I got this email out of the blue from a lady called Valerie:
I recently started reading Happy Hour is from 9 to 5. I decided to make it a goal this week to write a personal note of sincere appreciation to each of my co-workers (and my boss). This was particularly easy for the most part as I have great co-workers … except for one that is challenging.
Nonetheless, I did this and it’s nice to see everybody, even “crabby pants” with a smile on their face. In fact, my boss told me today that he took his note home and put it up on his refrigerator.
I asked Valerie what the reactions were, and she followed up yesterday with this:
Two co-workers sent emails to me, telling how much they enjoyed their notes, proceeding into things they like about me. I replied to both persons that I was not fishing for compliments, but thanked them for their kind responses. One of the emails came from “crabby pants.”
As I presented each person with their note, I said, “I made myself a promise this week to give a note to each of my co-workers to express something I appreciate about each of you.” I then just left the note and walked away.
In the end, I think the person most touched by my note was a 50 something co-worker preparing for her youngest of four boys to leave the nest. It became evident to me several months ago that she had the onset of empty nest syndrome. She seems to be inadvertently hovering over everybody, spoon feeding information like we can’t possibly do our jobs on our own. My note to her was a simple expression of how I appreciate her calm demeanor and how much her presence is the glue that holds our group together when things are getting a little insane.
The greatest reward in giving the notes wasn’t receiving compliments in return. It was the noticeable difference of facial expressions as I passed by those same people later.
I am making Happy Hour is 9 to 5 required reading for my husband and plan to anonymously get a copy of it put on our COOs desk.
Thanks Valerie – you rock for doing this. I love this kind of thing and it just goes to show that small gestures can really make a difference. Could you try this in your workplace? Have you already done something similar? Write a comment – I’d love to know what you think.