Oklahoma University Medical Systems Employees Appreciate One Another!

Several months ago I was privileged to speak to all the leaders of the Oklahoma University Medical Systems in Oklahoma City.   Jed Liuzza,  Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at OUMS, recently sent me a copy of an email  he shared with the leaders about a special way to appreciate one another:

Good afternoon everyone!

It’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining which reminded me about how we might bring some sunshine into the lives of our team.

We all know there’s always something happening here at OUMS…like saving lives…and we have a great team of individuals who are committed to doing that each and every day. It’s never too late to express how much you appreciate your team or individuals on your team. In fact, as leaders, we should practice showing appreciation every day.

So to help you, I thought I’d share an idea from Barbara Glanz’s book, “180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm.” I hope you have found it helpful with so many great ideas on showing appreciation.

The idea I selected was one that spreads appreciation among all of your team members. The idea, as stated in the book, says, “Post a large poster page next to everyone’s office or cubicle door for a week. Ask other employees during the week to stop by and write something they appreciate about that person.”

Now for those of you already saying this won’t work because most or all of your employees don’t have an office or cubicle, I’d like to suggest that maybe you use your employee break room. For those of you with a very large number of employees, maybe do several employees a week over a period of time or group the posters by types of employees (i.e., administrative, clinical, support).

Let your team decide what the poster would look like – let them get creative!

Have a wonderful day everyone and know we appreciate the work you do for your teams and our patients!

Jed

It is so precious to me to see a client taking an idea and making it happen in their workplaces.  Every one of us needs more appreciation, and this idea will work anywhere.  If Jed and OUMS can do it, so can you and your team!

Another friend shared this photo with me from Illinois Toolworks.  People are finding many creative ways to appreciate one another.

Another way to appreciate one another!

Another way to appreciate one another!

For more creative ideas on how to make your workplace more caring, creative, appreciative, and fun, go to www.barbaraglanz.com/ideas

Another Meeting???

Speaking at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Baltimore

Speaking at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Baltimore

Ever find yourself needing to hold a meeting and JUST dreading it?

You know what I’m talking about… the glassy eyes, the unresponsive faces, the doodlers, the far-away-day-dreamy looks, the dead silence after a question is posed, the annoyed or bored looks when you discuss difficult items… even the under-the-table-phone-checker/chatterers.

Do these all leave you with the eerie feeling that you aren’t exactly being heard and your audience is tuned out? WAY OUT?

YOUR time is valuable, and so is theirs! You already know that it is crucial that they:
A) Receive your information,
B) Participate fully and willingly in the purpose of your meeting, and
C) Take the actions that you need them to, QUICKLY (all in a timely manner.)

After all, you’ve all got a lot on your to-do list, right? If you are anything like me, that list is calling out to you and growing steadily even now. So, let’s get to it!

Three main points to getting the most out of your meeting, AND your team:
1) Be a planner! Plan your agenda in advance. Be concise and clear. Use examples where possible.
2) Incorporate some creative communication to surprise and engage your team. Visual, verbal, physical. Make it stand out.
3) Start with THE POSITIVE! Three minutes of good news at the beginning of the meeting will make your team more receptive to sharing, engaging and being productive.

My assistant told me a story about a large company she once worked for where meeting after meeting after meeting was held – to the point that if she attended all the meetings she was supposed to, there would literally be no time for her to complete her actual job function.

And, frankly, these meetings were boring–dry and all-business, meaningless, often redundant, with seemingly endless talking. They often ran over the time limit, and items that were on the agenda were not even discussed. Whiners would sometimes “take control” of the meeting and derail the speaker’s timeline. There was no humanity in it, no joy, no inspiration. Nothing was being solved, and it felt like a waste, she said. She often left these meetings feeling absolutely drained and somewhat diminished, even bewildered, thinking, “There go two hours I’ll never get back!”

Until, that is, the day that Lynn came to have a meeting! Lynn is a spit-fire. She EXUDES positive energy, has a giant smile stamped on her face (yes, ALWAYS!), and is clearly enthusiastic beyond measure. She knows her material, but it isn’t scripted; it seems, instead,it is seamless. She made a promise right at the beginning to her audience: “I’m going to be real with you. We’re going to have fun together! You are going to participate, so your phone goes in this basket over here! You will leave smarter AND you will know what to do.”

Lynn kept her promise, always, and held the audience to keeping their end up, also. Shirking or non-participation were NOT options, and it WAS fun! Lynn had them do exercises, and they always stood up to do an activity because she said, “You use 1/3 more of your brain when you are standing.” She had them participate in activities that either proved her point or that they could take back to their departments to use as training tools. There was ENERGY! There was LAUGHTER! There was productive REAL TALK and HONEST FEEDBACK! There were even FIELD TRIPS! People LOVED going to Lynn’s meetings and would look forward all month to the next one. People even came in on their day OFF to attend her meetings and always left energized, thinking, and inspired to take action.

