RSS A Season to Remember

The holiday season is now in full swing. Autumn leaves have fallen, the air is filled with a brisk new chill, and, in the office, strategic plans for the coming year are falling into place.

It’s a time for many of us to reflect upon the year that was, both the good and the not-so-good. It’s also a time for leaders to express appreciation to their team members, for the contributions they made to keep their organizations relevant and viable.

Unfortunately, not all organizations made it to the end of the year, having succumbed to the difficulties perpetrated by the Great Recession. Others, while remaining viable, failed to deliver on their desired objectives. This makes for an environment where it is difficult to recognize and reward team members the way they would hope or expect to be recognized. Yet, other organizations exceeded expectations, thereby fulfilling or surpassing year-end reward expectations of their team members.

No matter the fate of your organization, I’d like to offer a simple thought: most of us, if we are truly honest with ourselves, simply want to be acknowledged. We want to be acknowledged for the hard work we performed, the difficult project we completed, the personal and professional growth we achieved, or the extra responsibilities we have undertaken — all in the pursuit of making our organizations better.

Most organizations are still not in a position to recognize and reward their employees as they did when times were more bountiful. But, even your most impactful employees will understand. They know that times are hard. They are working for you not only because they need a job, but most likely because they also like the work, the mission of your organization, and/or the positive work environment you have created.

It is for these reasons that we need to take a moment to acknowledge the uniqueness of each of our team members. In larger organizations, it can be difficult for a leader to personally acknowledge each co-worker. However, leaders can be mindful of this by ensuring that department managers acknowledge the efforts of their team members.

I hope every reader, no matter what role you play in your organization, will take time to personally acknowledge the efforts of your teammates by sharing a sincere and thoughtful appreciation of their efforts. To me, it’s a holiday gift that’s easy to wrap and easy to give.

For more ideas, check out this article on showing appreciation to employees. It turns out that their top three tips parallel my message.

Photo by KEXINO, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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