What if one of the most special gifts you could get for Christmas was something so simple - a new pair of white athlete socks? Our friends at New York City Relief (newyorkcityrelief.org) have educated us on how critical a clean pair of socks is to a homeless person. Washing and drying socks is a challenge when you have no home and limited finances. And, if your feet get an infection then dirty socks can perpetuate the situation making it even harder to walk to get food and stay warm. NYCR’s mission includes a statement - we don’t just give a hand OUT, but we also give a hand UP. They do this by personal connection and contact. Just imagine – something as simple as a clean pair of white socks making a difference in a person’s life!
This holiday season there are many little things that we can do to make a BIG difference in people’s lives. Simple, easy to do things like a warm greeting; eye contact; an overdue visit or phone call; a handwritten note of thanks; an uninterrupted period of active listening; a few words of encouragement; or having a meal with someone who otherwise would eat alone. The list goes on and on. Just imagine the impact on an apartment complex, neighborhood, school, church, or community when people truly interacted and saw tangible actions and behaviors that said, ‘We care about you. You are important. You are valued.’
There are simple ‘game changers’ that differentiate workplaces too. When organizations lift employees UP and show genuine interest and concern for them, then in return employees give back their heads (ideas and problem-solving), hearts (commitment), hands (physical work), and habits (consistency). Countless little things make a difference. Just imagine the impact on an organization’s strategy execution, performance, customer service, and brand when employees feel:
- In the know compared to speculating or relying on your grapevine
- Ownership and accountability to deliver desired results
- More included than excluded in discussions about change
- Relationships with their boss are made of thousands of regular actions and reactions not just monthly or quarterly scheduled appointments
- Their feedback can be unfiltered but respectful
- Active participation in meetings was expected not just merely showing up
- Their questions are answered in a timely manner and given the same level of importance as customers and shareholders
- Their opinions really matter because they were routinely asked for them, acted on, and recognized for
- Eager to be an advocate for the organization’s product, services, and workplace because they are proud to be associated with each
A small tugboat can turn a very large ship around. And, a small investment can yield a big return. Small but deliberate actions and behaviors can also turn around big things including people’s beliefs, perceptions, behaviors, and even hope. Make a difference. Step out and do the small things well. It really matters and will make a difference. Just imagine engaging higher performance through improved business culture and more consistent in-sync employee behavior.