At Testuff, we often highlight the importance of having the “right tools for the job.” As a software tester, for example, those tools might be:

It can even be having a stellar team (people aren’t tools, but you get the idea).

No matter what projects you’re trying to tackle, it makes sense to invest in those resources and tools that can deliver the highest ROI. If you’re a carpenter, for example, having the “right” hammer is essential.

But sometimes, there are smaller, less obvious improvements that can deliver huge dividends. These changes aren’t necessarily required for the job at hand – but their impact is no less profound.

Let’s take a look.

How a Tiny Change Made Life Easier for One of Our Software Testers

One of our Testuff employees had spent years working from a laptop. And then one day, his manager gave him a wireless keyboard and mouse.

This action was totally unprompted. In fact, the employee had never indicated a need for such peripherals.

It was a completely random gift.

And yet, the reaction was amazing.

Within just one week, that employee began reporting significant increases in productivity and efficiency. He was able to type faster, navigate more easily, and work more comfortably.

The difference was remarkable.

What this mini case study illustrates is that testers – or any employees for that matter – work with whatever tools they’re given. They make do with what they have. And a thoughtful manager might consider providing his or her employees with newer computers, better software programs, or faster Wi-Fi connections.

These are all obvious improvements.

But who would ever think of “gifting” a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to boost productivity?

And yet, this one small gift made a huge difference in total output.

Even better was the goodwill that this kind act generated.

Anyone can appreciate faster Internet. And the excitement lasts for a few days (sometimes a few weeks). But that one employee will forever remember the time his supervisor took his personal comfort into consideration.

You can put a number on increased productivity.

Increased job satisfaction, however, is truly priceless.

Other Ways to Make Your Software Teams (and Users) Feel Appreciated

In the above example, all it took was a wireless keyboard and mouse to transform this employee’s professional life. But there are countless other ways to show your appreciation – from ergonomic chairs to RSI keyboards to dual monitor workspaces. Each one of these modest investments can make your team members feel like family – instead of employees.

And this strategy isn’t limited to your own teams.

You can also extend this philosophy to end users.

Everyone appreciates new bells & whistles – even when such features are developed for mass consumption.

But sometimes, it’s the small, personal “perks” that create lifelong customers:

  • The chocolate mint on the hotel pillow.
  • The “thank you” cards sent to beta testers.
  • Special discounts for long-term customers.

These are all very small gestures – and they’re inexpensive to implement. But because of their personal touch, the impact of these random acts of kindness can run very deep.

Moreover, they’re impossible to forget – even after many years have passed.

So, if you’re currently trying to:

  • Build an entirely new team from scratch….
  • Boost the morale of an existing team….
  • Impress your users with a new launch….

Then you should spend a few minutes thinking about how you can make their respective lives a little bit easier. Give them a genuine reason to be thankful. And ideally, whatever gesture you use should be as personal and as unique as possible.

You don’t need to hit it out of the park every single time. And you don’t need to implement this strategy all at once.

But…

If you invest just 10 minutes every month thinking about the comfort of your employees, end users, or vendors, the returns will be absolutely worth it.

Have you ever been touched by a random act of kindness from fellow co-workers?

Have you already implemented the above strategies with your own teams?

If so, please share your experiences down below.

And if you – or any of your team members – live Stateside, we’d like to wish you a Happy American Thanksgiving.