Reflection: This Friday, the 4th of March, is Employee Appreciation Day. Of course, exchanging appreciation ought to be an everyday experience. Still, a focused reminder can’t hurt and it might even help.
I recently came across an organization where all who work there are referred to as co-workers – neither bosses nor employees. That title, co-worker, reinforces the idea that we share responsibility for our everyday work experience.
When it comes to appreciation, we are all in it together. I’ve often heard employees say they wish the boss would recognize their efforts. In fact, a recent Harris poll reported that the top complaint of 63% of employees surveyed was that leaders don’t recognize employee achievements.
Not to let leaders off the hook, but all of us, as co-workers, can share that responsibility. Encouragement isn’t limited by rank or status.
And, what if we universally extend this concept of co-workers beyond the walls of our organizations? What if we see everyone with whom we cross paths as co-workers? The teller at the bank. The pump jockey at the gas station. The clerk at the grocery checkout.
Action: As you move through the day, make a special effort to express encouragement to our extended family of co-workers.
- Share a kind word. Thank You is always a good place to start. Other creative options arise when we make it a habit to look for things that invite a positive comment.
- Express empathy. When the lines are long at a check out, customers are not the only ones who feel frustrated. Sympathizing with the clerk about her busy day puts you both on the same side of the issue. Sharing the burden lightens the load and puts a human face on the situation.
- Lend a hand. Hold doors for others – not just when their arms are full or they’re struggling with a stroller – but simply because they’re human beings – fellow co-workers on this planet of ours – going about their business of the day, just like the rest of us.
Really, it takes so little to accomplish so much!
Quotes Of The Week: Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. – Margaret Cousins
It’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Oprah Winfrey.
Resources Of The Week: Stuck for words? Here’s a helpful article: Thank You Phrases For The Workplace.
This 5-idea blog post by Angelica Marden (Show Your Gratitude At The Office) is short, sweet and colorful.
Announcing ‘Pick Me’ Winners: Thanks so much to the 158 Pause readers who tossed their names in the ring for the 30th Year In Biz – Celebrate the Leap ‘Pick Me’ Contest. Draws were made on Leap Day – Monday, February 29th.
The winners are as follows:
- Prize #1 – A bundle of 30 copies of the Take A Bow Booklet – Kereen L
- Prize #2 – An original ink and watercolor sketch (inspired by your photo of a place that matters to you) – Kristi G
- Prize #3 – A hundred dollar donation to a charity of your choice – Georgi H
Entrants were asked to pen a few lines about something they were grateful for in their lives over the last 30 years. I found it both compelling and uplifting to read about the gratitudes expressed in the entries. I think you might, too.
And so, I’m in the process of seeking permission from entrants to compile a sampling of excerpts from the comments. A few comments were quite personal, so rest assured I will ONLY include those where direct permission is given.
When it’s ready to share, I’ll publish the collection on the Pause website, and link to it from a future Pause ezine. Stay tuned.