2, 4, 6, 8 – Who Do We Appreciate? | Advice for Small Businesses

April 25, 2016 10:03 am Published by

Have you ever had school day memories float back into your mind? They can pop in at the strangest times.

I remember many celebratory events at school, both academic and sports related. At each kind of occasion a bunch of classmates would spontaneously burst into a cheerleading rendition of, “2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – Who do we appreciate?


Then they would spell out the name of the person being celebrated and loudly pronounce their name at the end of the cheer. It stirred up everyone’s enthusiasm then and still brings back pleasant memories to me now.

Top CEO Advice for Small Businesses

Let’s skip forward to more recent times and look at Jeffrey Katzenberg, an American businessman and film studio executive. He’s the CEO of the highly regarded DreamWorks company.

CNN’s Richard Quest, on his Quest Means Business show, conducted an interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg a few years back. I remember watching a short clip of this interview and it reminded me of those school day celebrations.

In the interview, Quest asked Katzenberg for any advice he would give for leaders of small and medium sized companies.

Katzenberg preceded his response by saying he only wished he had learned the advice he was about to give 25 to 30 years ago.

Are you ready for it?

He said, “I have learned that to honor and celebrate, recognize and reward your employees and their work, is a fantastic business strategy.”

Honoring, Celebrating, Recognizing, and Rewarding


Without any ulterior motive in mind, when you honor and recognize your employees, it magically turns into great customer experiences and positive performance results we all want everyone to have.

Truly honoring people by valuing them in a meaningful way demonstrates the highest level of respect. By respecting an individual’s wishes and personal preferences for how they want to be appreciated you communicate so much more than just saying the words, “thank you.”

For example, prior to a company’s Excellence Awards event, an employer would meet with each award recipient to determine their preferences. One employee said she was happy to merit the award but declined coming up front to receive the award (many people do not like coming forward to receive a gift!). Instead, her wishes were respected and the employer agreed to present the award privately to her the day after the ceremony.


Learn to take time out to celebrate even a single employee as well as a group of workers for outstanding contributions they have made to you, a customer or to the firm. This energy is the positive emotion that engages people.

Celebration connotes acknowledging people, making a big deal of things, as well as having fun and generating warm feelings, whether done internally on a small scale or at a large and lavish, offsite event. Celebrations are a way to honor and respect people for their significant contributions and usually are associated with some kind of event.


Remember, recognition is always an unexpected expression of appreciation to a person or an acknowledgement for contributions made or performance achieved, whether by tangible means or not. The key, I have learned, is to identify the difference they have made and to whom. When you publicly share how their contribution has made a difference it impacts others who are present as well as the recipient.


And of course, rewards are always a tangible expression for reaching certain targets or results and can be in the form of monetary or non-monetary gifts or experiences, and for the most part are usually anticipated or expected.

When a leading salesperson was acknowledged for the third year in a row as the top sales person of the year, the usual exotic trip-away-award was perceived as a negative for him, as he would have to leave his young family at home. A wise sales manager knew how much the salesperson’s family meant to him. Instead, he commissioned to have a framed portrait painting done from a family photo and it meant the world to the salesperson.

What a great people and business strategy this renowned business executive gave to us all – to honor, celebrate, recognize and reward those with whom you work.

Connect with Roy here.


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April 25, 2016 10:03 am

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