tbsphotofeb10This is a great time of year to show your people how much you care. It’s still the beginning of a new year and what you do now will set the tone for many months to come.

By now, last year’s reports are finally in. Find something positive in those reports that you can share with your people. This is the perfect opportunity to show them how much you appreciate their efforts on your company’s behalf.

Send a “Valentine” that acknowledges them for a job well done. Show them positive numbers on your company’s sales and growth. Throw in a few concrete examples of important milestones that were achieved during the past year. Tell them you know it took team effort and couldn’t have been done any other way. And do it in writing. Here’s why:

  • Appropriate Timing. What could be a better time to send an appreciative message to your folks than on a day when Valentine cards are already being exchanged? Your “valentine” will fit right into the spirit of the day. It will be unexpected but welcomed, which will make it even more appreciated. It’s really your last chance to thank them for the past year’s efforts that resulted in company growth.
  • Improved Performance. Acknowledgement and appreciation are still the best ways to validate positive behavior and encourage your people to perform. Aside from income, one of the main reasons why they work for you is for recognition from an authority figure, and that’s you! If you put your appreciation in writing, such as in a valentine, it will mean more to them than simple verbal recognition.
  • Promotion of Teamwork. It’s the team that is being recognized for their cooperation, communication and support for each other. This is a great opportunity to tie the work of especially the office people to the success of the salespeople. After all, the salespeople depend on excellent products, relevant marketing materials, and timely data to bring in the sales that pay everybody’s salary.
  • Building Positive Culture. By demonstrating gratitude to your people you are also showing them that you and your company value gratitude. A valentine will reinforce that value and encourage your staff to do the same in their relationships on your company’s behalf. When your people get in the habit of sending notes of thanks to your customers, vendors and other business partners, your entire company will benefit.
  • Reducing Turnover. One of the main reasons people leave your business for your competitor’s is not just for more money, it’s for more appreciation. Too many employees say they made the move because their last company “just didn’t appreciate me!” Don’t let that be the reason why you lose your top people. If you do, you’ll lose corporate know-how, critical relationships, the cost of replacement, and even your customers.
  • Small Investment. Sending a note of thanks and appreciation is a very small investment with major returns in performance. Sometimes it can have a greater impact than a staff outing or even a special dinner. It speaks to them personally and it is documented proof of your gratitude. Your people will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt on those hard decisions you have to make that may not be so popular.

So write your people a valentine this year and tell them how much they and their efforts mean to you. Build your credibility by showing them that you are a real human being that respects their human need for acknowledgement and validation, and get ready for a fantastic year!



Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.