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The Power of Appreciation

It’s no secret that showing appreciation accelerates growth. In fact, in the US we have a March holiday specifically for employee appreciation (who knew?). Philosophically, we don’t agree with this annual holiday, because quite simply, we believe employee appreciation is not a one day event.

Because employees play a critical role in all types of businesses, it is our belief that appreciation should be an on-going effort, if for no other reason than it impacts the bottom line. Decades of Gallup research has consistently proven that the more satisfied employees are, the more likely it will correlate with customer satisfaction and shareholder returns. This is particularly true in service companies, where employees ARE the product – they produce the revenue through their individual and collective work.

At Share On Purpose, our cultural foundation includes what we call “acts of appreciation.” Acts of appreciation include: gratitude texts (messages), appreciation emails, private “thank you” conversations, financial rewards (Share Bucks™) and totems such as The Giving Keys which memorialize key cultural accomplishments. Our entire executive team role models frequent appreciation for staff members in order to ensure that we are consistently focused on the importance of every team member.

In addition to “acts of appreciation,” we eliminated the annual review system and instead opted for frequent mentoring, on-the-spot-coaching, and leadership development programs. This is extremely effective in our culture because of an ingenious system called The Career Matrix™ (created by Talent On Purpose) which gives employees a clear, predominantly self-directed, development path. The Career Matrix encourages each associate to seek feedback as part of their development path, rather than as an annual process. In essence, they seek the continuous feedback to advance through the matrix, and then focus their training efforts around the leadership skills needed to advance to the next level.

This process enables our executive team to spend their energy developing leaders rather than filling out annual review documents. Developmental coaching, as well as frequent feedback, is a key form of appreciation especially when it’s guided toward the career aspirations of employees, rather than an annual requirement.

These various forms of appreciation have attracted high performers in every segment of our portfolio, which in turn has accelerated our financial performance and growth. Additionally, it has created a culture that endures difficulty, embraces progress, and focuses on individual, team and brand development in a positive manner.

So, if your current company doesn’t appreciate you frequently, for example, they do not invest in your development, maybe it’s time to appreciate yourself and make a change. Start now by learning more about our open positions. Make every day appreciation day!

What’s Your “Time Currency”?

We’ve all heard the benefits of work-life balance, but for most professionals, the work-life balance seesaw swings heavy toward the side of work.

As an executive, I was the same way. Because of a deep-seated “not good enough” belief, I used work to prove I was indeed good enough. When I became an entrepreneur, it got worse, and I also became obsessed with the need to be perfect, which made me a miserable CEO.

When I started what is now Share On Purpose, I vowed to do many things differently, including how I managed my time. This included 3-day weekends every other month, and vacations at least twice per year. As I slowly mastered the art of maximizing time, I then made a commitment to teach every associate how to maximize their time so they can invest it in activities that bring them joy.

Here are 3 Power Tips for Maximizing Time:

  • Everyone has a “time currency” meaning, they prefer to do certain things with their free time. The first step is to know what you will do with any time that you’re able to get back in your day, such as spending time with family, learning something new, a hobby, etc. The motivation is not the time, but the currency – or what you’ll do with the extra time.
  • Time isn’t something we spend; instead, it is something we should invest. To better understand investing time; divide your annual compensation by 2,080, which are the number of hours in a year. Then divide that in half. This is how much every 30-minutes is worth. So, let’s say you make $50,000 a year. Per hour that’s $24. But, for a 30-mnute block, it’s $12. Now, look at how you’re investing every 30-minute time block. Did you get $12 worth of value from those 30 minutes? When you look at time as an investment, you’ll begin to challenge how your time is spent. You’ll learn that you can accomplish more in Power Meetings (15 – 30 minutes) versus 1-hour meetings.
  • Learn how to “Time Chunk” – although your brain is an organ, not a muscle, it works very similar to a muscle in that:
    1. Your brain gets tired if you overwork it, so taking short time breaks, as well as regular days off and/or vacation, is critical.
    2. If you use one side of your brain more often (left brain/right brain), it is likely you are actually losing brain productivity.
    3. If you multi-task frequently, it is likely you are actually losing brain productivity.

So, treating your brain like a muscle means that you need to balance your work schedule to “chunk” like activities (right brain/left brain) where possible, and take frequent breaks.

At Share On Purpose, we teach every associate how to maximize their time so they can invest it in their passions and in working towards advancement goals. We encourage team members to ease into Mondays, and try to stop work early on Fridays, whenever possible, to ensure that work remains enjoyable.
We’ve also learned that allowing our team members to work virtually increases their productivity, and consequently, we’ve built a virtual work model for every one of our brands. Although we have a corporate office, which we use for meetings and training sessions, most days our associates work from home, and are free to maximize their overall natural rhythms.

So, if time is important to you, and if you know your time currency, figure out what every 30-minute block is worth, and start maximizing your time. Once you do that, work-life balance becomes much easier!