The general manager at one of the companies that employed me circulated a memo regarding encouragement. In it, he stated that he did not believe in providing it. Since the employees were engaged in a profession that we chose and that many people in the general public would feel envious of us, we should automatically feel motivated to do our jobs.
Among the hundreds of memos that boss ever circulated, that particular memo is the most memorable one of all because it was the most peculiar memo I’ve ever read. It seemed like a strange statement to give to employees. I’d never heard of a business guideline of that sort before nor since.
To a degree, the boss was correct. We worked in media and were looked up to by the general public. The company held a monopoly in the city so there was nowhere else to work in our field unless we packed up and moved away. Most of us did greatly enjoy our jobs and the opportunity to work in our chosen professions. However, there was a lack of verve and sense of vitality in that company.
The saving grace in that place was the comradery we announcers enjoyed together. The program director was one of us and understood the importance of providing encouragement and kudos to his underlings. He knew how to keep us all working together as a team. He was the true leader of that company.
A few years later, the general manager retired and the position was taken over by his son. Luckily, the new g.m. had paid close attention to good employee morale and the frequent lack of it in the company. We began to hear words of encouragement from the corner office for jobs well done. It was amazing to see and feel the increased energy in the company’s culture.
Adding encouragement to the workplace served the new boss well when another station received a federal license to operate in our town. The environment of encouragement was the boost we needed in order to maintain our company as the ratings leader in the vicinity. The new g.m. understood that employees are a company’s most valuable assets. The best way to attract good employees and retain them is to provide motivation and encouragement. This was something his father didn’t understand.
It’s good to understand the importance of encouragement, especially in today’s adversarial culture. Maybe you remember a special school teacher whose words of encouragement helped you stay focused. There are those times when friends encourage each other and make life feel more wholesome and worthwhile.
We need to remind ourselves that everybody needs encouragement. Everybody who receives and gives it is changed because of it.