Years ago when I was younger, I got a job working at a specialty meat market. It was one of those smaller markets that sold things you wouldn’t find in a regular grocery store, like fancy gourmet stuff.
My job was pretty much to do everything no one else wanted to do. Things like taking the garbage out, cleaning the meat off the mats in the butcher department and my all time favorite, mopping the raw chicken juice off the floor in the cooler. My nickname should have been Rocky.
The owner was a guy that looked like Danny Devito and had the personality of Marlon Brando in the Godfather. He was the boss and everybody knew it.
I remember several things about that job, but one of the things I don’t remember was ever feeling appreciated by the boss.
I contrast that with another job I had shortly after that one. I worked for a valet company parking cars.
The work was still physical because we were always running to get cars, but the experience was a night and day difference.
This boss had multiple locations he was running, but he took the time to stop by and show appreciation for his employees. I remember him working alongside of us even though he was the owner. However, the one thing that stands out the most in my mind was a simple act that showed us huge value.
Many times I would work the dinner shift and those of us that were working would be hungry from all the running. Of course, it didn’t help that we were parking cars at a restaurant that was known for their steak and lobster. The aroma of delicious food wafting from the door every time it opened was quite distracting.
My boss knew we were hungry and would often run to Wendy’s and bring us all back dinner on him. That was such a simple show of appreciation for our hard work, but I still remember it like it was yesterday even though that was 25 years ago.
Two physical jobs. Similar pay. Vastly different experiences.
The difference was appreciation.
Appreciation is a gift that doesn’t have to cost anything, but packs a powerful punch of value. In some cases, it can be even more valuable than money.
The great news is anyone can employ its value. Whether you are a boss, employee, spouse or friend; you can add value to someone’s life by showing appreciation.
By simply slowing down to acknowledge someone’s value to you or your organization, you give a gift that keeps on giving.
People don’t often remember the exact words you say, but they do remember how you made them feel.
Appreciation makes organizations better. It makes marriages and families better. It makes friendships better.
Sometimes a simple, “thank you” can go a long way.
Who can you show appreciation to today?