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A CEO Who Writes 7,400 Employee Birthday Cards a Year Explains the Value of Gratitude

A CEO Who Writes 7,400 Employee Birthday Cards a Year Explains the Value of Gratitude

sheldon - birthday cards

If you happen to sit next to Sheldon Yellen on your next flight, chances are he’ll be writing birthday cards. Lots and lots of them.

Yellen is the CEO of Belfor Holdings, Inc., a billion-dollar disaster relief and property restoration company. And since 1985, long before Yellen was chief executive, he has written a birthday card to every employee of the company every single year.

Today, as CEO, he says he handwrites 7,400 cards annually – one for every employee.

What Yellen is doing isn’t a new concept–he’s actually been doing it since 1985. But it might be especially important now, given the makeup of the modern workplace. A joint survey from Make Their Day and Badgeville, for example, shows that money and stuff aren’t key motivators for workers:

  • 70 percent of individuals say their most meaningful recognition didn’t have a dollar value.
  • 83 percent said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts.
  • 76 percent were very or extremely motivated by peer praise.
  • 88 percent were very or extremely motivated by managerial praise.
  • 90 percent were very or extremely motivated by a fun work environment.

Source – Business Insider

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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