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This Fourth of July Celebrate Your Independence — And Employees

This Fourth of July Celebrate Your Independence — And EmployeesDavid Novak had so many pictures of his employees covering the walls in his office that he had to start using the ceiling. Who is he? Oh, just the CEO of one of the world’s largest restaurant companies — Yum! Brands, which includes KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. And why does he do it? Because he believes that it’s people who make a company successful and showing them appreciation and recognition for a job well done can go a long way.

Novak was a keynote speaker at SHRM 2014 in Orlando last week, where the theme of his presentation was around the power of people, and the need for leaders in particular to recognize their employees.

So in the spirit of the Fourth, a time we as a nation celebrate our independence, here are three simple ways that you can celebrate your employees.

1. Find a fun, personal way to recognize people. Novak had a unique way of doing this. He would sign and number a rubber chicken (KFC, right?) and present it to employees who deserved recognition along with $100. He would then take a picture with the person and put it up on the walls or ceiling of his own office. The next time you think a budget constraint is a barrier to you recognizing someone who’s doing great work, just remember — it doesn’t have to be a monetary gift, just a thoughtful one.

  2. Celebrate their ideas more than your own. Novak encourages leaders at every level — especially those at the top — to look for great things happening in the company and thank the people who made it happen. By thanking people for having great ideas, even if you had it first, it will inspire and motivate them to continue bringing their best ideas to the tables, which is a win for your business. 

3. TELL great employees they’re great. Don’t let a great workers who contribute to the business and are shining examples to others go years without realizing their worth. Novak told a story about one such employee who only found out how valuable he was to the organization and his co-workers a few days before he was scheduled to retire. That’s why Novak makes it his business to go the extra mile to show employees that he appreciates them.

Tell us in the comments below: How do you recognize employees for the great work they do?

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.
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