I bought a Barbie

I had failed. I’d purchased the perfect Barbie for my daughter’s eighth birthday and she almost cried. She’d wanted an American Girl. Luckily my wife came to the rescue. She’d listened to what our daughter had asked for and had the right doll wrapped in pink paper next to the cake.

People leave organizations when they do not feel appreciated.  And while most companies have recognition programs, many people do not “feel” the appreciation.

Why? It’s the Barbie versus the American Doll.

Directors and managers frequently do not listen to what their people want nor to the incentives they respond to. Just like I thought “an 8-year old girl equals a Barbie”, many managers think “an employee equals a quarterly award”.

What if they don’t feel appreciated by the quarterly award (or weekly award or gift certificate or time-off award)?

You can get a lot of things wrong in a company. You can fail at strategic planning, quality, vision, document control, meetings, customer engagement…and survive to fight another day. But if you fail at building a sense of appreciation and engagement within your team…there is no other day. Because they now either work at your competitors or (even worse) they work for you in a disengaged manner, dreading Mondays, loving Wednesdays, and living for Fridays.

Don’t buy the Barbie. Build a meaningful appreciation model. Here’s a book to help you begin.

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