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Being Thankful for the Good Employees

In 1863, while the Civil War raged across our country, President Lincoln  established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday. You might be asking yourself, “how could Abe possibly have been thankful?” But if you read his proclamation, you will see that he was. A lesson lies in President Lincoln’s optimism; as Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded that it is a holiday about finding the good and being thankful for it. Although the jobs of human resources managers or in-house employment counsel sometimes seem to be nothing more than addressing problems (many human resources managers will tell you that they spend 95 percent of their time dealing with 5 percent of their employees), employers should remember to be thankful for the hard work their employees put in all year.

With President Lincoln as our guide, we should all find ways to thank those in our workplaces who get it right – the 95 percenters if you will. Here is a list of a dozen of our favorite employees. For this Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for what they do:

  • Millennials who crave feedback even when that feedback is critical.
  • Frontline supervisors that really mean it when they say “Safety is first.”
  • Machine operators who recognize that good housekeeping is really a safety issue and clean up after themselves.
  • Supervisors who provide regular constructive feedback in a positive manner.
  • Employees who acknowledge that there are areas where they can improve.
  • Employees who show up regularly.
  • Union leaders that recognize that everyone benefits when workers are flexible.
  • Male managers that actively mentor female employees.
  • Employees who are willing to speak up when they see a co-worker act unsafely.
  • Supervisors who are natural teachers.
  • Workers who keep their cool when things are not going exactly right.
  • Employees who are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the job is done correctly.

Finally, we want to express our thankfulness to each of you for being loyal readers to our blog. Your attention and feedback keep us going.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Chris, Robert and Tom

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.