ap·pre·ci·a·tion (əˌprēSHēˈāSH(ə)n) noun 1. recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
Mainstay employees love what they do. That’s evident in their commitment to ensuring those we serve live fulfilling lives and their willingness to put in extra work, time and effort to make sure that happens. And although it’s clear that they love making a difference for those we care for, this job can be challenging at times and take its toll.
When I noticed a few months ago that my staff’s morale could use a boost, I realized that they needed a reminder of how much they are appreciated, not only by the individuals that they serve, but also by me and their fellow employees. After individual meetings with each member of my staff, we all agreed that everyone deserved to feel appreciated, and together came up with an action plan to ensure a positive work environment at all times.
We made a simple solution of implementing five steps into our daily routines that showed appreciation for each other and for all of our Mainstay peers. This simple plan has already improved morale and workplace relations. Maybe you can take some inspiration from our plan and incorporate it into your own place of employment!
- A Simple Salutation
Life moves quickly. Sometimes we are in such a rush that we blow off simple hellos and goodbyes. Remembering to greet a peer with a small gesture can make a big difference by acknowledging them and letting them know you are thinking of them. Maybe they just needed to see a friendly face – you could make their whole day!
- Verbal Shift Reports
Again, sometimes when you’re in a hurry, it’s easier to write down the information that you need to share with everyone in the staff communication log or send an email. However, a quick verbal update can provide a better chance for clarification, the opportunity for peers to ask questions and could lead to valuable and relationship-building conversation.
- Courtesy Calls
Things happen – everybody gets that. And sometimes these things make you late for work. Calling a manager to notify them of your delay can help alleviate stress and confusion of your brief absence. Generally, your manager and peers will understand if you got stuck in traffic or had car troubles. So letting them know ahead of time will eliminate any irritation and make them more willing to help fill in until you arrive.
- Staff Meetings
Monthly staff meetings are a great way to get most of, if not all, the staff together to keep communication pathways open. Staff meetings should focus on business for a while, to make sure that the workplace is running smoothly, but we believe that having fun is just as important to the staff’s well-being. If you have time during your staff meeting, use it as an opportunity to relax and bond as peers, not just coworkers. My staff and I enjoy using this extra time to play games like board games, cards or charades.
- Share Duties
Nothing shows appreciation like a kind favor. There may be times when you have finished all of your duties and have a little bit of free time, but your coworker is buried with extra work. We believe that a well-functioning staff is truly a team effort, so you should always offer to assist others if you can. This will help make their day a little bit easier, and make them more willing to return the favor when you need help in the future!
Implementing these small five steps into our daily routine has helped everyone come together as a team and create a positive work environment. Whether you are working in an office, caring for others or whatever your job may be, showing small gestures of appreciation for the rest of your peers or the staff that you manage can make a huge difference!
-Angel Rodrigues, Mainstay Life Services Program Manager