I announced in May, 2010, the 52 - Week Employee Recognition Plan. This is the 39th week. The lesson this week is:
• Make disability insurance an employee benefit.
Tim Berry has offered great advice, resources, and more for a long, long, time (in blogging years) through his blog. I wandered away from reading it. And when I returned, I see his advice, resources and support for entrepreneurs and startups remains current, fresh, refreshing and unwavering.
Last March, he wrote I Don’t Sell Insurance, I Tell Business Stories. Interesting title, I thought. Being a bit passionate about affordable healthcare, especially about affordable healthcare for small business and their key stakeholders, I bit. Rather, I immediately read his post.
One day, one of our employees had a serious health problem requiring four to six weeks in the hospital. .... So one of the first things we did was make sure he knew we’d be paying him his salary until he got better.
Just about a month later, another of our employees had a heath problem requiring several weeks out of the office...So we told her not to worry, and paid her salary while she was out.
Shortly after that, somebody pointed out that if we were going to provide de-facto disability for our employees — which is exactly what we were doing — then it would be smart to buy disability insurance. As in a cartoon, you could see the light bulb appearing over our heads. Buying disability for our employees was the same as buying it for ourselves.
At the time I read his post, I was preparing this 52-week series on employee recognition. That work stopped immediately. His clarity and simplicity made me stop.
The beauty of that last sentence, Buying disability for our employees was the same as buying it for ourselves, is the beauty of employee recognition.
Disability insurance...is an affordable means to recognize the needs of your key stakeholders when those needs leave them most vulnerable.
Recognizing your employees is recognizing your business.
Recognizing your employees is the first step to recognizing all of your stakeholders.
Recognizing your employees in a way that is meaningful to them, their needs, when they and their needs are most pressing...is the most powerful way to show they and their needs are at the top of your priority list.
Disability insurance, in fact all of the steps on this 52-week journey, are investments in your most important asset, your key stakeholder: your employees. Let’s talk about the ROI of his investment in his key stakeholders.
- What kind of word-of-mouth within their company was shared?
- What kind of inspired leadership and service to each other and their customers was seen?
- What kind of trust and commitment was seen?
Here’s what Tim wrote:
It was about 10 or 12 years ago. Palo Alto Software was a small but rapidly growing company with 15 (or so) employees. My wife and I worked shoulder to shoulder with the others in a small office. It was a happy and hard-working group, with a lot of shared values. Those times produced a lot of good memories. We had no outside investors, though, which means no deep pockets. The money we spent was our own.
See? It was a happy and hard-working group, with a lot of shared values. Together, they produced a lot of good memories from creating a company small, but rapidly growing.
Companies with higher levels of engagement report faster revenue growth, higher profits, higher returns on equity, higher stock prices than their industry colleagues. The Corporate Lattice
I’m sure Tim and his wife and those in Palo Alto Software then took other steps to recognize and support each other. That’s the values they lived. They built a rapidly-growing company, where everyone was happy and hard-working, without outside investors...
Tim tells business stories. He tells them well. I think it's because he's a good writer, yes. But he creates good stories. That’s a great story, Palo Alto Software.
What story do you tell? What story you can tell is based on the stories you help create with your employees. The first step is to recognize them and their needs, when they need you and how they need you to recognize them.
I announced in May, 2010, the 52 - Week Employee Recognition Plan. This is the 37 week of that plan.
You can start with any week and make that your first week.
You can take one of those weeks and turn it into a month or commit to an accelerated pace and complete 6 individual weeks in one month.
You can create your own week of employee recognition.
But do something to recognize your employees! They set your brand apart as your ultimate competitive edge. And the more you recognize their achievements, the more achievements you'll see and they'll enjoy, along with your customers and and shareholders, partners and vendors.