Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR Holdings, Inc., handwrites holiday cards to each of his 9,200 employees to express gratitude.
“He travels with a suitcase full of stationery. He also pens handwritten notes for thank-yous, anniversaries, and birthdays,” said Business Insider in a recent report.
According to researches and career experts, the most successful corporate managers are those who can thank and encourage their employees. Even before he was chief executive, Yellen has written a holiday and birthday card to every company employee each year.
“There is an inside joke with acquisitions that I ask prior to closing: ‘How many more people?’ — “since I am constantly calculating that in my mind rather than ‘What is the EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization]?’” said Yellen in an interview.
Yellen started doing this in 1985 after he was hired by his brother-in-law, and many of the employees felt he was getting special treatment.
“If nothing else, the cards would encourage people to stop by his desk to say thank you, he thought,” reported Business Insider. “And it worked,” he said. “It got people talking, we started to communicate more, and I like to think it helped me earn respect within the company.”
Yellen is not just doing this for the thank you – he writes thank-you notes, anniversary cards, holiday cards, and writes to his employees’ kids when they are sick, said Alexandra Gort, company director of marketing communications.
According to research, good employees will quit their jobs if they are not given enough recognition. Business Insider reported that “Yellen has found taking the time to write out a card for each and every person has created a culture of compassion throughout the company.”