Written by Joe Driscoll

November 26, 2009

I had observed the young lady going about her business for about a half hour. She appeared to have administrative responsibility for the activities surrounding the lock box department at the small bank where I was attending a meeting..

I was waiting outside of the bank’s conference room with a client. As I waited, I watched the various comings and goings of the employees that worked in the area.

In the short time that I observed her work, she was extremely busy. Probably six or seven different customers visited her desk. She greeted each one cheerfully, reviewed their records, admitted them to the secured area and completed some documentation upon their departure.

In addition to the activities at her desk, there were phone calls to answer, papers to process and various other chores she was busily completing. On two occasions her phone rang while she was occupied in another area and she dashed back to answer it promptly.

I was impressed with the industrious and positive manner in which she went about her work. If this were my business, that’s the type of employee that I would want working for me.

The bank president and I are friends. I thought I might jest that I was going to recommend that her boss give her a raise. That’s the sort of comment everybody likes to her from someone that really does know the boss.

After I remarked how impressed I was with her industriousness, I paused before continuing with the comments about recommending a raise. Before I could continue she cheerfully replied, “I just hope somebody appreciates what I’m doing.”

“I just hope somebody appreciates what I’m doing”, isn’t that the way we all feel sometimes. Needless to say, the wisdom of her reply made me think twice about saying that I was going to tell her boss to give her a raise. Not that she or anyone else would ever be adverse to receiving a raise, but it is appreciation for a job well done that we all need.

The wisdom of this industrious, cheerful young lady, caused me to reflect on appreciation as I resumed my wait. Think about how many things we all take for granted in our working lives. The problems get so much attention, the steady performers are often taken for granted. It’s the little things that she was doing that made the difference. Those are the things that you can’t pay someone to do, but when they get done, you better let someone know that you appreciate the effort.

Most all of us have had an employee that has had a problem getting to work on time or getting started first thing in the morning. It is necessary to bring the problem to their attention and initiate some corrective action. But what about all those others who are their on time every day and ready to give you your money’s worth from the starting bell. Take one of those steady performers aside some day and tell them you know it probably takes some extra effort on their part to start each day as they do and you just want to let them know that you appreciate their effort. It’ll make their day. Probably yours too!

Think about your suppliers for a minute. If they make a late or defective shipment to you, I bet they hear about it fast. When was the last time you called a reliable supplier and told them how much you appreciate their dependable service? You might think it would be an invitation for a price increase, but it won’t be. They’ll take better care of you than ever because they know you appreciate their efforts. Squeaky wheels get oiled, but only after they have begun to squeak. Appreciative customers get service because nobody wants to let them down.

What about the boss? Bosses are people too you know! Sure the boss is running his or her own business, but they do a lot that benefits others in the process and it’s sure nice to know that somebody appreciates the effort. When an employee comes up to you and lets you know that they appreciate working for you, it’s a real pick me up. A little appreciation that goes around comes around.

In every success story there are a lot of contributors that get forgotten along the way. It might be the friends or relatives that were your first investors, your initial employees, customers or your attorney, accountant or banker that helped you get started. For whoever was their when you needed them, expressing your personal appreciation for their efforts will be a gesture much appreciated in return.

Sometimes it seems that the problems get all the attention. Because it’s your business, take the time to show your appreciation to those who deserve it.

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