Last month at WSS we did an activity called Elf like Magic. Every time someone noticed another person doing something good or giving out a helping hand, they would write that persons name down on a tag. The tag would go in a bowl which would be drawn at the end of the week. The winner of that drawing received a lucky prize. We would then hang up all the tags on a board so that we could read each others notes to one another.
Now I do not know if I liked this project because I was nosey, but I really enjoyed reading the compliments that we gave to each other. As the weeks went on, there were more and more tags. The Elf like Magic tags started out as complimenting on simple tasks, but they soon turned into complimenting each other on how we do our jobs. Maybe it was the prizes or that the holiday season was approaching, but the morale of the office was different during Elf like Magic time.
This got me thinking, the morale was changing because we were giving people the credit that they wanted. The affirmation of being told that you do a good job at your job is rewarding. To me, that is better than a prize. Affirmation can change a persons day or their satisfaction of working at their job. Think about it, if you are working on a project for a long time, you want the acknowledgement at the end of it. This acknowledgement does not mean good job, but you did a great job at this and have a great skill at this. Nowadays, we do not do well with complimenting each other. A simple good job is not going to be good enough. You want encouragement that you are doing a great job and that you are an asset to the team.
We as humans want to know that we are making a difference. Doing our Elf like Magic showed that we knew what each others jobs were and how each of us were important to this team here. The compliments that we gave to each other were great, but the affirmations that we gave each other were better. It wasnt that I wanted to hear that everything I did was a job well done. I wanted to hear that everything matters and that I was making a difference.
My challenge to you is that you dont just give compliments saying good job to your coworkers or family. Make sure you point out what they did and how it affected you. Watch how peoples moods will change and how they will start enjoying being at work knowing that they are making a difference.
Author: Kendra Kane, Marketing Associate