Monday, August 28, 2006

Listening leads to understanding

"Listen to me now, to my resons for what I think and to my pleadings." Job 13:6 (TLB)

Treat people kindly, gently and with respect and consideration. They will respond favorably, and if they happen to be on your payroll, they will work harder and be more productive. ~ Zig Ziglar

Conversation is two-way interaction. It involves talking and listening. Otherwise it is merely a speech and often, with uninterested listeners. A productive work environment needs people who are good listeners. Listening leads to understanding. It also shows respect and consideration to co-workers, employees and employers.

The manufacturing department of a small company began to have problems when a couple of the employees started playing loud music others felt was offensive. When they were confronted, they complained that the type of music played over the speakers in the room was not to their liking. The department head quietly listened to both sides. Understanding that the music was an important issue in the employees work environment, he found the perfect solution. He issued headphones to each employee.

To listen is to understand.

(Copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Initiate acts of encouragement

"A faithful employee is as refreshing as a cool day in the hot summertime." Proverbs 25:13 (TLB)

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. ~ Aristotle

Yes, the workplace is an arena full of competitors. Plenty of movies and TV shows have been made to show it in the extreme but what if it became a place where encouragement thrived--where a good job was appreciated by all and praised by co-workers? That is when a company becomes a team and strengthens its impact on its consumers.

Try initiating some acts of encouragement in your work environment. You don't have to praise the job another does directly (that could be construed as suspicious) but you could begin by saying things like, "I appreciate how you come into work with a smile," or "I like the way you organize your work area. It seems so efficient."

Do it often enough and it just might become contagious.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Make those reviews encouraging

"Jeroboam stood out during the construction as strong and able. When Solomon observed what a good worker he was, he put the young man in charge of the entire workforce of the tribe of Joseph." 1 Kings 11:28 (MSG)

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~ Mother Teresa

Everyone needs to know and feel they are doing a good job. The tool many employers use is the review. It makes time for an employer to evaluate the worker's performance, apply a reward (a raise, promotion, bonus), and/or make needed adjustments to improve job performance.

A wise employer/manager uses it as a time of encouragement even if the employee is not working up to his potential. He will praise the strengths of the worker and discuss how those strengths might make his job performance improve.

A wise employee uses the review as a way to encourage his employer. This is not meant as "brown nosing" or earning "brownie points." It should be a truthful expression, one which tells the employer/manager that what he is doing that is helpful to the employees or the business.

Encouraging one another makes for a stronger work force and better business.

(copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Smiles—not just for customer service

"God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile!" Psalms 67:1

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abe Lincoln

The customer service department of any business is well-served by employees who can radiate a smile of confidence and sincerity. What would happen to a company who had a work force of people who greeted each other with a smile? Encouraging? You bet.

Imagine coming into work each morning and being greeted by smiles from your co-workers. It could be a better boost than that third cup of coffee. How do you create an environment like that? It starts with you.

Promise yourself that you will start your workday with a smile for your co-workers. If it hasn’t been your habit to do so, they may be a bit suspicious at first but eventually, you’ll find your smile returned. And, just like any virus, you can spread this one throughout the office without the fear of causing sick-days.

(Copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Extol--Food for encouragement

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. ~ MitchAlbom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The men reading this post may not understand this so well but it's very important to a woman that a public restroom be very clean. Women have been known not to return to a restaurant or store simply because the restroom was deplorable. The mall that I frequent has beautifully kept restrooms and I always wonder if the management appreciates the employees who keep them spic and span.

One day I happened to be on my way out of the restroom when an employee came in pushing a cleaning cart. I smiled at her, threw my paper towel in the waste can and started to exit. Something inside me made me turn around and go back. She needed to know that she was appreciated. Would anyone else tell her?

"I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful job you do here." She looked at me in surprise, her mouth agape. When she didn't respond verbally I added, "I really appreciate the clean restrooms. Thank you."

She nodded her mouth still open. I smiled again and left. Sadly, I don't think anyone had ever told her that before. I hope it encouraged her.

(Copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

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