It came to the point that if Lynn wasn’t holding the meeting, there was a silent sigh in the room. Everyone WANTED to go to Lynn’s meetings and do what Lynn asked them to do and work with Lynn to make a better project/product/workplace. She built trust and loyalty. She built a team, just by mastering the art of the meeting!

For more ideas on how to make YOUR meetings more productive, here’s a free
Video Q &A session addressing just that!

http://www.barbaraglanz.com/iquestions/iq34.html

It’s your precious time we’re talking about, so let’s make it COUNT! Have a great week, and a phenomenal meeting! You CAN DO IT!

For more helpful ideas, feel free to explore my website, www.barbaraglanz.com, where there are free videos, blog archives, speaking programs for hire, consulting, super books and DVDs and more- all to assist you with managing change, raising morale and retention, getting the most from your team, and improving customer service.

Touching Lives

Glanz-tastic!

An interesting exchange took place on Facebook this past week after Graphic Recorder Tim Hamons created and posted a visual representation of my Singapore talk. It truly reinforced for me that no matter where you are in the world, your words and actions matter! You CAN make a positive change and inspire others to do the same with very SIMPLE, no- or low-cost techniques!

The following is a friend of Tim Hamons’ commenting on his Facebook Timeline on the illustration he made of my work. I LOVE that Tim was able to take away SO much of my talk so easily!

Tanvi Gautam: This is amazing !! I could not make it due to another meeting but I feel like I was almost there. Thank you so much Tim ! Can someone please elaborate on the Pennies in pocket and good news points on the MSA model please ? thanks so much.

Tim Hamons: Hi Tanvi Gautam. Barbara Glanz was illustrating a simple model MSA: Models, Stories, Action Ideas…. Some examples of action ideas: Pennies in pocket- give your kids each 5 pennies to put in left pocket. Every time they give a compliment to someone during the day they move a penny to other pocket. The goal is to move them all across everyday. “Good News” is simply starting a meeting by asking everyone to share some “good news” as a way to begin the meeting.

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The questions then, are:
What can YOU do today to take action, inspire others and model positivity?

What Actionable Ideas has someone in your workplace or personal life done recently to touch lives?

Tell me YOUR story and ideas! I’d LOVE to hear from you!

Video Q & A with Barbara Glanz

QUESTION: How can I bring more fun into my workplace?

BARBARA ANSWERS: Click Here

For more questions and answers with Barbara, please visit Barbara’s Video Q&A

An Inspiration in Asia

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at The Asia Professional Speakers Organization in Singapore!

In attendance was this remarkable gentleman, Tim Hamons, whose talent is both brilliant and most unusual. His title is “Graphic Recorder.” However, this description, (while accurate,) does no justice whatsoever to his skill, nor to his mind’s capacity to completely capture and then visually translate and “retell” the story of my experience with his hands and some markers. His thorough representation so colorfully brought to life the very essence of the positive change I strive to convey in all my work, without missing any models, examples, or details, that I felt, in turn, inspired by him!

I am thrilled to share his creation with you! Please have a look for yourself and SEE my message in a whole new way! I know you will feel more buoyant and glean both the content and context of my message after admiring his stunning visual illustration!

Below is what he shared on his Facebook Timeline. So, please take a moment. Have a good look for yourself and then get back to me! What stood out to YOU?

From Tim Hamons’ Facebook Timeline:

How many ways can you say and demonstrate “I care” to your audience? The amazing Barbara Glanz modeled and showed us many ways.

Key takeaways:
1. Create a positive human level connection with every transaction,
2. Design creative “care packages” for your customer,
3. Focus on creative communications and action ideas to surprise and get your message across.
— with Barbara Glanz

Glanz-tastic!

And Tim couldn’t have been more kind and complimentary about how my presentation reached him, giving him actionable ideas and inspiration, which is always my promise and my goal.

Tim Hamons wrote: 10:32pm Aug 14
“Thank you Barbara, for your generosity, abundant soaring spirit, and inspiring models. You are such an inspiration and model of selfless giving, joy, trust. It was such a blessing to meet you and hear your stories and models for creating positive change. I hope to get the chance to work with you and to share our visual work with some of your inspiring learning events. “

I do hope that his graphic recording, as well as my words and ideas will truly inspire you to make positive changes today and every day in your work and in your life!

Tired Feet….and a Regenerated Spirit!

I recently received this email from a person who was in my audience at the Society for Human Resource Managers annual conference where I was speaking on “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™-Creating Workplaces of Passion, Purpose, and Productivity”:

Barbara,

I recently attended the SHRM conference in Orlando and had the accidental privilege of hearing you speak. After walking around the convention center all morning, I found myself lost on the third floor with blisters on my heels. Unable to go any farther, I hobbled into your session. I’ve never been so glad to be in pain!

Initially, I had not planned on attending your session because I had seen you several years ago. I bought your books and I even got to meet you in person at a book signing. Boy, did your session re-energize my spirit! I currently work for a younger manager who believes that employees are just a Craigslist ad away. He even told me, a dedicated employee of 25 years, that “anyone who’s been here more than 5 years is complacent and worthless.” Needless to say, our workplace is not the happiest place in the world. Our manager does not even say hello when he passes by. It’s very demoralizing to go to work everyday.

