Published: August 02, 2018 | Comments
In May I had the honor of giving the closing keynote at ICMI Contact Center Expo. I talked about how practicing the skills of gratitude, kindness, and connecting to a sense of meaning in your work can not only help you manage stress better, but infuse you with renewed energy so you can truly thrive. The audience was open-minded and open-hearted, and it was a great experience to share these science-backed skills with them.
But something magical happened after my talk.
As I was walking back to my room, a woman came running after me in the hallway. She was holding 6 copies of my book, Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones).
"I am so glad I caught you," she said, with excitement. "I was so touched by your talk that I bought your book to share with my team at work and I would love for you to sign these copies."
What a kind thing to do! Of course, I put down my bag and took out my Sharpie to sign the books. As I did, I asked Rosa, whose name I learned from her nametag, to tell me more about her team.
Rosa Rountree is the CEO of Egis Projects, a large developer of infrastructure projects. She runs the entire North American customer service team - a huge responsibility. And yet, as she talked, what she focused on was how much she constantly thinks about helping her employees do great work while also being able to take good care of their families.
She told me about one of her managers, who came to her with a concern that he needed some time off to take care of a family matter, but he didn't have enough vacation time banked.
"He was so worried! Of course, I told him to come see me on Monday, and we will figure something out. I will find a way to help," Rosa said, confidently.
We ended up talking for a while after I finished signing copies of my book. When we said goodbye, I gave Rosa a huge hug - the kindness with which she led her team really inspired me.
And that's why the day after I got back to the office, I sent Rosa one of our Most Awesome Kindness Champion trophies. (Here's a great photo of her with it!)
When we conduct our Happier @ Work training program to teach teams and companies the five science-backed happier skills to help them thrive, better manage stress, and feel more connected to the meaning in their work, we create a kindness ritual with this trophy.
We ask everyone participating in the training to nominate the most helpful person on the team, and at the end of the training, we award the trophy to that individual. It's a really amazing moment!
But that's just the beginning. At the end of the week, we ask the recipient of the trophy pass it on to the next "Most Awesome Kindness Champion," a person on the team who has been most kind or helpful to their colleagues. And then that person passes the trophy on at the end of the following week, and so on.
It's fun to get a huge, sparkling trophy as a sign of appreciation from your teammates. But the real reason we introduce this ritual during our Happier @ Work training is to create an ongoing reminder about the importance of practicing intentional kindness at work.
Research shows that employees who help their colleagues aren't only happier, but they are more likely to deliver better customer service. And in turn, happier employees are kinder and more helpful to their colleagues.
I was thrilled to send the Most Awesome Kindness Trophy to Rosa and was excited to hear that she met with her managers to talk about how to introduce the trophy and the ritual of awarding it in her team.
And I hope reading this article will inspire you to recognize the kindness champions on your teams! If you'd like to award our Most Awesome Kindness Trophy to them, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you are nominating that particular person as your Most Awesome Kindness Champion.
If you'd like to learn more about our innovative Happier @ Work program, please visit www.happier.com/happieratwork.