GETTING THE EDGE

Did you get skip that workout you planned to do today or indulge a little extra at that meal last night?

Did you opt to put off that important customer feedback project that you had been planning to launch?

These are just a few of the many minor decisions we make everyday in our lives and business, and they usually don’t have immediate consequences.  If I choose to skip my exercise today, there probably is not a significant effect on my health.  If I skip the entire week, I am probably just fine. In fact, if I skip a whole month of exercise, there is probably not a consequence except that my pants may fit a little tighter. However, in time, the daily decision to not exercise will catch up with me.  It may be years down the road, but my decisions regarding my health habits will have a compounding effect on my life – either for better or worse.  My point is not to create guilt or motivate exercise fanatics, but to simply point out an important concept that relates directly to our success in business: we are the sum of decisions.

It has been said that if you want to understand where you are today, then you should examine your daily habits in the past.

If you want to understand your future, then you should examine what your daily habits are today.

These principles apply in our businesses as well as in our personal lives. We are always trying to get a leg up on our competition.  We read books, go to seminars, learn knew skills, work harder and faster – all to try and inch out our competition in an ultra-competitive global marketplace.   These are all important parts of building a successful business.  For entrepreneurs desiring to build successful companies, there is another key ingredient that is often overlooked – the “Slight Edge.”  Jeff Olson, in his book The Slight Edge, points out that the keys to your personal and business success are the things you do every single day, the things that don’t look dramatic or like they matter.  He argues that the little daily decisions not only make a difference – they make all the difference.  The Slight Edge is simply a commitment to making the right choices day in and day out in your life and business.  It is a philosophy that helps us understand that we make decisions knowing that the results are long term.  We know that in time, if we make the right choices, our lives and businesses will be better off.

Most of us have seen the chart that shows us that if we start investing a few dollars in our early twenties and stick with it, then we will retire with lots of money.  These charts, which are often used by financial planners, illustrate the powerful principle of compound interest. When you look at the chart, it appears that you are making great progress for a number of years, but over time, the true power of compounding becomes evident.  For entrepreneurs, the key is to begin making good daily choices with your time and priorities early. Don’t let everyday distractions deter you away from doing the rights things for your business.  I often see companies ignore basic corporate housekeeping and other similar non-revenue producing activities in order to deal with urgent, but usually unimportant, issues.  While there is no immediate consequence to your business for skipping over these often seemingly mundane details, they can have long term consequences.  Often, when a company gets ready to sell or raise money and the microscope is turned on their business through due diligence, the compounding effect of poor habits in these areas truly come to light.

Most “overnight” success stories are actually the result of years of hard work and effort.

We became spoiled in the dot-com era of companies starting up and then selling out for millions.  We need to be reminded that companies such as Starbucks, which has over 13,000+ stores in 39 countries, only had 165 stores after being in business 21 years.  The Slight Edge is no “get-rich-quick” scheme. It is an invaluable philosophy to apply in your business to develop positive daily habits which will help maximize its potential to become a fast growth venture.

HOW TO BENCHMARK YOUR PRACTICE FOR SUCCESS

I grew up playing and teaching people how to play tennis.  Some players would practice and practice, but it was not until they actually played in a tournament that they got real feedback on how they were progressing. Similarly, as you work day to day in your medical practice, it is easy to operate in a vacuum.  However, you can solve this problem by benchmarking your practice against others locally and around the country.

Practicing medicine is data driven.  You spend years learning to quickly review and interpret data to improve patients’ lives.  This data driven mindset can help you optimize your practice as well.

There are four keys to successful benchmarking:

(i) The ability to produce accurate data in your own practice

(ii) Access to quality data on key metrics for comparable practices

(iii) Proper analysis and interpretation of the data

(iv) The will to execute on your findings.

Producing Your Own Data

How much do you know about your own practice?  It’s hard to make comparisons to others when you don’t know your own numbers.  This starts with creating sound accounting practices.  What type of accounting software are you using?  Can it track all of the detail you need?  Is the information easily accessible?  Work with your accountant or practice consultant to ensure you are capturing the necessary data.  As bestselling author Stephen Covey taught, “you want to begin with the end in mind.”  Therefore, think about the data you want to be able to review, and then make sure that you have the systems and data collection to give you what you need.

