It seems appropriate at this time of year to pause. To take a moment. To reflect, and think about all we have to be thankful for.
(Unless you work in retail. But if that’s the case, you won’t have time to read this until January anyway.)
It’s said that expressing appreciation is actually good for business. “Employees tend to become more engaged, productive, and committed to the organization’s success when they receive appreciation in the workplace,” writes Margy Bresslour in the Switch & Shift blog. “Individuals who are valued tend to carry to other relationships the positive feelings they get from being acknowledged.”
The question, then, becomes one of how to develop that sense of appreciation. “Pay attention to people who offer support and help you and your company succeed,” Bresslour suggests. “Watch for both the tangible work product and the soft skills (dependability, conscientiousness, communication, and interaction skills) that are equally important in the workplace. Once you get in the habit of identifying the qualities or behaviors that you feel grateful for, it becomes much easier to sincerely appreciate and acknowledge them.” In other words, as they say about raising children, try to catch ‘em being good, and then praise them for it.
Having trouble thinking about what you’re grateful for? Here are some ideas.
Your users: Bless their hearts. But if it weren’t for your users, you wouldn’t have a job, even if it seems to consist primarily of reminding that person in Accounting that they should try rebooting their computer before they call you.
Your staff: Even the Millennials who spend all the staff meetings playing with their iPhones. While they’re not perfect, they’re at least taking some of the pressure off you. With luck, they have some skills you don’t have, and between the group of you, you’re all stronger. Oh, and those Millennials? They’re writing a smartphone version of the trouble ticket app in their spare time. But sshhh, it’s supposed to be a surprise.
Your boss: Yes, yes, they have their moments. But on the whole, they help you out, they get you a budget, and, hopefully, they protect you from the whimsical notions of the people above them. If they’re really good bosses, you have no idea how often that happens.
Your vendors: They’re the ones who give you the tools you need to help do your job more easily. Well, maybe except for Adobe, which just lost a few million passwords. But they didn’t mean to, and it’s always useful to have incentive to improve security.
Aside from thinking about the people you work with, you can be grateful about other things.
You didn’t work on the Obamacare website. (Unless you did, in which case, all we can say is, better luck next year.)
The economy is recovering. Mostly. A 16,000 Dow has to mean something.
Gas prices in the U.S. are at a three-year low. Which should cheer you up on the drive into work.
Most of all, and we’re being serious now, we want to thank all of you who read our blog, who subscribe to it, who comment on it (well, most of you, but the Russian porn people we can delete), and who send it around to your friends. Writing a blog can sometimes feel like “a voice crying out in the wilderness,” not to rush the Christmas season or anything, and it’s always nice to get feedback.
Simplicity 2.0 is where we examine the intricate and transitory world of technology—through a Laserfiche lens. By keeping an eye on larger trends, we aim to make software that’s relevant to modern day workers, rather than build technology for technology’s sake.
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