When cookies speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words, and Stuart Reges, a principal lecturer at the University of Washington, is living proof.

Reges does more than just tell his students that he appreciates their hard work each semester. For every final exam, he makes from scratch enough chocolate chip cookies to feed the whole bunch—nearly 1000 students.

It’s hard work, requiring two full days of mixing and baking during a particularly busy time for college lecturers. But the 2011 University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award winner believes the work is worth it.

While it is a small reward, its meaning isn’t lost on the students. Says one student, “It’s really cool. It’s a nice gesture. It’s like it’s the end of the quarter, and you made it through. Now, here is a nice little treat.”  The fact that he does it for so many students carries even more meaning.

Are you doing enough to acknowledge your employees’ hard work?

When you are busy, it is all too easy to forget about recognizing your staff. But as Reges’ actions prove, it doesn’t take fancy, expensive rewards to tell them that you notice their effort. Nor does it require a lot of fanfare.

The simple act of recognizing employees’ hard work increases their productivity, engagement, job satisfaction and loyalty. All positives for your team and your organization.

So whether you decide to bake a batch of cookies, host a team lunch or simply write genuine thank-you notes, find time to give employees a pat on the back.