Did You Make Someone Smile Today?


By Vicki Pero, SHRM

I came across an article about positivity at the beginning of this year, and it recommended keeping a joy jar.  The way this is supposed to work is that you place a jar in a prominent location in your home at the beginning of the year and each time you experience a happy moment, write something down about it and place it in the jar.  I decided to try it, and I’m well on my way to filling up the jar with large and small positive experiences.  It’s funny how a small thing like this can raise your awareness about how people behave towards one another and also how many little positive things happen to each of us every day.

Whether you interact exclusively with coworkers or provide service to your organization’s customers, you have the opportunity to impact others in a positive or negative way each and every day.  The collective efforts of your team affect your company’s product or service either way.  Here are a few ways you can make a positive impact on your workplace:

  • Say yes! It’s simple and easy to shut down the ideas of others.  It ends a conversation, maintains the status quo, you get the idea.  If you look for opportunities to say yes, you will become known as a team player who wants to find solutions to problems with coworkers and customers.
  • Greet others. It’s so easy to pass people in the hall or jump right into the agenda on a virtual call without acknowledging one another.  It can also become routine to begin assisting a customer without any sort of initial acknowledgement.  Say hello at the start of every interaction.
  • Acknowledge accomplishments.   A common expression in the parking industry is that no news is good news.  We have come to expect that we will only hear from clients and customers when something goes wrong.  We don’t want to be guilty of this inside the walls of our own teams though!  Recognize accomplishments large and small.  A recent McKenzie survey found that 67% of respondents valued praise from their hiring manager over non-cash incentives and financial rewards.  A SHRM study found that peer to peer recognition is 36% more likely to positively impact financial results than just manager to employee recognition.

I’ll leave you with a quote about customer service that is both funny and makes an excellent point:

You are serving a customer, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work. ~Laurie McIntosh

Now go out and make someone smile today!

Vicki Pero, SHRM is principal of Marlyn Group.