“If you are the light for someone else it will also brighten your path.” – Buddha
All of us search for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel at different moments in our lives. (And no, it is not a train.) The guiding force that moves us to our “next” or inspires us to keep moving forward.
We look for light at work too.
I believe you understand what I mean. How does the clock move in the first minutes when you are on a two-hour Zoom call? The last minutes before it’s over? Or when your shift ends at five o’clock and it’s ten to five?
Why do these last minutes play on our emotions and productivity? We see something brighter at the end.
Leaders and Light
Leaders may not recognize how they impact an employee’s light during the workday.
Giving an employee a new assignment as they head out to the door.
Performance reviews that lack positivity and are piled with generalizations or criticisms.
Not celebrating workplace milestones achieved.
An employee not able to find light at work is one conversation away from a blow up. One bad day away from searching for a new job. One project away from just doing enough to get by.
Bring Light to the Workplace
Here are three ways for leaders to amp the voltage at work.
1. Link each employee’s role to the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Think of this as a reading lamp that spreads light all around and one that you can sit close to when you need focus.
2. Show instant gratitude. When an employee rocks a task, point it out on the spot. “Thank you” could be what an employee needs to hear to remain connected and engaged. Solar lights need sun to shine when it is dark, right?
3. Shorten the tunnel. In a world where we often only recognize achievement at the very end, try recognizing success at shorter intervals. Recognize a year-long project six months in because it is running on time with less road blocks than anticipated. The increased recognition illuminates a dark tunnel midway so the end becomes clearer.
In a year where monetary and emotional currency is strapped, all employees could use extra light. It is important to show your employees the work they do is important to the success of the organization and that they matter and are appreciated as both individual and group contributors.
Let’s illuminate 2021 with more light at work.