Personalisation has been big in marketing in the B2C sector for a few years now. It plays on that feeling of familiarisation we get when someone speaks to us using our own name. And we all end up succumbing to the personal touch in emails and other direct mail sent to us, even though we know there's no way that the manager of that dress shop/ garden centre / restaurant/ holiday company can possibly remember our name with all their other customers they have to keep track of....
For our internal customers - our employees, that is - it's been decidedly less big. But for the same reasons you may embrace personalisation when it comes to your customers, sometimes it's the little things that really make a difference to your team. A carefully worded note here. A small token of appreciation there. It's personal recognition which all adds up to helping make your team feel special.
Here are some quick and easy ways we've curated for you to try out to show your team just how much you care:
On taking over a new and battle-scarred team who had lost all confidence - a friend of mine took inspiration from Ikea's Motivational Mirror stunt (where a Snow White-style mirror offered personalised messages to passing customers on their long trudge round the store). He got some handmade mirrors made with 'You Are Amazing' on the frame - and asked each team member to hang them by their desks so that they were reminded every day of how much their contribution was valued.
But if you're going to go that far, why not tailor the messaging even further and celebrate something they do brilliantly? 'Steve - Your Spreadsheet's Are Baddass!', 'Mary - IT Support At It's Finest', 'Mike - The James Bond of Territory Sales'.... Ok, i'll stop now.
Something Egg-stra Special
Inspired originally by my sugar-coated memories of Easter as a child, these named chocolate eggs have been hands-down the greatest hit with every team member ever bought for (regardless of religion - because let's face it - Chocolate is agnostic!).
So get ordering these cheap and cheerful numbers as we approach the season of bunnies and bank holidays. A word to the wise however - keep a couple of spares handy.
Because no matter how carefully you might check your staff lists, one can always drop off ( as I have found to my embarrassment in previous years!)
Jotting It All Down
We love this personalised notebook designed to jot down the important, the brilliant and the... not so important and brilliant musings we all have.
A mug is nice (but then you feel responsible for keeping it clean!), a personal organiser a step too close to asking them to tidy their desk and a t-shirt too ...unworn (or at least it will be!).
But having one of these babies waiting for your new starter when they join your business is a great way to get them off to a flying start as well as give them a warm welcome.
Happy Birthday/Anniversary/Maternity To You!
Or at least I thought I didn't... until that is I came across Boomf having been given a super box of these for Christmas.
Mallows with a difference, you can upload photos to them or use their own gallery for a group of 2 or 9 mallows or mallow pops.
Try them for size on a team member's birthday or other event (maternity/ paternity/ wedding?) and you can guarantee to have smiles all around.
Listen to Destiny's Child or (OK, have it your way...) Breaking Bad and "Say my Name"!
The easiest way to personalise anything at work is just to use their name. As we've written about previously here, we all inherently want to be loved and appreciated. So get to know your team, find out what makes them tick and note the little things: remember not just their names, but their kids/ partners/ dogs names and ask after them.
Write a card if you've time. Stop by and say hello if you've less. An ex-CEO I worked with used to make it his mission when in the UK to stop by and say Hi to as many of the team as possible: his superpower for remembering when he had last spoken to you and what you'd spoken about ( despite the fact that it may have been some months and thousands of conversations between) made him something quite special.
For expert HR advice, software, how-to guides, templates, community forum and all the latest HR news and views - sign up to theHRhub today. We are the ultimate online HR support system for startups and SMEs - find out more here.