Strip #7: “Thank you for the ALWAYS full candy bowl”
This is just one way of delivering on today’s bit of advice: Figure out a small thing that is really appreciated by the team, and provide it regularly. I kept a bowl of chocolate candies on the conference desk in my office. I tried really hard to keep the good stuff in there (well, the nice Costco truffles anyway), although I must admit it occasionally held leftover Easter or Halloween candy. The point is, when a day is getting out of hand, a small luxury can be the only high point. It brought people to my office for something besides business, helped me spot who had drawn the short straw for pressure that day, and it probably didn’t hurt to create at least one positive association about being in my office, right?
Today’s bonus insight is perhaps a bit obvious but here it is anyway: NEVER shrink from stealing someone else’s good idea. I had watched someone on a previous team provide this same creature comfort to fellow employees. I watched the ebb and flow of traffic around that office week after week. Badness flowed into it and goodness flowed out. Of course, I shamelessly stole the idea.
Look, these people are working hard for you and for the business. They come in each day with the hope of being able to do a decent job, keep the business out of trouble, find problems before they get out of hand, and leave their mark on some achievement. You can say “I appreciate that” every minute of every day, without saying anything. Hell, without even being there. How hard is that?
And if they are not coming in each day with all those hopes, let alone delivering on them? Do it anyway. This is step one of the trust cycle and you have to come out from behind your hill first. Treat them as if they are pulling for you one hundred percent and make life a little nicer. You can differentiate performance in lots of other ways. Just pick something you can live with and use that one thing to treat everyone like a highly valued contributor.
Bottom line: There are lots of different kinds of carrots, but all sticks are pretty much the same.
-These quotes are from a jar that my team presented me as I was leaving to accept a promotion. They are the impressions, thoughts, and ideas that they had come to associate with me during my time there. I’ve decided to share them, and what I remember of how they came to be, with my readers as I draw them at random-