Kindness at work goes much further than the stick, although in these stressful times, the stick can be the quick option. Quick is not always the best option.
Just as in health care, the hidden impact of touch and care can speed up healing, so can attention at work improve motivation. I have been following the career of the CEO of Campbell Soup, Doug Conant, who has been an exceptional leader. When I read his quick snapshot on three rules for building appreciation I was reminded of my research findings from my Masters' thesis which was on Deming and his rules for building a total quality culture within a company. The managers I surveyed gave "opportunity to celebrate" as the most important step to build a quality mindset, yet it was the step they did not do.Doug Conant mentions celebration as his second rule for building appreciation and it reminded me that most managers find this hard to do. Doug's success as a leader is obviously about paying attention to the high touch part of business.
Doug Conant, Campbell Soup, and his 3 Rules for Building Appreciation:
Make a personal connection early on
"Your associates can tell when you are being direct, sincere and authentic. When you are, you establish trust. When you aren't, you don't. I have developed a practice that helps get things out in the open the moment a new hire meets me — I declare myself. I tell the person I'm meeting about my background, my values, my leadership philosophy, my expectations and even my favorite quotes. I then ask him or her to share something with me. My goal is to take the mystery out of our relationship as quickly as possible. This has proved to be a very powerful tool for relationship-building."
Look for opportunities to celebrate
Doug says, "My executive assistants and I spend a good 30 to 60 minutes a day scanning my mail and our internal website looking for news of people who have made a difference at Campbell's. For example, as of this writing I just learned about a woman named Patti who just got promoted in our customer service area, so I made a note to congratulate her."
Get out your pen
.Doug says, "Believe it or not, I have sent roughly 30,000 handwritten notes to employees like Patti over the last decade, from maintenance people to senior executives. I let them know that I am personally paying attention and celebrating their accomplishments. (I send handwritten notes too because well over half of our associates don't use a computer). I also jump on any opportunities to write to people who partner with our company any time I meet with them. It's the least you can do for people who do things to help your company and industry. On the face of it, writing handwritten notes may seem like a waste of time. But in my experience, they build goodwill and lead to higher productivity."