I really enjoyed the feature film Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah. In the movie the character Georgia Byrd, played by Queen Latifah, finds out that she only has a short time to live. She changes her outlook on life and becomes determined to enjoy every moment she has left.
One of the first things she does is quit her retail job. She stops in at her manager's office and knocks, but the manager is too busy listening to a greedy self-help tape (Hip and Rich). When Georgia enters his office, the manager growls at her for not knocking. He recently barked at her for offering food samples in her popular cookware section. As Georgia tries to talk to him, he takes a call on his cell phone even after she asks him not to. When she gets completely fed up and quits, he is aghast. He tells her that she can't quit. Her area is the only bright spot, profit-wise, for the store. She quits anyway. The manager tries to entice her with little, piddling raises of fifty cents an hour and then boosts it to a dollar and then a dollar and a half . . . she is too busy leaving this part of her life behind to notice or care.
This one little scene is indicative of bad management and bad judgment. When employees do an outstanding job, the least they deserve is recognition. You wouldn't expect a marriage to last very long without terms of endearment. Why should management think employees on the job function without respect and recognition? What does it cost to say, "I love you?" It cost nothing, but those words let marriages endure many hardships. What does it cost to say, "You are doing an excellent job?" Again, it costs nothing, but those words help many organizations endure corporate change, economic change, and encroachment by the competition.
Some friends of mine sold their family business three years ago. They remain friendly with the workers there. The new owner added some new sales people at higher pay than previous positions. My friends confessed, this was a good move, but there are still problems. There were employee appraisals promised by the new owner and they are long overdue. Business is up and the indication is that appraisals would mean "job well done" statements and pay raises, which haven't been done since the business sale. Respect and recognition would help retain some unhappy key employees.
What we say today affects how others act tomorrow. Respect and recognition saves marriages and employees. The time to show people that you value them is now . . . daily . . . every chance you have. Life is short.