143. The Power of Hello
We all want to feel appreciated
OK, OK, I confess. When I was younger, I was a sucker for Lionel Richie and his sappy songs.
How can you not love timeless ditties like “Still”, and “Say You, Say Me”?!
Don’t forget “Endless Love” - a gosh-darn triumph of lyrical longing.
Boy oh boy, Lionel could sap it up like nobody before and few since.
Of course, we can never forget “Hello”. A timeless masterpiece when it comes to 80s love songs. It is at once cringe-worthy and completely classic. Guilty pleasure perfection.
I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again how much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow.
Sure it can seem awkward. But it works.
It’s uncomfortably passionate. Perhaps even awkwardly heartwarming.
The Soul of Hello
Here’s the thing about m’boy Lionel, he understood the power of the word “Hello”.
We sometimes take the word for granted. We say hello as a mindless greeting. We follow with “How are you?”, yet barely give a rat’s poop about the answer, which is fine, because the answer is usually “fine,” an equally emotionless response to a mindless question.
But Lionel... Lionel put so much emotion and meaning behind “Hello”. To Lionel, the word “Hello” meant everything - and you can feel his entire soul revealed in his voice throughout the song.
We need more leaders to be like Lionel Richie.
Is It Really That Hard To Be Nice?!
I’ve heard from a few of my friends that their bosses didn’t acknowledge them at all during the holidays.
I’m not talking about gifts or bonuses, I’m talking about a simple “thank you” text around Thanksgiving or an “I appreciate you” note anytime during the season of giving.
They got nothing.
We can all guess, with fairly good accuracy, the amount of appreciation they probably receive from their manager throughout the rest of the year.
I’d say it’s somewhere between slim and none. And Slim just left town.
Gallup Isn’t Just A Fun Word To Say
Gallup (the poll company) did a survey of 2.7 million employees about recognition in the workplace. They discovered that “recognizing employees at least once per week is best for employee retention.”
Recognizing employees 1x per week is the baseline requirement to maximize engagement, increase productivity and boost morale.
How many employees receive this weekly recognition?
According to Authentic Recognition’s study, only 13% of employees receive meaningful recognition weekly.
Of the rest, 66% get recognition somewhere between never and quarterly (4 times per year). That’s a long cry from weekly.
Speaking of long cries, let’s get back to Lionel Richie.
A Culture of Hellos
People want to be recognized and appreciated at work. This makes complete sense because people want to be recognized and appreciated outside of work as well.
We all want somebody to recognize when we’ve done well, regardless of who it’s from.
In fact, the single biggest reason people quit their jobs is due to a lack of recognition and appreciation.
When Lionel Richie songs “Hello”, he clearly cares about connection. But it’s not just in that word, the entire song oozes a desire to be connected and recognized.
Similarly, providing meaningful recognition of others is not a one-time thing. Consistent meaningful recognition requires a culture of appreciation. A culture of Hellos, if you will.
The company Great Place To Work wrote a good piece on “How to Create A Culture of Recognition”.
They talk about the five keys to a culture of meaningful recognition:
1. Be specific, be relevant
2. Be timely
3. Recognition comes in different shapes and sizes
4. Little things go a long way
5. Connect to the bigger picture
How much are you feeling respected in your job/life?
What are you doing to make others feel appreciated?
It may feel cringe-worthy and awkward at first, but that’s fine. If it worked well for Lionel, it can work for you.
“Without appreciation and respect for other people, true leadership becomes ineffective, if not impossible."
- George Foreman