By PAULINE SHIRLEY
Leaders on Fire
It’s interesting how one encounter gets the creative juices flowing about a particular action that serves many purposes, yet is not made often enough. Today the action, or lack of it, that got my juices flowing is acknowledgment. A very simple act, yes, but the results can be monumental.
According to surveys on motivation and what motivates people, almost more than anything else, employees want acknowledgment. Nothing big, just acknowledgment of their presence. From a smile to a pleasant “good morning.” From a minor award to friendly eye contact, all are appreciated and go a long way in building loyalty and making work worthwhile.
The encounter that made me thinking about this today was not in an office or a typical workplace. It was in a coffee shop a.k.a. a bakery.
Maybe it was the time of day – 10 a.m., late for the breakfast crowd, early for the lunch rush. Or maybe not. I approached one cash register. The employee behind it was busy entering a vast amount of numbers into the register. It must have been the national debt. I stood there for what seemed like eons.
Finally, a person with the persona of a manager came up and said, “I’ll take care of you over there” and pointed to the other end of the counter. I made my way through the bakery around tables and barricades as he had directed. Again, I stood in place. An employee was at one of the two registers inputting numbers, greater than the national debt this time. Soon another employee, not the manager, walked up to the second register and started doing something that looked as if it must be terribly important.
All I wanted to do is pay for my iced tea. No, actually I wanted acknowledgment. Acknowledgment of the fact that I was there as a customer and ready to do business. All it would have taken was a little eye contact, a twitch of the lips into a brief smile. Or maybe a short sentence such as, “I’ll be right with you.”
It’s so simple. Maybe that’s it! It’s too simple so it must not be important. Whether you interact with clients, family, colleagues, customers or friends, a little acknowledgment goes a long way. And it is so simple any one can do it.