Two months ago I tweeted: “Attended Royal Automotive’s celebration picnic – it reminded me that effective organizations celebrate their employees’ contributions.”

I had written about Royal automotive in a 2011 blog post entitled “Executive Lessons from my Auto Repair Lady: Trust”.

The young woman who manages Royal Automotive, her family’s business, invited my family to attend the company’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Picnic.  My ten-year-old son, Max, and I went to the picnic in Lincolnwood, a close-in Chicago suburb.  In attendance were the company’s important customers, vendors, and employees.

There was plenty of food and free raffle prizes.   After an introduction by his daughter on the beginnings of the business, the founding father gave a short speech in Korean.  The primary focus of the remarks and the beneficiaries of certain special prizes were the employees.  Daughter and father knew that their prospects for the family business were very much dependent on their hardworking and dedicated employees.  They communicated simply and repeatedly how the employees were responsible for the success of the business.  The long tenure of the multi-ethnic employees spoke volumes on how the employees felt about their employer.

Successful business people and leaders of organizations, large or small, for-profit or non-profit or governmental, know that people want to feel valued.  Sure monetary compensation and benefits are important too, but knowing that your managers appreciate you has great psychological value.  No one likes to feel invisible or inconsequential. Too often the attitude of managers, especially in these challenging economic times, is that the employee ought to be glad she has a job and not complain.

Employers do themselves, their customers, clients, and stakeholders a huge favor when they make their employees happy. Appropriate recognition of, and earned, deserved positive feedback to employees, contribute to employees’ contentment and become fundamental to a healthy enterprise.  Investments of praise, appreciation, and recognition for genuine employee achievements reap enormous dividends for both the employee and the enterprise.

When her superiors acknowledge an executive’s achievements, then that should remind and prompt her, in turn, to recognize her subordinates’ contributions.

Continual positive feedback to employees is yet another executive lesson from my auto repair lady.

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