up and running when our PC or laptop crashes? The Event Planner after we enjoy a great summer event or holiday party? Maybe the star CEO? Yes, all of these people contribute to the organization’s success and should receive our appreciation and gratitude.
But what about the frontline worker who is never seen? The person who wears a headset day in and day out, answering hundreds of customer service calls. Or the person in payroll who makes sure our check is deposited into our bank account every other week? Or how about the facilities people who keep the break rooms and bathrooms clean? Shouldn’t these people be appreciated?
Of course they should be appreciated and probably more than the star CEO! Who wants to rest for a few minutes or eat lunch in a dirty break room? Or who wants to receive an ‘Account Overdrawn’ notice from the bank because our paycheck was wrong or late? While everyone in an organization should be recognized and appreciated regularly, the many frontline employees who rarely receive recognition certainly deserve a few extra pats on the back.
I just read an online conversation that revolved around the idea of adding a Chief Recognition Officer or Chief Acknowledgement Officer. Unfortunately, simply adding a new job title, even if it starts with the word “Chief”, won’t solve the problem of employee appreciation and recognition. I’ve seen too many companies say “People” are their #1 value or asset yet they don’t back up those words with any meaningful action. It takes more than plaques on a wall to appreciate employees.
It’s no secret that many employees today are unengaged with their work. If we want to turn this around and have engaged employees, particularly frontline workers who often are key ambassadors for the organization, we need to look at employee appreciation as an investment rather than a cost.
Agree? Disagree? How does your organization appreciate frontline employees?
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.