Comparable Key Metric Data

You want to look both at practice characteristics and productivity measures when analyzing comparable data.  For example, practice characteristics include:  size of patient base, number of exam rooms, hours of operation, number of physicians, number of staff, fees, and payor mix.  Productivity measures include revenue per square foot, annual revenue per active patient, gross revenue growth, patients per day, gross revenue per exam, staff turnover, percentage of gross income and net income for staff, marketing, insurance, etc.  It is also helpful to compare salaries, rent costs, and insurance premiums.

Where do you get this type of information?  There are associations such as the Medical Group Management Association that have a great deal of this type of information available.  I’ve also found that practice focused associations also generally have good data on practice areas. Finally, some of the medical industry vendors (e.g. pharmaceutical and device manufacturers) have very good data as well.

Analyze the Data

Your job is to practice medicine, not to be a forensic accountant.  Therefore, your practice reports should be clear and easy to understand.  You’re looking for trends and patterns in the data.  It should not make you cross-eyed to interpret the data.  I prefer nice graphs and charts to graphically illustrate the information.  This helps me to spot changes over time.  One additional point is to know the value of your time.  I encourage professionals to do the basic equation (income / hours worked) to know their “hourly rate.” This is very helpful when you consider how you spend your time and what things need to be delegated or outsourced.

As you know and understand your own data then you can better compare it to the benchmark data you review.  It’s important to make sure that you are comparing “apples to apples” in your analysis so be cognizant of distinctions based on urban/rural settings, practice size, and geography.  How does your practice stack up?  Are you managing costs appropriately?  Is your practice being productive with the resources allocated?  It takes time to actually compare this important data.  This is truly thinking “on your business” versus thinking “in your business.”  Take the time to set aside good thinking time to review the data.  I would recommend getting out of the office so you’re not interrupted.  You may want to get some of your trusted advisors or staff to review it with you.  Having more than one perspective can be helpful.  What is the story that the data is telling you?  Write down your conclusions and potential action items.

Act on What You Learn

I have spoken with many physicians who are disappointed when their patients don’t act on the valuable medical advice they receive.  As any physician knows, it’s not what you know that counts, but what you do with what you know.  Once you’ve taken the time to create the systems to produce accurate data in your practice, gather quality third party data, and to thoughtfully review and analyze the information, now it is time to act.  Create written goals and action items based on your findings.  Make sure you have action items delegated to those who can get it done.  Most importantly, you want to follow up and make sure your organization is accountable to complete the proposed changes. Finally, it’s important to remember that this process is an ongoing one.  It creates a positive feedback loop in your practice.  I would recommend at least annually making sure that your practice is on the right track!

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR MOTIVATIONAL DRIVERS

I have made my fair share of mistakes as a manager of people.  In my first business out of college, I co-owned a company that managed private and public tennis complexes.  One of our key staff members was the head tennis professional who was a leading tennis teacher in the area.  He had students lined up to take lessons from him which was great for our business.  In my brilliance, I went out and hired another tennis professional without consulting our long time head pro.  Within a few months, my long employee left and went to work for a competitor taking all of his students with him.  In his exit interview, I learned that he enjoyed being the sole head professional and that he did not get along well with the person I hired.  Ouch! This was a painful lesson in managing people and learning to communicate better.

Later in my career, I was apparently not much wiser.  I personally don’t like much oversight or micro-management when someone is managing me. Just point me in the right direction and let me go.  Therefore, my default is to manage that way as well.  Unfortunately, that style does not work for everyone.  I had a very talented law clerk that I hired to assist me with my law firm.  I would share some big picture ideas with him and turn him loose to work his magic.  Unfortunately, when we would reconvene, I would be very disappointed in the work product.  After several failed attempts, he finally said, “Could you please just tell me exactly what you are looking for, and I will be glad to do it!”  I needed to hear that as a good reminder that many people need clear direction and want more detail in how to accomplish a project.

