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Give Thanks Beyond the Holidays: 4 More Ways to Show Genuine Care Year-Round

November 13, 2017 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

There’s a famous saying that goes like this: “People don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.” Too often, as leaders, we love the quote, but may not know how to actually put it into practice on a consistent basis. 

Back in November 2014, I shared Four Ways to Show Genuine Care Year-Round, which introduced the idea that the winter holidays—Thanksgiving in particular—is traditionally a time of giving thanks to others, and to pause to reflect on everything for which we are grateful. Even in the workplace, this time of year is generally one when leaders may feel the most compelled to thank employees for their hard work. 

If you didn’t have a chance to read that post, I highly recommend it, as we explored four ways leaders can consistently demonstrate genuine care year-round—and not just as a one-time thing they feel as though they must do because it’s “the thing you do at that time of year.”

At Disney Institute, through our work training business leaders around the world, we share that great leaders make genuine care a regular, year-round priority. Great leaders don’t simply limit their show of appreciation to a single event or time of year. That’s why we believe that the key to sustaining employee engagement is to create a care strategy, and then work hard to operationalize it every day.

To build upon the idea I first introduced in 2014, I thought it was time to share some additional ways leaders can think about engaging employees, now and in the future.    

 So, here are four MORE ways to operationalize genuine care in your organization by providing meaningful and sincere recognition year-round:

  1. Proactively search for people doing it right. Not only does this increase the likelihood that the good behaviors will repeat, the positive reinforcement that comes from acknowledging good behaviors nurtures an individual’s self-confidence, further enabling them to do their best work.
  2. Meaningful recognition will look different to different people. A “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t always the best option. For some people, that means recognizing them discreetly in private; for others, it could mean recognizing them in front of their peers. Whatever it is, get to know your people as individuals, and recognize them in a manner they most prefer.
  3. Infuse variety, creativity and leader discretion into your care strategy. Remember, recognition does not have to be expensive or overly dramatic, and it can often occur in unexpected ways. Great leaders are always looking for new opportunities to show their appreciation.
  4. Recognizing for cultural values is as important as recognizing for all other business criteria or outcomes.While it’s absolutely appropriate to reward employees based on business outcomes; it shouldn’t be the only thing you recognize. In fact, when you celebrate employees for displaying the correct behaviors (those that closely align with your organizational values), it becomes a powerful drive of employee engagement.

The payoff is that, when used generously and strategically, recognition can be one of your most powerful levers for reinforcing organizational culture and values, as well as helping to drive better customer experiences and sustained business outcomes.

Think about it: In what other ways can you operationalize genuine care so that it becomes a regular, year-round occurrence in your organization?


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form




Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Employee Engagement, Organizational Culture, Employee Culture, Company Culture, Workplace Culture, Employee Recognition, Recognition, Bruce Jones


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