Employee Appreciation Day: A culture of lifting each other up
- Posted on March 4, 2020
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
A company is only as great as the people who make it, so it always makes me smile when someone says, “the people” in response to what they love about Avanade. As a professional services firm, it is only because of our people that we’re able to help make our customers (and each other) feel inspired, confident and cared for.
As a leader and as the Chief Human Resources Officer, I try to never take that for granted, which is why Employee Appreciation Day is one of my favorite days at Avanade. There are many parallels between work and home – and Employee Appreciation Day is a perfect example. I’ve been reflecting a lot over the past several months as my wife and I approach our 25th anniversary – and we haven’t just survived to this point, we are thriving as we cross the 25 year line. I like to think the health of our relationship is directly related to the little gestures of appreciation we make on a daily basis – those are truly the glue that bind us together. Any yet, while the day to day experience we create for each other are critical, it’s still wonderful that we have our anniversary to lift our heads out of the frenzy of our jobs, parenting, etc. to step back and deeply reflect and express our appreciation.
And that is no different than what we are doing at Avanade. Our culture of recognition is strong on a daily basis, and reinforced with novel elements like our Go Team! recognition tool that allows all our employees’ to acknowledge someone for something great they did (the “what”) or simply the helpful collaboration (the “how”). And like a relationship anniversary, Employee Appreciation Day gives all Avanadians an encouragement to step back from the day to day bustle, reflect on the people with whom they work closely, and send a short note recognizing their key relationships in the course of helping our customers feel inspired, confident and cared for.
As one of the stewards of our culture, I certainly appreciate the atmosphere our people create for each other. And while I can talk to the power of Employee Appreciation Day at the macro level, it’s at micro, or personal level where the power truly lies. While I have shared many notes of appreciation with others, I can share first-hand the powerful effects receiving a note of appreciation has on an individual. As we go through our work life, we are not always aware of the impact we have on people. While I appreciate all the kind notes I received, I paused when someone early in their career took the time to share with me the impact I had on her from what I thought was a simple hallway conversation. When I asked how she was doing, she shared she had something on her mind that was worrying her. I listened, gave her some new angles to think about her challenge, and simply reminded her of the confidence I had in her that she couldn’t see in herself. About 10 months later, on Employee Appreciation Day, she sent me the most thoughtful note about the impact that unplanned 15 minute conversation had on her, the project and subsequently her career. I had no idea and was so touched by the fact that she took the time to provide the positive feedback to me. Little gestures truly can mean a lot.
I already blocked out time on my calendar to send out my notes of appreciation to the people I work closely with this Friday – but I also want to offer up a heartfelt “thank you” to every member of the Avanade team. Everything you bring to work is what makes Avanade unique. I see your passion for innovation and problem-solving. I see how you above and beyond to help others and make a difference. I see how you support each other in challenges both personal and professional. Thank you for making Avanade such an incredible place to build a career. You all inspire me every day.