I have had my occasional good moments as a manager.  In one work setting, I shared an assistant with another co-worker.  She was a very nice young lady who worked very hard.  The colleague I was working with had a very different management style than me. My colleague had a very stern approach and would become very upset if the work product was anything less than perfect.   I watched my assistant leave this person’s office many times in tears.  I personally believe you “catch more flies with honey than vinegar”, and I tried to be an encourager and challenge my assistant in a positive way to be her best.  What I learned from that experience is that my assistant would expend extra effort to get projects done for me, but would do the bare minimum not to get in trouble with my colleague.  In other words, she cared enough to give me her discretionary effort.  That lesson has stuck with me.

How we lead and inspire others in the workplace matters.  Gallup has some very interesting research on our workforce in the United States and the impact of employee engagement versus disengagement.  They have been tracking employee engagement since the late 1990’s, and they have administered over 25 million employee surveys to measure employee engagement.  In a recent report, they found that only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work, and the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly 2-to-1.  For work groups with engaged employees, the results are phenomenal – “higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%.”  In addition Gallup found that, “Organizations with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition in 2011-2012.”

However, in contrast those with an average of only 2.6 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experienced 2% lower EPS compared with their competition during that same time period.  Gallup also estimates that active disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year.  These disengaged employees are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.

What I have realized in my journey is that most businesses today are PEOPLE businesses.  We either win or lose based on how well we have engaged employees working together to accomplish organizational goals. That is how you build a great brand and create loyal customers.  As we continue to distance ourselves from the industrial age into the knowledge economy, it is paramount that we as leaders understand that our employees are not cogs in a machine but living, breathing people who have hopes, desires, dreams, and NEEDS.  If we are going to unleash the greatness in our organizations then we have to unleash the greatness of our people.  

In my work with organizations, I frequently use personality tests like DISC® or Myers Briggs®; however, my favorite tool is the Birkman® assessment because it helps you understand your “needs” as well.  If a person’s needs are not being met then they are unlikely to be a productive employee in an organization. The challenge is that people don’t walk around with their “needs” spelled out on their resumes.  They may not even be clearly known by the individual.  As a leader, we can learn how to inspire and motivate our team members by understanding what truly motivates them.

In my search for an efficient way to practically apply these principles, I discovered a tool to help streamline this process.  Dr. Carl Hicks, a native Mississippian, co-developed with Birkman International a new tool called Understanding My Motivational Drivers.  This assessment combines the objective statistical input from millions of people who have taken the Birkman with Dr. Hicks’ practical experience in working as a business consultant for several decades.

The assessment produces a short report which addresses five key topics for individuals:

(1) How to work with me

(2) How to talk to me.

(3) The biggest mistakes you can make with me.

(4) How to incentivize me.

(5) What motivates me.

I asked Dr. Hicks about this tool and he shared, “I believe that being your best requires that others treat you as you want to be treated. This report can serve as the vehicle that permits you to review, confirm, share and discuss your expectations in an objective manner.”

I believe that tools like the ones that Dr. Hicks created are extremely important because they help individuals increase their self-awareness and leaders better understand how to unlock the greatness in their employees.  I encouraged leaders to follow the Platinum Rule which means that we treat people in the way that they want and deserve to be treated. The harsh reality in life is that the only person you can truly change is yourself.  Therefore, one of the ways that YOU can change is to make sure that you are seeking to understand what motivates your teammates and seeking to be a positive example of how to lead by helping people meet their needs. You may just be the catalyst for helping to take your organization to the next level!

THE GAMIFICATION OF WORK

Picture for a moment yourself on a sunny and cool fall afternoon getting ready to watch your favorite college football team playing their biggest rival.  The stands are packed, and the crowd is ready to cheer their team on victory.  However, right before the game begins the announcer comes over the loudspeaker and says that the teams won’t be keeping score and are just going to play for fun.  How would you feel?  Would you still be as interested?  Do you think the players would give it their all or simply go through the motions?  Have you ever watched a professional All-Star game – not exactly the highest level of intensity and effort.

It reminds me of when my kids were very young playing youth sports.  I remember coaching baseball and soccer, and I could not get my head around the fact that we were not keeping score.  I know, I know – five year olds don’t necessarily have to be competitive warriors out there, but still, it is just not very interesting if you don’t keep score.   You may be asking where I am going with this line of thought.  Good question!  In my 25+ years in the marketplace, I have found that most businesses operate just like my five year old soccer team – they don’t keep score!

