A little encouragement goes a long way when helping your employees (or your granddaughter) succeed.
This weekend I had the pleasure of swimming with my four-year-old granddaughter, Liv. She had taken a few swimming lessons earlier in the week and was excited to show me all that she had learned.
Most of her lessons had focused on putting her face in the water to blow bubbles and swim rather than the usual heads-up dog paddle. She showed me what she had learned and really did a nice job (taking in minimal water). I praised her and told her how proud I was of her, and you could just see the big smile of accomplishment.
A little later she was playing with a toy horse that sunk if she dropped it. After dropping it a few times and Papa retrieving it, I decided to put it on the second pool step down and see if Liv would go down with her hands and pick it up on her own. The second step is deep enough that it requires her to put her face in to the water, but not very much. She got up her courage, took a big breath and was really excited when she went down underwater and picked up the toy horse off the second step. We did this a few more times until she got her confidence up and was really putting her entire head under water.
After a while of playing, I decided to put the horse on the third step down to see if Liv would go down deeper. Liv thought about it for a second, smiled, took a big breath, and down she went for the horse. She was super excited when she came up with it and was beaming from ear to ear. As she gained confidence, she was able to get the toy horse with more and more ease. Occasionally she would take in some water and choke a little bit, but it didn’t really seem to bother her.
As I looked back on the day, it reminded me of how we all progress one step at a time and how important encouragement is each step of the way. I see this both with our veteran employees and our new employees. Whether it’s their first project or their 50th, employees need encouragement along the way to stay motivated, feel appreciated, and continue to get better.
This week we have a record-size class of new employees going through indoctrination training. Project engineers, logistics consultants, controls engineers, fabricators and others have started their careers with us, and we all need to do our best to encourage and help these bright and energetic employees reach their goals one step at a time.
What do you do to encourage your employees?