What is the most important value of your company? Resources, customers, money… All possible answers but not what I want to hear.
When you ask this question to the people around you, a lot of them will tell you that the customer is your most important asset. And ofcourse, that is a valid answer. Without customers, your company cannot survive or has no reason of existence. So whatever your product may be, you should spend a lot of your time making your customer happy.
But what if you would ask this question to the company itself? What would their answer be? I always remember the New Years’ reception where the CEO thanks his people for their work and all they do for the company. In addition, he says that his employees are very important to him. Without them, he wouldn’t have made it. Nice words, but does he mean it? I do think so. Yes, I really believe that the CEO means every word he says. It sounds crazy but most of the time he started at the same level as us and worked his way up. So he knows what it is to work hard while his CEO is giving interviews on TV.
But my question is why the CEO waits for New Year to thank his employees? During the year, there are plenty occasions to thank the people who work hard every day to serve the customer. What I see is that management thanks management during the year. Interviews, kick-offs, press-meetings are stuffed with names from directors, managers and projectleaders. Those people earn enough and get their attention also when you don’t mention them. You should not misunderstand me, I have a great respect for those people and for what they do. At least, most of the time. But please, don’t thank them all the time. Instead, thank the people who aren’t in the spotlight. Those people that take care of the things everyone forget. Those people that get up at night to check everything is running and help the customer if he’s in trouble.
To be honest, I am a bit frustrated about this topic. Too many times this year, I’ve been in a ’Thank you Management show’. Manager A thanks manager B for the succesful cooperation and manager B thanks projectleaders X, Y and Z for their effort. And to make it even worse, they put pictures of those people on the slides?! Sometimes I think it is a game where managers keep rankings about who’s name is mentioned the most… When I am in such a presentation, I’m always wondering whether I am the only one who wants his name mentioned instead of my director’s name. And if my name is on the slide, would I still be complaining? I am convinced I will. And if not so, I ask you to notify me. To wake me up, because the most important value of a company are the people that work there.
So please mangement, thank your people and value them every day.