It’s the little things

During conversation the other day, one of my bosses (Brian), mentioned my puppy (Kora), by name. The personalization – as opposed to “your puppy” or “your dog” – struck me. My husband and I adopted Kora just two months ago. And while I know I’ve mentioned her in the office from time to time and posted some adorable photos of her on Facebook, I don’t feel the repetition has been great.

Conclusion: Brian made a point to remember my pup’s name. How does that make me as an employee feel? Valued.

When I was 19 – 21, I worked at Brighton Collectibles in the Fashion Show mall. At the time (probably still), all the Las Vegas and Hawaii franchise locations were owned by Donny Borsack, of the El Portal Luggage Borsack family. Back then, I believe Donny had five Las Vegas locations, one Hawaii location and his corporate office – so probably around 40-60 full- and part-time employees. Yet, any time he came into our store during those two years, he could remember – within a month, I’d say – the exact date I’d been hired. Did he do a review of everyone’s hire dates before he walked into our store? I have no idea. It doesn’t really matter.

What mattered was that he made the effort to make his employees feel valued – not something he had to do. But it’s something I still remember nine years later.

So here’s my point: It’s easy to feel you’ve done your job as a company owner if you provide employment that allows your staff to meet all the basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. And in many ways, you have. But if you want your employees to be dedicated to you/your company on a less fleeting level, make an effort to show you care. Trust me – it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Melissa Rothermel Biernacinski serves as Director of Media Relations for Imagine Communications. Email Melissa at

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