Sure, ultimately, all businesses get down to the bottom line.  However, in most organizations employees go through their day as if they are in the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day.  It is easy to fall into a rut where you feel like you are on a treadmill with no end point.  There is a recent effort to try and “gamify” work to make it more meaningful.  While this gamification of work has become a growing trend, you don’t need high tech gadgetry to tap into the power of making work more interesting and meaningful.

Over 40 years ago, business consultant Charles Coonradt had an epiphany that led him to commit his life’s work to helping people make their work more like their recreation. He was watching a group of young men building a house that seemed to be slow and arduous work.  However, he noticed that on their lunch break these same young men engaged in heated competitions of 4 on 4 pickup basketball games.  For him, this was a paradox.  How could they put that much energy into their recreation but not their work?  He became fascinated with the phenomena that people will work harder and expend more energy in sports and other athletic pursuits than they will at their daily jobs.   Coonradt has several books out on this topic, but I want to highlight a few key ideas that may revolutionize how you think about your work.

KEEPING SCORE

In my teens and early twenties, I taught a great number of people how to play tennis.  I enjoyed the game and learned how to teach others at a young age.  As I would teach beginners the basics of how to hit the ball and keep a rally going, they all eventually wanted to play.  In order to do that they needed to learn how to keep score.  It was always interesting to watch how people pushed themselves harder and the competitive spirit would come out when we would keep score.  In organizations, we want to find simple and clear ways to keep score of what is important both as an organization and for the individual team members.  I have found over the years that some positions are easier to come up with the 2-3 areas to keep score. Scorekeeping should be objective and the individual employee should ideally know how to track and keep their score.  If you have not defined winning and losing for your team members then you are at risk of mediocrity.

ESTABLISHING GOALS

When a golfer goes out to play a round of golf, they usually have a score in mind they are trying to beat.  While I am a novice runner, I have come to understand a little of the lingo of competitive racers who talk about their PB (Personal Best).  When the coach gets the basketball team together to discuss the goals for the season they focus on specific goals.  For many programs, the goal is to make it into the “Big Dance” – the NCAA basketball championship tournament.  I have experimented with all kinds of goals for organizations and individuals.  I have found that the best are shorter term in nature.  I find that if they are too long term then people wait until the last minute to work on them like cramming for an exam. I like clear and specific goals that ideally can be accomplished in three to six months.

PROVIDE FEEDBACK

I went to a St. Louis Cardinals exhibition game recently against the hometown Memphis Redbirds.  As I looked at the new scoreboard in the stadium, I noted how much data was readily available: the score, balls, strikes, outs, and even the speed of the last pitch.  The players get real time feedback on how they are doing and can adjust their strategy.  Unfortunately, that is often not the case in business.  I have visited with many employees who never get any feedback or maybe only once a year in a perfunctory review.  How can people improve if they don’t get constructive feedback on their performance? As leaders, we should give helpful feedback early and often if we want our team members to develop.

KNOW THE RULES

Along with teaching my tennis students how to keep score, I also taught them the rules of the game.  Without rules, it would be chaos out on the court and constant controversy.  What if you started a game and then halfway through the rules changed midway?  How frustrating would that be?  Unfortunately, many workplaces feel that way.  The rules are not clear and may change in an instant.  Sure, there may be policies and guidelines in an employee handbook, but I am talking the day to day rules of operation.  What is expected?  What is off limits?  Too many handbooks are more driven by legal than practical considerations.  Employees want clarity and fairness.  As a leader, you have the opportunity to stomp out the ambiguity and create clear a set of rules that you expect everyone to follow.  I promise it will reduce the drama in your organization.

I hope these concepts give you some inspiration and ideas to “gamify” your organization.  We don’t have to watch the clock until 5:00 or wait until the weekend to enjoy a little competitive activity in our lives.  Our work can be just as invigorating and challenging if we put our minds to it.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

MOTIVATING TODAY'S EMPLOYEE

Have you ever stopped to really consider what motivates you or your employees?  This is a critical question for today’s companies. When I do one-on-one coaching with employers, this topic comes up a lot. For decades, most businesses have utilized extrinsic methods of motivation with the “carrot” and the “stick.”  This typically takes the form of bonus plans or negative reviews and firing for poor performance. The question to be asked is whether or not we are getting the desired results from these extrinsic efforts to motivate our teams.

