Company Culture, Leadership

Business Lessons from 30,000 Feet

By , February 3, 2016

Tips for creating positive, engaged, motivated employees

I’m always amazed how the greatest business insights can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.

On a recent flight back from Israel, I struck up a conversation with one of the stewards. We made a little small talk, and soon our chat turned to his job. During the course of our discussion, he lamented to me that, although he always tried to be friendly to every passenger, he had no real business incentive to be cordial.

He described the startling lack of employee appreciation. There was no recognition from his superiors for better customer service. No compliment for going the extra mile. Positive feedback was from passengers, not superiors. The only way to get noticed? Publish something foolish on social media. Boy, would that work!

Instead, he explained, the employee growth module of this airline was, essentially, “survival of the fittest.” Been here for 4 years? Congratulations on lasting this long, here’s a raise.

This is a very troubling and flawed model.

Fact is, the benefits of providing incentives to employees extend all the way to your bottom line.  Studies have shown that companies with happy, motivated employees have nearly 30% higher profits, 50% higher customer loyalty, and are significantly more productive than companies who don’t.

The motivated employee wants to do not just a great job, but the best job. He or she knows which goals to work towards and what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve them. Simply put, they are more engaged.

They feel more valued.

Engaged, valued employees bring with them an infectious culture of positivity. This, in turn, creates an environment both employees and clients want to be around.

On the other hand, an employee who feels insignificant has no reason to be fully engaged, to go that extra mile. Why bother giving full effort if it’s not going to help?

With this in mind, here are some Ptex Practical Pointers to help create positive, engaged employees:

  • Constantly Crystal-Clear – Everyone should know the company goals and their role in achieving them. Nothing makes an employee more disengaged than not knowing exactly where they need to be and what they should be doing. And a disengaged employee produces disengaged work.
  • Praise Publicly – Motivation doesn’t always come in the form of money. Sometimes, a well-placed compliment can go a very long way – especially when done publicly. In fact, here at Ptex we have a weekly huddle, at the end of which we give a “high-five” to deserving employees.
  • Eye Extra Effort – Today’s fast-paced business climate means that, more often than not, when an employee gives that extra effort it will fly under the radar. It’s therefore so critical to have managers in place who can recognize and acknowledge the great work accomplished, and ultimately make that employee feel valued.

Keeping employees motivated, making them feel valued, takes a lot of time and effort. Constant effort. But there is no doubt that in the long run it will be your most profitable investment. Get your employees onboard, and watch your business take flight.


Onward and Upward,

Meny Hoffman

P.S. Got an interesting tip or story regarding employee recognition? Please feel free to share by commenting below.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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  1. Hi Meny,
    Interesting timing. I just came across this article that claims the opposite.

    Why ’employee of the month’ schemes don’t work: Making examples of hard-working staff causes colleagues to feel unmotivated | Daily Mail Online

    I guess that like a blatt gemura, there are different opinions on everything.

    I never studied this myself, as I always had a great relationship with employees and knew when they needed that extra help – be it at a time of making a simcha or yomtov or just sending them on a week paid vacation with their wife when I detected burnout, and likewise, they tried to make me happy too.
    I guess this is still up for debate.