Did you just pat me on the back?

Encouraging co-workers

Be it eye contact, high-fives or brainstorming conversations, these interactions are swapped daily with a handful of people. These people are our co-workers.  They hold the potential to inspire us, drive us crazy, calm us, mentor us, forgive us, laugh with us, listen and share the journey with us (and vice versa).  Yet how often do we envelope them or uplift them with encouragement, praise or affirmation?

A few of the places I’ve worked (while investing approximately three years as a traveling OT), used a “kudos” system.  According to one version of this system, the employee could write a compliment about a fellow employee and check the appropriate (provided) box to indicate which company principle was exemplified through this employee’s actions.  As a further follow-up, this card was given to the employee’s supervisor (for review), and then the supervisor would deliver the compliment to the indicated employee along with a small gift card for a free lunch or another $5 adventure.  Other company’s acknowledge only “legendary” encounters with employees.  

Recognizing the “small things” seems so much more effective, helpful and energizing.  After all, how can you create a legend without the small things?  

My point tonight is to suggest this:  Perhaps we can begin to engage more with our co-workers, not only in interdisciplinary and OT-to-OT dialogue, but also with words of recognition to highlight how s/he has made a difference in our own lives or in the lives of our patients.

Who will you recognize today?