Focusing On You, Part II

by Nate Hunter

Last issue’s Part I focused on positioning yourself as a business partner. In this issue, Part II focuses on ways to heighten that communication and visibility as well as boost morale in your team. 

Our four-part series is designed to focus on you, raising the awareness of heightened leadership and communication to help you achieve your career fulfillment. Last issue’s Part I focused on positioning yourself as a business partner. In this issue, Part II focuses on ways to heighten that communication and visibility as well as boost morale in your team. So here we go!

Part II: Are you celebrating enough?

I once read a quote that has always stayed with me: “Celebrate more of what you want to see.” That’s one thing I don’t feel we do enough in our facility and construction industry.

Take, for instance, the time I managed facilities for a 900-store chain. One of my team members had one of those emergencies that of course only happens during a major holiday weekend at a flagship store. As much as she expedited the solution to mitigate business interruption, and as much as I kept our field partners and the VP in the loop of progress — an Ops partner still called me. She was irate, complaining and venting. In an attempt to calm her down, I reiterated the steps my team member took and emphasized how quickly she responded and got the service provider on-site within 40 minutes on a holiday weekend. She retorted: “I don’t care — that’s her job.” I agreed it was her job and I proudly continued to tell her what a great job she was doing. This person had an interesting point of view — and by the way, that’s not everyone’s point of view.

This was interesting and made me step back and look at our counterparts in Operations / Sales. When they hit or surpass their sales goals, the whole world seems to know about it. Everyone’s celebrating upcoming bonuses, they’re throwing pizza parties and all high fiving each other…well wait a minute, not to rain on their parade — but isn’t it their job to sell and meet sales goals? See the difference here? But ironically, they’ve got it right. In our industry, more often than not, the majority of folks I speak to do not make time to celebrate. They tell me there’s “no time,” there’s “no budget,” or they feel odd they may be perceived as self-promoting. Celebrating is an important part of the process that will not only reinforce heightened communication and visibility but — equally as important — foster a positive and fun work environment, acknowledging and expressing gratitude toward your team members.

Share your team’s success stories — not just through weekly canned reports with call stats that can quickly become monotonous to the audience — but through other creative approaches that capture the human aspect and the stories of our teams going beyond their call of duty. Throw an appreciation party, hold a contest, have photo and stories posted, contribute to your company’s internal newsletter or create a quarterly newsletter. Folks ask me all the time, “Well, who’s going to read it?” Do you realize that there are actually people in this world that “tweet” they’re waiting on line at the grocery store — so I know without a doubt your team has some incredible success stories that merits sharing, even if only amongst themselves. So go on, throw those pizza parties and high five each other as you pass in the hallways — because really, who will celebrate your successes if you’re not celebrating them yourself? These ideas don’t require a whole lot of funding — just the initiative to start it and keep the momentum going. Get team members involved to take turns with their creative approaches. And before you know it, we’ll be celebrating more of what we want to see.


— Grace Daly is an industry leader in retail design, construction and facilities, as well as an avid career coach. She is currently the Executive Director of Construction & Facility Conferences for InterFace Conference Group.

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