by Brenda Pohlman
On New Year’s Eve my husband and I have a tradition that we’ve been practicing for years. It started with a simple question he asked me over dinner one New Year’s Eve, “What was the best day of the year for you?”
The next year we decided to make lists. We each made a separate list of our “top 10″ days and then compared notes. In the early years the lists were dominated by fun – good times we’d had, like a great day off, a nice evening out, weekends away or vacations. But over the years the lists have evolved. They’re now comprised mainly of moments and experiences that we’re thankful for: birth of a new baby in the family, a healthy medical report, precious time spent with loved ones.
Interestingly, our “best days” and the moments when we feel the most gratitude have largely become one and the same. I suspect it’s simply a result of getting older, of having more responsibility for ourselves and others, and gaining a wiser perspective on what really matters. I’m sure the original question posed that New Year’s Eve long ago was intended as nothing more than casual chitchat. We had no idea how significant these lists and subsequent conversations would become over the years.
I love this idea that our best moments are intrinsically linked with a sense of gratitude and appreciation. And considering what I do for a living, I believe this connection is true at work as well – that employees’ best moments at work are tied to feelings of being appreciated and valued for their efforts and accomplishments.
In reflecting on my own best days at work in 2014, it’s true that so many involve the expression of gratitude in one form or another. One best moment happened when I was publicly recognized, along with several team members, in a personal email from a client to our CEO after completing a challenging project on the client’s behalf. While I got satisfaction from having done some good work, it was this meaningful expression of gratitude that turned the experience from a simple sense of accomplishment into a “best day.”
How powerful to think that you can make more of those “best days” happen by fostering a culture of recognition in your organization by simply offering praise and expressing appreciation to those around you.
What steps will you take to help employees have their best days at work in 2015?