I used to have employees of the two-legged variety–and many of them remain good friends to this day. Nowadays, however, I tend to hire the four-legged type.
Buddy (shown left), my chief of staff, has been with me the longest. Lumpkin, the Court Jester, barged in with little warning (at least that’s Buddy’s recollection) a few years back. For those of us who have furry friends in the office, in honor of Employee Appreciation Day, here is a list of tips for making them feel appreciated.
1. Have a planned on-boarding process for new employees. Make it clear to your seasoned staff that they should not be worried that they are being replaced or skipped over for advancement.
“Are you kidding me?”
2. Your new staff member might be a little wet behind the ears, but be patient and provide comfort and support.
“I may be little now, but if you ever do that to me again, I will scratch your eyes out.”
3. Encourage seasoned employees to participate in the training of younger staff members.
“She’ll expect you to play with this.”
4. Soon you’ll find that your junior staff will begin looking up to their older peers.
“I want to be you someday.”
5. Before you know it, your staff will start working like a team.
“A little to the left, please.”
6. Encourage your staff to think outside the box.
“This is difficult to sit on.”
7. Or, inside the box, as the case may be.
8. Give them spacious offices.
“He always gets the best spot.”
9. Make sure their technology is top notch.
“Let’s see…google…search…kittencam…I’m Feeling Lucky. That ought to do it.”
10. Encourage them to explore new talents.
11. Encourage them to read and learn new things.
“What’s on TV?”
12. Allow them to bring friends to work from time to time.
“We were just talking!”
13. Allow them to express themselves.
“I wrote this myself.”
14. Encourage their curiosity.
“What’s in here?”
15. Let them make their own decisions.
“I’ll take them all, please. Thank you.”
16. If you find yourself traveling without your top staff, find a qualified temp.
This is Luna, my editor who moved in to help out while I lived in Costa Rica.
17. But don’t hog the trips all for yourself. Send them on business related travel once in a while.
“Shhh. If we sit here very quietly, she won’t notice and –zip–we’ll be on our way!”
18. Allow them to pitch in and help your vendors with their work.
“I will sit here until the guy with the camera notices me.”
19. If work sessions go long, let them take a little break.
20. And, finally, give them all the love they give to you.