“Our employees are our most valuable asset.”

Anyone else sickened by that phrase? I’ve heard it so often, it’s lost all sense of meaning. And though I do believe employees are a company’s greatest competitive advantage, too many companies are not treating employees as though they want to retain them in the recovery.

Charee Klimek’s answer to this is one of the most brilliant pieces of writing on the topic I’ve seen in recent months. A letter to the CEO, “Dear CEO, It’s Me Your Most Valuable Employee” outlines why employees are unhappy, even though they are fully aware of the constraints the company is under, and what the CEO could easily (and cost effectively) do about it.

Charee nails the common employee concerns – lack of trust, communication, collaboration, training and recognition – but her “ideas for positive change” are even better. Here’s the one on recognition:

Recognise Us. If you want us to be creative, more engaged and continue to go above and beyond, show us the appreciation we deserve. The reward isn’t always about the money (though money wouldn’t hurt). Right now most people would appreciate a simple, genuine thank you.

Share Success Stories. When people are recognised for doing great work, others should know it. Let’s share success stories to celebrate each win and in time people will learn to match their behaviours to those that earn the greatest recognition, reward or acknowledgment.”

It really is that simple. Tell people thank you. Share their successes. Show them the meaning and importance of their work.