Interestingly, recent scientific studies are challenging the way business leaders have traditionally thought about getting results. Researchers at the London School of Economics conducted an analysis of 51 separate studies on financial incentives in employment relations and found overwhelming evidence that the incentives may “reduce an employee’s natural inclination to complete a task and derive pleasure from doing so.” According to Dr. Irlenbusch of the LSE, “we find that financial incentives may indeed reduce intrinsic motivation and diminish ethical or other reasons for complying with workplace norms such as fairness.  As a consequence, the provision of incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”

Author and speaker Dan Pink helps us make sense of this counterintuitive point by arguing that extrinsic rewards are only effective for left brain activities that involve rules and routine tasks such as certain types of accounting, financial analysis, or computer programming. However, there has been a major shift in many organizations to outsource as much of this routine work as possible. Therefore, many jobs today require more right brain creative problem solving skills than ever before.  The problem, as noted above, is that studies have shown that traditional incentives do not work well to motive employees tasked with right brain responsibilities.

When you look at the way most firms attempt to motivate their employees, it becomes apparent that most businesses have not caught up with these scientific discoveries.  So, what do we do to motivate today’s employees?  Leading thinkers point to the value of intrinsic rewards for work.  Pink notes three key elements for the new paradigm of employee motivation:  Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Autonomy

It is particularly apparent with the younger generations that they will be demanding more autonomy in their work life.  They will not be content to be blindly directed by management without some level of self-direction.  Employees empowered with autonomy usually have a sense “ownership” and are more engaged.  A practical example of this is Google’s practice of allowing its engineers to spend 20% of their paid time on their own projects.  Of note is that about half of Google’s products and services have been created by employees during this autonomous work time including Gmail. In the extreme, some companies have completely gone away from schedules and allow everyone to work their own hours.  The bottom line is that autonomous workers have greater productivity and job satisfaction.  The problem is that the “manager” mindset has been so ingrained in our business psyche that this can be a difficult shift.

Mastery

For centuries, most people either worked in agriculture or in a trade with their hands.  This usually involved years of training and experience to master a craft.  In the industrial age, we were challenged because our labor became repetitive and disconnected from the final product or service. This led to inevitable job dissatisfaction problems and poor productivity. Today is no different. We want to provide the opportunity for our employees to learn and become better at their skills and abilities.  We all tend to feel better about ourselves when we improve.  A focus on mastery allows people to once again become experts at their craft and to continually improve.  It is no wonder that most successful organizations today place a high value on the training and development of their people.

Purpose

When your work seems pointless, it is hard to become motivated to give it your best.  An effective leader knows how to bridge this gap and let each employee know how his or her contribution directly impacts the success of the organization.  I believe that as human beings we all desire to find our purpose in life.  Since work takes such a huge part of our time, it is only natural to seek meaning and purpose in our work. I strongly advocate that businesses also benefit when they have clearly stated visions and values that define who they are.  This allows employees to connect with the larger purpose of the company.

In sum, it will be imperative for businesses to embrace these scientific findings that intrinsic motivators can achieve the best organizational results.  I believe in the very near term, U.S. companies will face increased competition globally even in the right-brain work prevalent in our economy today.  Incentivizing management and workers with outdated “carrot” and “stick” models will lead to being left behind.  Companies that unleash the potential of their employees through intrinsic motivators such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose will lead the pack in the future.

SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION!

Even back in the 1970’s, Daniel (Rudy) Ruettiger was an undersized football player.  Standing 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 165 pounds, he was a longshot at best to play on Notre Dame’s football team. Through courage and commitment, he made it as a “walk on” onto the scout squad which helped the varsity team prepare for games.  On November 8, 1975, Coach Dan Devine allowed Rudy in his senior year to dress out with the team for the final game against Georgia Tech.  He only played two plays that day.  One was a kickoff and the other was the final play of the game where he sacked the quarterback.  At the end of the game, Rudy’s teammates carried him off the field. Rudy was only one of two players in Notre Dame history to be carried off the field by his teammates.  This dramatic story was captured in the movie Rudy, and the image of him being carried him off the field is a moving example of showing deep appreciation.

