Today? Last week? Last month?
The photo at right was taken by Terry P., the Library Media Supervisor at my kids’ elementary school. (Back in the day, we called them “librarians”.) Shortly before this picture was taken, Terry had been doing an activity with the kids using pennies and reference hand outs. At the end of the activity she instructed the kids to “stack everything on the tables before you leave”.
It would appear that an enterprising student took Mrs. P. at her word.
Imagine the patience and precision required to stack all of those pennies. Was it worth the trouble? Was it even necessary?
Seems to me that your employees might be wondering that very thing— is what I’m doing even worth the trouble? Does anybody even notice?
Leaders, stop for a moment and think of your team members. What are they doing that would be noteworthy enough to document with a photograph?
Drawing a blank? Then it’s to time start paying closer attention. Maybe they are going the extra mile, but you’ve somehow missed it. Your people are doing good work*. Chances are you’ve just been too busy to see it. So go out and start finding the stacked pennies. Oh, and if you do find a noteworthy achievement— would you do me a favor and thank them for it? Remember, it took a lot to get those pennies to stand up in that stack. If they don’t get any feedback, they might be tempted next time to let them sit in a big, messy pile.
*OK, so maybe some of them aren’t doing such great work. That’s an entirely different blog post.
Photo credit: ©Terry P.