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“Culture is Everything.” It’s a phrase I first heard from Mr. Bill Purmort, current President of Central Insurance Companies, and I think it’s a great way to introduce today’s blog topic…employee appreciation. Why? Because, tomorrow, March 6th, 2020, is National Employee Appreciation Day! Now, that’s a good reason, right?

As a fairly new employee at Central Insurance Companies, I can sense the culture around here. I can feel it. You may be wondering how does one sense and feel culture? Let me explain…

I’ve known Central for a long time; my mom has been working here since I was born! She’s retiring in less than a month after 38 years, all of them working in the IT department. Wow! That’s a really long time to be working at one place! But, I think that implies something about my mom: she’s a loyal employee who knows a lot about computers and has worked pretty hard to maintain her career for 38 years! And, I think the fact that she is among several others retiring soon after many years with the company can imply something about Central: Central must appreciate their employees and make it a great place for them to work. I can personally vouch for that.

For example, earlier this week, our VP of Human Resources and Facilities sent an e-mail to the entire company saying, “Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to Fulfill the Promise each and every day! Let’s celebrate with coffee and treats on Friday!”

How cool is that?! Free coffee and treats for all of the employees at Central, from Central. I can appreciate that, and it makes me feel appreciated. It’s a small thing, but small things add up and can make a big difference. That’s how I can sense and feel the culture! Very cool!

Check out these stats I found in a Forbes article about National Employee Appreciation Day. “As researchers, we know the real impact appreciation has on the workforce. We know that lack of appreciation is the number one reason people leave jobs (78%). We know that appreciation is the number one thing (37%) people say causes them to do great work. And, in fact, we could ramble on with statistics about how important appreciation is when it comes to average tenure, engagement scores and daily performance.” What more needs to be said?

How do you show appreciation for your employees? Here are some ideas:

1. Get to know your team. Life is too short to spend how many hours a day with people you hardly know and enjoy. Make time to talk to your employees. Show them that you are genuinely interested in them.

2. Encourage all to have a voice. While traditional methods definitely have their purpose, a new perspective on something may be what solves a problem down the road. Encourage employees to offer their opinions when they see fit, and communicate that from the beginning.

3. Recognize and reward good performance. This can be done with compliments, smiles, thumbs-up gestures, saying “thank you” or writing a thank you note, public announcements of achievement, promotions, and even giving casual dress days or time-off, etc.

4. Team Effort Celebration. Did the team pull together and get the job done? Throw an office pizza party.  Like I’ve mentioned in a past blog, Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!

Good employees are one of the greatest assets of a company. Show appreciation (and not just tomorrow but throughout the year) and build a positive culture conducive to happy employees, happy customers, and therefore, overall success. After all, “Culture is Everything!”


Copyright © 2020 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

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