Ideas: Create an Atmosphere of Encouragement

This idea is excerpted from Barbara’s book, “CARE Packages for the Workplace –Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work,” (McGraw-Hill).

The Idea:

If the physical atmosphere in an organization is inviting and encouraging, people will feel better about coming to work and thus, will be more productive.

The Idea In Action:

When I visited the Cedar Falls Center of APAC Corporation, I was immediately impacted by the bright colors and positive, uplifting atmosphere. Right inside the door was a display of all the prizes the associates could win for exceeding their goals, a wonderful visual encouragement. Next, on a side wall was a huge graph in the shape of a pizza which read “PIZZA — PIZZA: LET’S BEAT IOWA CITY!” This was a constant reminder of a fun internal contest they had created. The losing center had to buy the other center pizza.

Throughout the center there were large signs and banners posted in bright colors:

There is no “I” in team

Every time you make another call, no matter how many times you’ve heard the script, this is THEIR FIRST TIME!

YOU choose the word you use–

DID is a word of achievement,
WON’T is a word of retreat.
MIGHT is a word of bereavement,
CAN’T is a word of defeat.
OUGHT is a word of duty,
TRY is a word each hour.
WILL is a word of beauty,

CAN is a word of POWER!

Discover it Today — You’re Appreciated!

Speak positively about each other and the organization you serve.

In helping others, you help yourself!

On another wall was the company communications bulletin board which is duplicated in every center. It is a tool to disseminate information and to celebrate individual accomplishments and personal events. In every cubicle the APAC mission statement was prominently displayed. Another wall had a bright chart translating what achieving 100%, 110%, 120% and 130% of their goals would mean to each employee in extra pay per hour, really showing in a concrete way “what is in it for them!”

As I walked around, the atmosphere permeated all the work that was going on, and I heard employees who really felt good about their jobs and the difference they were making.

The founder of a pediatric dental office in Oakland, California, has created a very special atmosphere for his patients and employees. He feels people should learn about healing in a fun and happy place. All the pictures are at the children’s eye level, including the bulletin board with pictures of the other dentists and employees as children themselves. Bright colors, “theme” rooms, stuffed animals hanging from the ceilings, and a “yellow brick road” to help the children find their way all add to the happy atmosphere. The doctor tells this story as one of the best affirmations he has ever had about the vision he has created:

He had been noticing an older man eating his lunch in the waiting room for several days. Finally, he asked him one day, “Do your grandchildren come here to get their teeth fixed?” He answered, “No.” “Are you waiting for someone?” “No,” he answered. When the doctor finally asked in a kindly way why he was there, the man replied, “I used to be the postman for your office, and it always brightened my day to come here. Now I’m retired, and I just like to come here to eat my lunch and watch.”

Barbara Glanz Biography

A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at and

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