I’ve been working at Baudville for more than six and a half years, and, the other day, I realized something: gradually, I’m learning to be a better person. I’m not saying I was a complete barbarian “Before Baudville,” but I am definitely improved “After Baudville.” How did this happen? Did I simply mature? Unlikely. No, I’m pretty sure it’s all this exposure I’ve had to the practice of recognition and culture building. Here are some of changes I’ve noticed:
- I say please and thank you a lot more. Part of this comes from working on a team of many, coming from past experiences of being on a team of one (moi). As I am no longer the executioner, I must ask someone else to drop the axe. I better be nice if I want that to happen, eh? But, there’s more. Being aware of the many ways to say thank you has made me conscious of all the opportunities. There are the “you totally saved my fanny” thank yous, the “you are just all-around awesome all the time” thank yous, and, simple, straightforward thank yous, too. See what I mean?
- I remember to acknowledge the work others are doing. Beyond being just thankful, it’s important to pay attention and live in a state of awe of what others contribute. I’m serious. There’s a reason I do what I do, and my colleagues do what they do. Together, we make magic. On our own, we just make the one thing we can make. Our internal peer-to-peer recognition program has helped raise my awareness of this fact, and has been a constant reminder to be mindful of others’ talents.
- I appreciate what could be taken for granted. Whether it’s knowing what’s going on in the company because of a quarterly communications meeting, or witnessing a leader truly step up and advocate for her team, or taking part in any number of the special activities we have here, I have to acknowledge that these are not necessarily the norm. But, they are the types of experiences that make a great culture—and the ones we recommend as best practices. As I make the connection between the talk and the walk, I realize there is a lot to be grateful for in my working life.
- I consider the Golden Rule. Then turn it platinum. Coined by Tony Alessandra, the Platinum Rule suggests that we not treat others as we want to be treated, but as they want to be treated. (Incidentally, I always thought this was a Stephen Covey term, but his words are, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Similar, but different.) At Baudville, we underscore this concept by using a “Tell Us About You” form when new hires start so we can learn their likes and dislikes. Whether it’s giving the right gift card or rewarding someone privately or publically, our actions are more likely to resonate if we follow the individual’s rule book—not our own. Through this example, I’ve become more thoughtful about how I communicate with others and also how I recognize them. I try to pay attention to their cues and tendencies, so what I do has the most impact.
- I try to smile and greet everyone. I don’t always succeed at this. Some days I have to keep my head down and focus on the goal in front of me. Sometimes I pass a new person 10 times before finally saying something. But, if I jerk myself out of my small universe and force my mouth to open and blurt out words, I find great satisfaction in the exchange—and so does the other person. Usually. I think. Whether it’s someone’s first day or one-thousandth, I know that it’s my job to be friendly. It’s my job because, as an organization, we believe in the power of good onboarding. And, we know that onboarding is an ongoing process; not just a one- or two-week initiative. I’ve done enough research to know that it works, and had enough practice to know that it makes everyone feel a little more cheerful about their day. So, why wouldn’t I?
I continue to be a work in progress, but with these ever-present positive influences, I am becoming a kinder, more considerate version of myself. It’s a good thing. You should try it!
Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!