The organizations that care most about their employees go to great lengths to provide different levels of support and rewards to them. They do this in thanks for their service and to ensure that they are being rewarded for their best efforts by a pleasant environment and appreciation. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Merit raises
- Annual bonuses
- Management or Mentoring responsibility
- Personal Time Off
- A simple “Thank You” for a job well done
- Recognition among peers
- Leeway to work on innovative or challenging projects that are of particular interest to that employee
Not all companies devote this kind of attention to their employees, but they are inevitably more successful when they do. Employees do not shed all their feelings and personality because they are employees. They still internally react to good treatment in the same way as in other aspects of their lives, regardless of how vocal they are about this. Subconsciously though, employees produce better work when their work environment is pleasant and their skills and experience is appreciated.
Companies that recognize this idea take time to teach. This happens over a period of years whereby an employee is put into situations to best leverage his skills and to illuminate additional interests and opportunities for improvement. I’ve had countless moments like this in my current company that made me aware of skills and interests I didn’t even know I had, like Client Relationship Management, Onboarding, Gamification, Consulting and Coaching. It was the time my managers took to mentor me in these areas that ignited my desire to seek professional certifications and experience the joy of continuous learning in areas of focused passion for me.
These things can have a life changing impact on an employee. I’ve made major life changing decisions to leverage my previously hidden talents because I had the right managers to help me uncover them. Without those nurturing situations, I’d be watching twice as much TV and would have never started this blog to share all my experiences. This is why it becomes important for you start giving back to your organization. This doesn’t mean handing them cash. However, there are several ways that you can start giving back to your organization that leave it better off than when you arrived. With any luck, these efforts will also have favorable financial benefits for the organization just like promotions and bonuses do for the employee.
Methodology is the first place to give back. What is “Methodology”? It is the series of steps or phases that you go through to deliver your product or service. It usually includes things like: sales, kickoff, requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, deployment, a hand-off to the new users, and training. Companies develop their methodology over time, and they each do it a bit differently. As an employee spends years implementing the methodology he has been given by the company, he gathers insights about client’s reactions. He inevitably has ideas about how it can be tweaked to better fit the client’s objectives. Take time to review the current methodology templates and submit ideas for improvement to the people who manage those documents. Cite real client examples about why these ideas would make projects run more smoothly and generate revenue for your organization. Some customers are more likely to expand their budget for additional projects if previous projects run very smoothly. It is not only the features a product provides that drive the desire for new projects, but also what the client experiences along the way. No one is in a better position to contribute to long term methodology enhancements than tenured employees who deliver it to clients daily.
Emerging Products and Services
Emerging products and and services is another place to give back. This can be done by establishing best practices for a new product you company is offering. I did this with Gamification by formally educating myself on the topic outside of work and then bringing those skills back to my job to start a center of excellence. Similarly, you can keep up to date with your market sector via Google Alerts. You can use these to innovate within your company by suggesting brand new value-added offerings.
Mentoring is a way to give back that helps other employees start adding value to the organization quicker. You take the skills you’ve learned in your years at the organization and pay them forward to help ensure the company’s ongoing success.
Coaching peers or subordinates to help unveil perspectives they might not have considered. This is different from Mentoring, which is the act of teaching new skills or ideas to someone unfamiliar with them. Coaching is the act of removing blind spots so people can see things they missed because they were too close to the situation, not due to lack of knowledge or experience.
Referring New Employees
Referring new employees is another great idea. It helps your company, who has benefited so much from your services, to benefit again from other people who you trust to provide similar levels of service. This is of substantial financial benefit to your company who won’t need to pour as much money into candidate searches.
Not all organizations look out for employees in these ways. In fact, some of them can be totally ambivalent of employees needs, or downright mean-spirited. This is undeniable, and I hear stories from peers about it quite often.
However, for those of you who have grown and benefited from your organization as much as I have, the right thing to do is to give back. I hope I’ve laid out some great ideas on how to do so that cost you nothing but save your company a great deal. These things express your appreciation and it’s always nice to be nice to those who are nice to you.
Have a nice day!