A business owner must realize, much like a living organism, that each part of the company has an important function and should be appreciated. This is typically not the case though as plenty of departments are often overlooked.
The star sales team always seems to get a shout out in the Friday email or meeting but the IT guy that fixed the internet may get no appreciation. When those employees don’t get the appropriate respect or thanks for a job well done they tend to have less loyalty to the company. This can lead to higher turnover rates in certain positions. The following are underappreciated departments and employees and some tips on how to thank them.
Those that work in the accounting department, whether it’s at a startup or a huge corporation, are very well informed. It’s rare that you are going to tell your boss that something is going well. Typically your boss only contacts you when there seems to be a discrepancy in the finances or they need to do damage control and disperse funds in an efficient way. When it’s always negative and stressful, interactions can wear the accountant down. In reality, staff should appreciate the accountants as they are the ones that make sure that the funds are in the payroll account so the staff can be paid on time.
When an accountant finds an error and saves the company money they should be recognized to boost their morale. This can be done in an email or at the company meeting as money saved should be viewed as just as valuable as money earned.
Some months out of the year are a nightmare for accountants and long hours are an understatement. A simple gesture such as bringing the accounting department lunch or even dinner when they have to work late can help improve morale. Providing free coffee and snacks can also help as it’s quite easy to sit at a desk all day working on spreadsheets and forget to eat.
Every department with more than one person working in it should have an employee of the month program. This type of program recognizes the work people are doing in each department. It also encourages employees to compete for the award which can help raise morale.
Contract management is essential to running any type of business efficiently but is a truly thankless job. Much like the accounts department, this department is only contacted when there is a problem with the wording of a contract or a client has an issue with a contract. These professionals help protect your business and do quite a bit of mundane work.
Providing the staff with food on days of huge contract underwriting can be a huge morale booster. Perhaps even offer a full or half day off when they have been working so hard after the sales team has closed deal after deal.
Contract management employees and the rest of staff should interact on a daily basis. When cliques form between departments it can be quite harmful to morale, especially to those in smaller departments.
The IT department can vary widely from company to company with some having vast departments and others just having the only tech savvy person in the office handle all the problems. Since the IT department only gets contacted when something is going wrong they typically deal with frustrated people on a daily basis.
Dealing with people who have no idea what you’re talking about is another frustrating facet of the job. Many IT problems can be solved via the phone or email but some employees aren’t capable of following simple instructions. One simple solution used by plenty of IT professionals is advising an individual to unplug their computer or turn it off and then back on. This can indeed solve quite a few problems but it seems that certain individuals don’t understand this.
You can have the IT department announce different solutions to problems each week which can free them up to work on more important issues. The IT department might also be responsible for automating certain processes, so make sure to recognize them to help keep them from feeling unappreciated.
The most underappreciated people in any company are the interns. They sometimes don’t make any money but instead are there for experience or simply to be able to pad their resume a bit. The worst jobs tend to go to the interns where it’s getting the entire office coffee or having to sort through years of paperwork. However, some companies do hire interns after they have graduated which is a great program. This method gives a company the chance to see the intern’s skills and how they interact with the rest of the staff.
It’s important that management make the interns feel appreciated and reprimand anyone caught disrespecting them. There is no reason for an intern to be treated or talked to any differently than anyone else on the staff regardless if they have to do the most menial of jobs at the office.
Free intern lunches are a huge deal to a struggling college student and is viewed as one of the best perks possible. Treating your interns well may result in you being able to retain them for the remainder of their college summers.
As you can see there is no shortage of employees or departments that can be made to feel underappreciated. Being proactive about recognizing all accomplishments in the office is crucial for the manager.
Sometimes it’s easy for certain departments to look down on others as they think their job isn’t as important and think anyone with a brain can do that job. Therefore, it’s important for it to be known that no one job is more important than the other. The office should be treated like a family where even the misbehaved stepchild gets a pat on the back once in awhile.