What is your mind drawn to in the picture below?
If you are like most of us, you will find the presence of that purple cow to be extremely odd. We could put 50 more usual colored cows in the picture above and your eyes will still get drawn to the purple cow in the herd. What is so different about a purple cow? Why does our attention keep drawing to that cow?
This is exactly what Seth Godin tried to explain in his book 'Purple Cow'. He mostly speaks from the marketing perspective on how to standout in our marketing campaigns - to do something so ridiculous that it stands out. The same can be applied while taking care of our employees.
Most of the managers or CXOs stick to redundant methods to make their employees happy like:
- Wishing them on some business achievement like a high-ticket lead closing, etc.
- Wishing them on their birthdays. (Usually its an automated system for the employees)
- Giving chocolates to everyone on some random festivals/bonus days.
- Arranging a standup show/club party/regional outskirt meetings, etc once a year.
These are just a few examples of many boilerplate appreciation events. What managers miss is that if you are doing this for everyone, it's not special. Also, if you aren't doing it in person, it may not feel human.
We understand some things can't be done at scale in big companies. But we encourage you to be creative in your outreach towards your employees. It may be at scale, but doing something completely unprecedented can put you lightyears ahead in your employee experience endeavours. Some of them cost almost nothing.
One organization we know got made physical greeting cards for their employees from kids of a neighboring school as a part of their craft project. This was free but the organization still wanted to do something for the kids and ended up giving candies to all 200 kids and sponsor a Christmas party for that year. This barely cost them anything.
The other example is of Google. Many have heard about all the amenities google has made available for their employees in their campus. Looking closer, what they've done is partner with local vendors to provide on-campus service for their employees for an exclusive discount. The vendors get instant access to thousands of customers while the employees get a discount and on-campus service for a discounted price. Google costings you ask? $O.
All you've to do is be creative. Doing something that has never been done before will instill a sense of belonging and happiness within your employees. After all, simple things are what count :)