It’s almost never about the money. I just saw an article  that quoted a Gallup Engagement survey that stated that 72% of US workers are not engaged in their work. That means that one in four intend to jump ship within the year.
Wait – it gets better. Companies with engaged employees have a 6% higher net profit than those who don’t and the lost productivity due to disengaged workers is costing our economy something like $350 Billion (yes, billion with a B ) every year.
Let me put this into context for you. Another survey says that the top three issues for small businesses are:
- Finding new customers.
- Keeping the customers they have.
- Making more money.
In that order. Unless you are a solopreneur, doing everything yourself, your employees play a critical role in giving you what you want – more customers and more money. There is one problem, however. Everyone defaults to “pay more” as the solution, “If you just paid me more, I would do a better job.” Well, the data doesn’t support that. As it turns out, it’s the more subtle things in life that inspire employees to do great work and be engaged. And this is where this book comes in.
Recognize THEM!: 52 Ways to Recognize Your Employees In Ways They Value  is written by Zane Safrit. I’ve known Zane Safrit (@ZaneSafrit ) for many years. I consider Zane to be one of those “ahead of the pack” CEOs who embraced the power of the Internet and social media early on.
Like many of you, he’s been through the fire and back; running a small company through the post 911 downturn and experiencing 70% price drops and still growing the business 80% in the process. It’s that kind of challenge that has made him somewhat of an expert in the world of inspiring and motivating employees.
An Employee Engagement Idea for Each Week of the Year
I received a digital review copy of the book. I believe it only comes in digital format and sells for $3.99 so it could well be the best money you’ve ever spent to make money without actually doing any sales and marketing.
Let’s dig into the book so that you can get a better idea of what’s inside.
The foundational philosophy of the book is that engaged employees are profitable employees. In other words, the way to a healthy bottom line is through employees who care about your business and who give themselves to the business.
The book is divided into the following four categories:
- Category 1: Show You Care
- Category 2: Be Their Champion
- Category 3: Empower Your Employees
- Category 4: Let Them Shine
You can look at these four categories as the core philosophy or core values of how you treat your employees.
Then inside each of these categories are thirteen sub chapters that are more tangible in nature such as “Know Their Name” or “Celebrate THEIR Birthdays.” So if you want a quick hit of ideas and strategies, you can simply read the table of contents and take it from there.
But you will want to keep going because it’s Safrit’s wealth of real-life practical experience that you’ll want to learn from. In other words, it’s not just doing something, it’s doing it a certain way.
Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite sections, “Care” and the tip is “call your new employee the night before:”
Call your new employee the night before their first day. Welcome them. Share why you’re anticipating greatness from them and for them. Be specific. Share with them how your team/company/department will grow from their strengths and how you can help them realize another goal or two, maybe three. You made those points clear during their interview, right?
This simple step, rarely taken (guilty!), sets the correct expectations at the right time: Before they arrive. On the other end of this conversation, your new hire is thinking…
‘Wow, they recognize my strengths. They’re expecting me tomorrow. This is going to be a good situation.’
Expectations are set for recognition, appreciation and accountability. They’re already engaged. Making this call communicates the recognition from everyone who waits to welcome them tomorrow. Making this call signals they are already part of your conversations and connections and collaborations. Making this call sets the expectation for accountability with – and for – everyone.
Mind open, heart open. Anxiety down. Anticipation up. Engagement rising.”
What If I Don’t Have Employees?
Granted, this book is targeted to those small business owners who have employees. But what about those of us who don’t have full-time employees? How is this book of any value?
Well, if you read the last review I did on the book Virtual Freedom , you may already realize that these principles don’t just apply to full time employees, they can apply to virtual teams as well. Just because someone who works for you isn’t in an office next door, doesn’t mean that you are absolved from the opportunity of leadership and employee engagement.
My only issue with the book is a trivial one. The title states that there are 52 ways but they are listed in chunks of thirteen across the four categories. This left me a little confused as I went through the book because I was expecting to see the 52 that was on the title, inside the book. But as you can see, none of this is going to impact the quality of the advice Safrit provides.
Recognize Them is a terrific book filled with practical tips and strategies that will increase your sales and profitability by increasing your focus on engaging your employees.