I was boarding my flight from Atlanta to Austin when I saw a little kid walking down the aisle with his mom. He looked a little bit scared or tired, I could not tell. They sat in the row behind me. The I overhead the lady on the seat next to them tell him “I am so happy I got to sit with you. I usually get sit next to very boring people.” as I turned my head I saw the kid smile. He chatted the entire flight. When we were leaving the plane, the smile was still on his face. All this for one sentence from the lady, who made the kid’s day.
Just a few days later I was chatting with one of my colleagues and simply told him the work he has been doing was impactful. I said something like “You have done a great job. We planned this a year ago, now we have solid results. Your work is having a positive impact for the company that can be seen in our revenue, thank you.”. Two days later my friend was still pumped. He thanked two more people who helped on the project and seemed happier than usual. All for a few sentences.
His reaction was not a surprise, but it made me think we should do more of this, I should do more. It is well accepted that feeling appreciated, recognition and encouragement are more powerful employee motivators than money. Bu you should not only do this because it is the right business decision, it needs to come from the heart. It is so easy to ignore the little things in life like this one that make a difference. They are important, that’s why I decided to blog about it even if it is off-topic for my blog.
How can you make someone’s day?
- Tell someone in your team they are doing a good job and how they are helping the company
- Smile to people that walk past you or say ‘Good morning” to people on the elevator
- Find the person at work that has the most underappreciated job (helpdesk? IT? Receptionist? and thank them for what they do. Every time I am at an airport I thank the TSA personal for keeping us safe
- Pay for coffee for the person next in line or bring chocolate to the a meeting for no reason
- Write a sincere thank you note for someone
It’s so simple, it’s contagious, and it’s free. Most of our efforts in life are aimed at making us happy. And yet, happiness is right here, available to you and the people around you if we just make a small effort to create a spark.
Have a great day