It's really the basic tenet of human relationship: Recognizing another person.
Perhaps it's a smile or a nod of the head. Or maybe it's a hello and a how-are-you-doing salutation. Or it could be something more special, like remembering a birthday or anniversary.
In some instances, it could be a personalized phone call, a gift card, a hand-written message or simply an acknowledgment for a job well done.
In the day-to-day rat race that is the tire and automotive service industry, that simple mantra can get lost in the shuffle of supply difficulty, price hikes, labor shortages and prickly customers.
If there is one common denominator in the winner and five finalists of this year's Tire Business Best Places to Work competition, it is this: They put their people first.
Take Tire Group International L.L.C. (TGI), the winner of the survey, conducted by Tire Business in conjunction with Best Companies Group (BCG), an independent research firm specializing in identifying and recognizing great places to work.
The Miami-based wholesaler holds what it terms a "happiness campaign." Department heads award pins to employees for excellent customer service, special projects and for creating and promoting teamwork. Pins can be accumulated and redeemed for various gifts or time off.
In addition, each month TGI recognizes a company-wide team member, giving an award to an employee who demonstrates qualities such as outstanding and sustained performance of assigned duties and significant and positive impact with peers.
SimpleTire L.L.C., last year's winner and a finalist this year, reports that it gives out two monthly awards.
The first, the Innovator of the Month Award, is given to an employee who has submitted an idea for process improvement and business opportunity. The SimpleTire CEO and COO review the ideas and recognize an employee each month for his or her contribution.
The Trevose, Pa.-based online tire retailer also names a team member of the month. Employees are encouraged to nominate other team members across levels who have distinguished themselves either by actively demonstrating the company's corporate values or by significant cultural and business contribution and achievements.