Many of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do our own families. Sharing a communal workspace with other human beings can be a drag, but it can also be uplifting, empowering, and even edifying.
What’s your contribution to the environment in which you work?
Are you a workplace ace, or a vocational villain? An office solace, or a cantankerous colleague?
Let’s review a handful of ways to be a hero around the ol’ sawmill (or air conditioned office building).
1. Lighten/Loosen Up
Chill out. Just breathe.
Intensity, seriousness, and being direct is fine, but nobody needs negativity, hostility, or complaining — at work, or anywhere else for that matter. As much as you are able, lighten up! Turn that frown upside down Charlie Brown.
It can’t be that bad. Chances are your job is not quite so challenging as, say, being on a bayakou crew in Haiti. Perspective.
Part of being on a team is having patience and empathy for your teammates. Forgiving and forgetting goes a long way. Like two players trying to grab the same rebound, we may butt heads, and compete, but at the end of the day we’re on the same team.
Lighten up, and loosen up. Hands in everybody, ‘team’ on three!
2. Find Your Cheezy Poof
Last week Julie, our intrepid VP of Marketing, asked me what kind of snacks I like. “Cheezy poofs” was my reply.
Wednesday morning I roll into the office, and lo and behold one of those comically large barrels of cheezy poofs lay before me. Boom, that’s team building right there.
So the question for you, is, what’s your cheezy poof? When’s the last time you brought a sharable treat to the office, or did something thoughtful for your team?
Doughnuts, coffee, baked goods, McGriddles, old baseball cards, matching gaudy belt buckles… never underestimate the power of a thoughtful gesture to break ice, build camaraderie, and generate good vibes.
3. Be Data-Driven
Your attitude is a big part of being heroic around the office, but you also need to demonstrate aptitude, of course. Data can equip you with insight and help you earn your place as a respected workplace champion.
Data helps you be more strategic and focused in your tasks, whether your concern is marketing, sales, or recruiting. As opposed to shooting from the hip, cold calling, or going off gut instinct, a data-driven approach is more efficient, targeted, and effective.
Using data to drive your vocational efforts paves a direct path to greater success, and more recognition as a handy person to have around.
4. Be Eventful
Humans crave social interaction. Even the most staunchly introverted among us enjoy some measure of engagement.
That’s just one reason why having events are beneficial, on the individual and corporate levels. It doesn’t have to be a big blowout, just something to facilitate fun, conversation, bonding, and relationships.
Organizing events, gatherings, lunches, clubs, or activities can be a nice start toward becoming an esteemed colleague of the highest order.
It’s OK if your company doesn’t have a particularly eventful culture or track record. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help.
5. Let There Be Praise
A nice thing about working here at Randall-Reilly is the open exchange of recognition. One of the first things we do to start off our week is open up the mic for those who want to publicly recognize a colleague for a job well done.
This is the sort of thing that often gets lost in the shuffle of a cluttered work week. How often do we forget (or neglect) to thank people?
Office heroes are intentional about recognition. They build gratitude into their schedules, and give credit, encouragement, and positive exhortation on the regular.
Thank yous — whether in word (spoken, not Microsoft), email, post-it, Hallmark card, or doughnut form — are what heroes are made of.
So that’s pretty much it. Lighten up, use data to increase efficiency, build camaraderie, be thoughtful, and praise those who deserve a shout-out. Oh, and don’t skimp on the cheezy poofs.