But your session gave me renewed hope that I can possibly make up for his ignorance by using acts of kindness to perk up our staff. I have already dug through your books and found ideas for a short survey that I can give to the staff as soon as I return to work.

Thank you, Barbara, for the kick in the pants I needed to reverse the negativity in our workplace!

Sincerely,
Cynthia Pearce
HR Director

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I immediately wrote Cynthia to thank her for the affirmation and to encourage her with even more ideas of small things that cost little or no money. Just this week she wrote back with this reply: “In the spirit of appreciation, I asked the chef to save all of the leftover Ice cream novelties for me to share with my co-workers when I pass out paychecks tomorrow. It’s very warm here, so I’m hoping my ‘Ice cream (I scream) my appreciation of you’ goes over well! Thanks again for the motivation.”

One of the joys of my mission is helping people create fully engaged workplaces of caring, creativity, FUN and ultimately greater productivity, and the best news of all is that it DOESN’T have to cost money. Way to go, Cynthia — you are making a difference!

Go to www.barbaraglanz.com/ideas and check out the archives for even more ways to make your workplace a great place to be. You can also subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™,” for a new idea every month.

Make a Thanksgiving Tree

Make a Thanksgiving Tree

THE IDEA:

It doesn’t just have to be the month of Thanksgiving that we share our gratitude and appreciation for blessings in our lives. One of the ways to keep “an attitude of gratitude” in the places we work is to make a Thanksgiving tree.

THE IDEA IN ACTION:

* Many years ago I created a Thanksgiving tree for our home. I took a large manzanita branch, sprayed it gold, and secured it in a base of plaster of Paris. Beside it I kept a basket of small plain cards with holes punched in them, another basket of pieces of colored yarn, and a pen. The tradition in our family is that the month before Thanksgiving, the tree is placed on a table in our living room, and each family member writes down things for which he or she is thankful and hangs them on the tree. We also encourage guests in our home to participate. At the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day we read the cards from the tree as an affirmation of our blessings. Then we save the cards from the year before, and we read those as well. It is a wonderful way to remind us of all the goodness in our lives and reinforces the importance of sharing our appreciation.

This is a tree that one of my clients made for their workplace.

This is a tree that one of my clients made for their workplace.

TIPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION:

An organization could use this idea in a work area, a cafeteria, or other gathering place to encourage employees to focus on the good things happening each day. It also promotes communication and teamwork as others read the information shared on the cards. If the tree is kept up all year long, it will be important to remove the cards on a regular basis to make room for others and to encourage continual appreciation.

For more creative ideas, go to www.barbaraglanz.com/ideas

BLESSINGS BAGS FOR THE HOMELESS

A friend just sent me this wonderful idea. Blessing Bags are prepared to keep in the car when one passes homeless people. They are something ALL of us can do to make a small difference in our world and especially something one can do with children or grandchildren to teach them about caring for others. The bags are filled with all kinds of things that most of us have around our homes and can easily share with others.

BLESSING BAGS

INGREDIENTS:
Gallon size Ziplock bags
chap stick
packages of tissues
toothbrush and toothpaste
comb
soap
hotel size shampoos
trail mix
granola bars
crackers
pack of gum
band aids
mouthwash
coins or predetermined dollar amount (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
hand wipes

BAGS

You could also put in a warm pair of socks, a packet rain poncho, tampons (for women)
The ideas could be endless!

Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe add a note of encouragement, a Bible verse, or a prayer. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.

For more caring ideas of things you can give to others, order Barbara’s book, “Priceless Gifts — Using What God’s Given You to Bless Others,”either hard copy or an ebook at www.barbaraglanz.com/products/books/.

Little Things You Can Do in your Workplace to Appreciate People

I was deeply touched to receive this letter yesterday from Shirley Weigand from Elmira Savings Bank in Elmira, New York:

Barbara:

I have just finished reading your book, “CARE Packages for the Workplace,” and am happy to note that some of what you talk about are things that we already do here. In fact, you inspired me so much that this morning before work, I baked peanut butter cookies and brought them in and left them in our break room with a note saying, “I just felt like baking this morning, so please enjoy some cookies!” And every time someone called or emailed me to thank me for the cookies, I thanked them for what they do for me every day. It felt so good!”

Workplace

What a wonderful, simple way to show your co-workers how much you appreciate them! (And if you do not like to bake, you could even bring cookies from the store or the bakery…;-) Thank you, Shirley, for sharing this idea with us.

What ideas do you have to make YOUR workplace more joyful and caring?

To order a copy of Barbara’s book and get even more ideas, go to www.barbaraglanz.com/products/books/.

Video Q & A with Barbara Glanz

Question: What do employees really want in today’s workplace?

Barbara answers: To hear Barbara answer this question click here

For more questions and answers with Barbara, visit Barbara’s Video Q&A

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