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Bite-Size Appreciation

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Thursday December 5, 2013
<? echo $type; ?> Bite-Size Appreciation

by Bre Hallberg

The other day I had one of those meetings. You know the ones that you have to mentally prepare yourself for, because you know you are in it for the long haul?

Not only was it going to be an all day meeting, but it was going to be with some leaders that I didn’t know very well. Sure, we had talked, I knew of them, but I didn’t really know them . . . and then something happened that completely changed the dynamics of the meeting for me.

Three words: Peanut Butter Snickers. I have a slight obsession with Peanut Butter Snickers. If you have not had one, they are truly life changing, and one of the things I rely on to get me through long days. Okay, maybe not life changing, but they are pretty amazing!

Okay, so back to my meeting, we had chatted earlier about my love for Peanut Butter Snickers, and then about mid-day, one of the leaders that I had been meeting with, walked by me and threw me the last bite-sized Peanut Butter Snickers. Seems ridiculous that something this small would make a difference, but it did.

There is something about being known. And although it may seem silly, all it took was tossing me a Peanut Butter Snickers.

The holiday season is upon us, you may be considering how you are going to show some love to your volunteers, staff, family and friends. It took a candy, worth about a quarter, to feel appreciated. What can you do for your leaders, to let them know you care?

One of my favorite resources in Stuff Leaders Want, is our Case Studies, where we take a look at some amazing companies and organizations and talk about what the church can learn from it.

We can take some cues from these companies who are known for how well they show love to their employees. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking. . . .

Disney reminds us of the importance of the little things.
In the book, Creating Magic, author Lee Cockrell shares about he showed his appreciation to an employee. This employee had worked overtime to meet an important deadline. Knowing that his employee had made a sacrifice, and to model that the company values family, Cockrell sent his employee’s children a gift certificate to the nearest ice cream shop. On the card, it read, “Thanks for sharing your dad with us! He’s been working so hard and we really appreciate him.” Wow! What a statement that would make to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in your ministry.

Nordstrom’s reminds us to nurture our team.
Nordstrom is an organization that is fueled by emotions because employees are motivated to succeed, have a strong desire to sell, and develop a long-term devotion to serving the customer. Managers and buyers, who are charged with bringing out the best in their teams, sustain this spirit by generously distributing praise, recognition and joy. Employees are encouraged to do write-ups—stories that Nordstrom’s calls “heroics”—about other employees who provide great customer service.

Volunteers will be devoted and passionate about serving in your ministry if leaders generously give praise, recognition and joy for their service. How are you sharing the stories of what God is doing through the volunteers who serve in your ministry?

In-N-Out reminds us that people matter.
People mattered to the Snyders, founders of In-N-Out. The Snyders knew that the experience a customer had was based on the employees they interacted with. Therefore, they made sure that their employees always smiled, and those smiles were a result of being appreciated and compensated for their hard work. In-N-Out employees were often paid above minimum wage, and of course given a free meal. Hard work was rewarded, and as Chuck Papez, an employee of 46 years, said, “It was special right from the beginning, it was family.”

When Esther Snyder was asked to account for In-N-Out’s success, she said it was, “accomplished only with the dedicated enthusiasm and wholehearted cooperation of the In-N-Out Burgers’ employees and our pleased customers” (from In-N-Out by Stacy Perman, pg. 94).

Do your employees or volunteers know how valuable they are to you? How do you show them they are appreciated? The little things that you do to show them how much you mean to them.

Developed by Orange, Stuff Leaders Want is a library of digital resources to improve what you do. These resources help to develop leadership skills for yourself, your team and your volunteers. The materials in SLW aim to answer three basic questions: What can I do to continue learning as a leader? How can I be intentional about connecting with my volunteers consistently? What can we do to stay on the same page as a team? These materials can be digested in 20 easy minutes—or less. Click here to learn more about a subscription to Stuff Leaders Want.

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