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Gratitude can change a culture

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Creating a more compassionate, cooperative, gracious workplace can start with sending a simple birthday card. At least, that’s the opinion of Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR Holdings, Inc., a billion-dollar disaster relief and property restoration company.

Yellen has handwritten a birthday card to every employee—every year—for more than 30 years. That’s 7,400 cards annually, but he finds the time. More than that, he does his best to make the notes personal, often referring to a memory or conversation with the birthday guy or gal.

He doesn’t stop there either. “When I learn of random acts of kindness being performed in the field, I take it upon myself to again, reach out in writing, and send a thank-you card so that person can know they are appreciated and that their efforts don’t go unnoticed,” he says. He believes such acts have helped to foster a stronger workplace. While other top execs may see it as a time-waster, Yellen believes it is time well spent. “Focusing only on profit and forgetting that a company’s most important asset is its people will ultimately stifle a company’s growth,” he adds.

Follow Yellen’s lead, and make the time to show your employees how much you appreciate them.

— Adapted from “A CEO Who Writes 7,400 Employee Birthday Cards a Year Explains the Value of Gratitude,” Chris Weller, Business Insider, www.businessinsider.com.

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