Sprinkle with Praise

A number of my friends  have either retired early from challenging careers or sold their businesses and now do some sort of “entry level” type work.  One does cooking technique demonstrations at Williams Sonoma.  Another teaches craft classes.  One is a mystery shopper, another does event set up while yet another does meet and greets for groups of cruise ship travelers.

Each of these over-qualified individuals has their own personal reasons for doing these tasks or working for these companies.  My friend at Williams Sonoma loves seeing the new merchandise  and her employee discount has more value to her than the dollar value of the wage earned.  The one teaching a craft class gets to exercise creative juices, share passion with others and NOT clutter their home with more handmade treasures.  The event set up provides a physical outlet that’s a nice change from the gym.

Each of these individuals come from six-figure incomes and yet derive great satisfaction from their current work.  WHY? Clearly, it’s not about the money. When asked, they site enjoying the interactions with others in the workplace with reduced stress compared to their primary careers.

They each also have and KEEP a collection of notes of praise and thanks they have received from supervisors, co-workers and customers.  Emails, handwritten notes and text messages of appreciation mean so much to all employees – including this group of over-achievers.

As an employer, have you overlooked a veteran applicant you feel is “over-qualified”?  If so, you may be missing out on a great employee – one with a solid work ethic.

Not all needs are satisfied by a paycheck. My book, Common Things Uncommon Ways focuses on these needs.  The need for recognition, a sense of contribution and a sense of belonging.  Are you filling those human needs of your staff?  Doing so provides a sense of satisfaction in even menial work and creates employee loyalty – a great benefit for your business.


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