No doubt you've spent time in the malls or online this
month in a gift buying spree. Experience has taught
me that the best part of holiday shopping is being able
to check the last item off on the list and to say, "I'm
I wasn't even close to "I'm done" while shopping in
Home Depot this week. My hand was test driving a
work glove intended for a stocking stuffer for my son.
The gloves were cotton and had a rubber waterproof
palm - ideal for working in cold and wet conditions.
I tossed a pair into my shopping cart and as I reached
for another pair from the rack, another shopper began
to pull pair after pair from the display rack. He smiled
and said, "These gloves are great. I'm a contractor. I
give them to my guys to use on the job outside. They
keep hands warm and dry. You know, as a boss, it
pays to keep them happy with little things."
Later, I thought about that contractor's "random
employee kindness." A $ 4.00 pair of gloves for a
pair of cold, wet hands on a dismal day has value
a hundred times its cost. As you know so well as
one who has done plenty of outside jobs, cold hands
a miserable day. This was not only a kind gesture on
the employer's part, but also a good business
I'll grant you that employees work for money,
and a gift
of a $4.00 pair of gloves won't
make a difference in an employee's personal
budget. But, the occasional dose of kindness and
thoughtfulness carries a value in an employee's head
that often goes unrecognized by the boss.
A dozen donuts for the coffee break or a surprise of
company hats and tee shirts leave lasting
impressions. And as more evidence, put yourself in
the mind set of the employees in the true story
A restaurant owner, learning that three teenaged
employees (bus boys and kitchen helper) were off on
a weekend trip to visit a friend at college, hands over a
hundred dollar bill and says, "Have a good time guys,
and please have dinner on me."
An act of kindness not only makes your
employee's day, it might make a difference in