Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Showing Appreciation

Last Tuesday I wrote about taking things for granted.  The flip side of that- is feeling taken for granted versus feeling appreciated. 

I am in a unique situation at work.  My direct boss has been out on medical leave for a couple of months which means that my co-assistant and I have been trying to keep the store running in the face of personnel cuts and other issues.  We also have tried to meet all of our deadlines- we are not always successful but we have been working hard to do our boss proud.  Now- our regional manager is hours away- she has a LOT of stores to cover and as long as you aren't a "problem" store- you don't have a lot of visits.  So basically we have been just working, working, working (to the point that between last month up till last Saturday- we have each accumulated about 96 hours of "comp time" which is so much we will probably never see it) and working- but not really sure how we are doing.  Most of the things we do aren't really measurable.   

Well- yesterday our regional gave us a call.  She wanted to tell us that we are doing a great job- our sales are up, we passed a surprise audit, we scored a 96% on a customer service shop and we are exceeding her expectations.  She wanted to thank us- and tell us that she is coming next month and wants to take us to dinner.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to feel that our hard work has been both noticed and appreciated. 

What she did with that one phone call was give me a lesson that it is not enough to not take things and people for granted- we have to express our appreciation as well.  It made me mindful of how much a  simple "thank you" can do for someone's day.  

My challenge for myself- starting today- is to really notice when someone is doing something "good" and to say Thank You in that moment.  If they feel half as much as I did yesterday- I think we will all have a better day. 


Anonymous said...

It's vital for us to feel appreciated for the work we do, and it doesn't matter at what level in the hierarchy we occupy. I'm glad your regional manager is the kind of person who notices the good work her employees do and tells them so. It makes up for a lot of stress and struggle, doesn't it.

As a boss, I always tried to express my gratitude to the people who worked for me. I could not have begun to do the job, week after week, without their hard work, attention to detail and support -- and I made sure they knew it.

There were times, I know, when MY bosses felt I was entirely too nice to my staff. But I didn't care. I didn't get the support from my bosses that I gave to my staff; the result was that I worked mainly for my own satisfaction and in order to help my staff grow and prepare to move on in their careers (they were nearly always fresh out of j-school). Being the kind of boss who appreciates her staff helped me be a better boss, I believe. And my memories of those times are good ones today.


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