From time to time, I find myself blessed with an experience which inspires and enlightens me while renewing my faith in the human spirit. Just such an experience revealed itself to me this morning by way of a phone call from one of our clients.
I have his permission to share this unusual story as long as I don’t reveal the name of the organization … for obvious reasons.
Several months ago, I was asked to present a customized version of our often-requested “Productive Chaos” seminar. Over the years, we’ve presented various versions of this popular program to thousands of clients across a wide variety of industries from coast to coast. However, this request was rather unique.
The majority of previous presentations have been to those in leadership positions at various levels in the organizations we serve. This particular client requested that we share that same relevant content with his frontline staff! Here’s why he felt it was so important to do so.
- These are challenging times which call for increased productivity from every level of the organization.
- The majority of his frontline staff were not college-educated and had never attended an out-of-town conference of any kind. In fact, many had never received classroom training of any kind, even on the premises.
- This group of key employees was very concerned about the state of the business and the deteriorating status of our U.S. economy. In short, morale was low and self-confidence and self-esteem were far from what they should be to inspire the performance needed from this critical support staff.
- Our client felt they needed a boost and wanted them to know how important their performance was to the success of the company in these trying times.
- Therefore, he scheduled the entire staff to attend this presentation of “Productive Chaos” over several days of continuous sessions.
It’s been a few months now so I was certainly happy to hear from him this morning. In short, he was ecstatic. He rambled on for quite some time sharing the results of his risky decision. When he scheduled the seminar, he was honest in saying he wasn’t certain if the cost burden of training at this point was a wise decision. However, after seeing the results, he no longer uses the terms “cost” nor “burden.” He claims it was one of the best “investments” he’s ever made.
Let me cut to the chase. This is NOT a commercial for employee training. Paraphrasing our client’s feedback, he noted the following:
- In the days following the training, he observed an obvious increase in productivity by the majority of his employees.
- He observed more and better communication among individuals and departments.
- He saw daily evidence of greater morale, better attitude, and enhanced confidence and pride among his employees.
At this point, I would love to tell you that these key outcomes were a direct result of our powerful “Productive Chaos” program content and our unique method of delivery. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
In further discussion with our client, we agreed on the obvious. His staff differed little from other employees all across the nation today. They were beaten down and frustrated by daily media reports of a nation in demise. They were constantly exposed to reports that the future looks bleak and prospects of a turnaround grow more dismal by the day. In short, they were running out of gas and had little or nothing to look forward to.
Then our client gambled. He sent a subliminal message to his staff that they were indeed important and a crucial key to the company’s future success. The message was clear. They were important. They were needed. They were going to receive training with the expectation that performance and increased productivity would soon follow because their potential excellence was recognized, appreciated and a key ingredient for future success.
They were validated!
Sounds too simple doesn’t it? The results speak for themselves. People today want and need validation. The majority may not even be aware of it. I’ve seen it time and time again. A simple “thank you” or “good job” can make a difference. Eye contact, a smile, or a handshake can and will do wonders. People want to know that they possess value and can contribute in some way. Don’t you DARE underestimate the value of validation.
I don’t care who it may be …. a parent, child, spouse, friend, significant other, neighbor, vendor, client, employee or team member …. the results are the same. You’ll see greater pride, enhanced self esteem, increased performance and productivity, higher morale …. and the list goes on.
I saw it in the faces of those attending the training. They suddenly realized they were important enough to their company to receive training, to spend a day in a classroom increasing their ability and worth, to warrant their boss to bring in an outside speaker just for them. Of course, there were the typical number who didn’t care and refused to take part. There always are … but you don’t focus on those folks. You focus on those who care and appreciate your efforts. And the results cannot be denied.
I recently saw a video which so impressed me that I shared it on our blog. At the time, I honestly thought it was somewhat “corny.” However, 30 seconds into the content, I couldn’t turn it off. In fact I can’t believe I watched it to the end. It shared a very powerful message which should bring a smile to your face, a tear to your eye and inspiration to your spirit. It should be shown to every parent, spouse, teacher, CEO, supervisor, manager, team leader, and team member everywhere. In addition, it should be shared in every classroom in the nation.
Today, with this call from our client, that video content was validated!
It’s worth your time to view it. Who knows, it may lead to the successful outcomes experienced by our courageous client who sent a special message to his staff. Can you spare a few minutes? What are you possibly doing that could be more important. Enjoy and prosper!
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.
Harry, this was such a valuable contribution, I HAD to share it. Having been verbally “cut down” by some people in my youth, leading to low self-esteem, I realized the power of negative words. I made up my mind when I had children that I would do everything in my power to speak kind words, and give MUCH praise every opportunity I got, which resulted in both my sons being confident and successful in life.
It is my nature to smile and say kind, encouraging words to people everywhere, strangers, store clerks, especially when I’ve seen them berated by someone else, and definately to ALL children when I volunteer in my Grandaughter’s classroom.
One never knows what another is going through, and the kind words you use, and the smiles can turn their struggle around. I consider it a priviledge to do this, but also a personal responsibility.
Thank you once again for sharing, Harry.