As I boarded the Airporter bus, on the way home from my trip, several airport employees were also boarding the bus heading home after a long days work. There was a lot of talk going on between them as it had been “employee appreciation day” at work. By the conversations it was easy to tell that they felt less than appreciated.
In days past the airport would make a big celebration in an effort to thank their employees for all of the hard work they do to keep the airport running smoothly and efficiently. They would have catered food and goodies that were excellent for the employees to eat during their shifts and at meal times. There were some years when they even had BBQs for them, and these employees thought they were really great.
But this was not the case on this day. The lunch was described as “worse than airplane food.” They laughed and said next year they would probably get a brown paper sack with stale bread and peanut butter in it. If they wanted jelly that would cost extra.
One employee mentioned that the airport probably had to cut back on what they gave them because of all of the new construction that was going on to make a better facility. A couple of others had their opinions as to the reason also.
The bus driver who was hearing the conversation stated that it was a shame this happened. This was an opportunity where the airport could have shown their appreciation to their hard working employees, but totally missed the mark. Now it will take more effort to change the way the employees feel about their employer to make any difference. The employees where expecting an “appreciation day” like they had been use to, they now feel less than appreciated because the celebration was down-played and they did not know why nor were they prepared for it.
There are many employers today that cannot give to or show appreciation in the same way to their employees as in a more prosperous past. It is important that employers talk with their employees and let them know in advance if celebrations, bonuses, etc. are going to change from the past due to the financial status of the company. Employees will appreciate the fact that their employer cared enough to tell them, rather than to not, and let them wonder why or become upset.
The link below has several great ideas to celebrate employee appreciation and recognition that will not break the bank to do. Employers may not be able to give as much as before financially to their employees, but their are so many ways that you can show how much your employees mean to the business and the importance of their contributions without draining the bank account.
“Recognition is the greatest motivator”
~ Gerard C. Eakedale