The Challenge: Keeping Good People

While it is unlikely that we will ever parade a co-worker through the office on our shoulders, we do have the opportunity to show appreciation to our employees and co-workers in the workplace. This is not just a “feel good” exercise, but instead a solid best practice of successful companies. A number of surveys suggest that the number one issue facing business is finding and keeping good employees. High employee turnover can have a direct impact on the bottom line. The costs of turnover include recruiting replacement costs, administrative costs, lost productivity, training, and supervisory time. In fact, experts estimate that the costs of employee turnover average twice an employee’s salary.

The mistake is to assume that if we just throw money at employees that it will ensure that we keep them.  While monetary rewards are nice, the reality is that employees want to feel valued and appreciated in their jobs. In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White noted that based on extensive research, 89% of managers believed that employees left jobs for more money; however in reality, only 12% of employees actually reported that they resigned over compensation. In a four year analysis of more than 100,000 employees worldwide, the Corporate Leadership Council discovered that while workers “join companies for rational motives (better compensation, benefits, and career opportunities), they stay and work hard for emotional ones.”

In The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, employee retention expert Leigh Branham noted, “Everyone wants to feel important, yet many organizations make their people feel quite the opposite. It could be seen as a lack of simple appreciation, or a greater focus on making numbers, and not valuing employees.” The Gallup organization has conducted extensive research based on interviews with more than 17 million people over more than 30 years.  They identified 12 core elements that link directly to critical organizational outcomes. Interestingly, one of the core elements was that, “employees receive regular recognition or praise for doing good work.” Gallup also found that almost 70% of the employees in the United States say they receive no praise in the workplace.

The Opportunity: Showing Appreciation at Work

Dr. Gary Chapman, best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Dr. Paul White, a nationally recognized family and business coach, teamed up to write their book to help us understand how we are encouraged in the workplace as well as how to best show appreciation to others. Their book provides the tools, resources, and information to help apply these concepts in a practical way in the workplace.  One of the most compelling aspects of learning to show appreciation in the workplace is that it can be done for very little cost, yet it can accomplish significant results. For those that may think showing appreciation is too “touchy feely,” the reality is that there is a significant return on time and investment for creating a positive work environment where appreciation is shown.  The key is simply being intentional about how we show appreciation so that we don’t take a “one size fits all” approach.

In fact, providing the wrong type of appreciation can actually do more harm than good. Chapman pioneered the idea that we all have different communication “languages.” He has described the five languages as words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and physical touch.  Chapman and White have applied and adapted these concepts to the workplace to show how we can better communicate appreciation to our co-workers and employees.  They developed the Motivating by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory to identify your individual language of appreciation.  Purchasers of their book are provided a code to take the test and determine their appreciation language.

We tend to show appreciation based on our own language and not that of those around us.  By taking the time learn the languages of your team, you will be able to much better show them effective and meaningful appreciation.  In today’s economy, it would be foolish to just think, “Well, my employees should just be thankful they have a job.”  This view is short sighted and misses the point that by taking a little time to show appreciation in the workplace based on individual needs, leaders can create a positive work environment that is more pleasant and productive.

Build a Great Habit

I believe that great companies have great habits.  Being intentional about communicating personalized appreciation is one of those habits.   It is important to recognize the challenges that can exist to effectively create this great habit.  One of the biggest challenges is the “tyranny of the urgent” that keeps everyone so busy that they don’t take time to communicate effectively. Don’t let showing appreciation fall into the “important but not urgent” bucket that never gets done. Take time and be purposeful on this important task. Finally, some people may not feel comfortable showing appreciation.  The more you educate yourself on this important area the more comfortable you will feel.  Also, remember this is not about you, but what you can do for other people.

As the old saying goes, “nobody cares what you know, until they know that you care.”  I hope that you will consider the value and benefits of making your workplace one in which appreciation is shown.  Remember, even if your whole workplace is not on board with this concept, we each have the opportunity to create a positive impact by starting to show appreciation to those we work with today!

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