Willingness to spend more money doesn’t equate to having better employee engagement.

I was consulting for a F&B client to enhance their level of employee engagement. Prior to getting into action, I asked the owner, “What are some things that you have in place to engage and show your appreciation for your employees at this moment? How effective are those initiatives?”

Client: “I’ve been spending a lot of money to show my appreciation. For instance, I closed the restaurant early, covered a nice meal and had a movie session for them. But guess what? Most of them didn’t turn up! They were not appreciative at all!”

After appeasing his anger, I was actually more curious as to what the employees thought about the current state of appreciation from the boss.

I ran a short focus group session to gather more inputs and interestingly, what I gathered was that what they were looking for in terms of appreciation was totally different from what the boss gave them.

While the boss thinks that spending a lot of money and taking time off to engage them equates to appreciation, what the employees needed was simply for him to address them by their names! Wow! Can you imagine how simple that desire actually was?

Sometimes, we think that spending more dollars equates to higher value of appreciation. But what’s important is to understand what the perceived value is for the audience that you are trying to engage.

Something as simple as showing respect and making people feel valued can be a free yet powerful tool for engagement!

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