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Small Business Leaders; Here are 10 Reasons to be Grateful.

In honor of Thanksgiving and the upcoming Small Business Saturday gratitude and all of the love for small businesses is in the air. To reinforce the benefits small business leaders enjoy, as opposed to their counterparts running massive organizations, here is a list of reasons to be grateful for leading in a small business.

 
SmallBusinessTeam

10 Reasons Small Business Leaders can be Grateful.

#theexceptionalworkplace #smallbusinesssaturday

 
  1. You know all of your employees by name, their family, and you might even know their dog's name too!

  2. Your entire leadership team can sit around one table.

  3. Making a business change to ebb and flow as needed is like steering a kayak, it takes some effort but your hard work will pay off, versus captaining a large vessel.

  4. You have a significant influence on what's happening in your workplace. Awe, the sweet feeling of good ol' American independence.

  5. Team building, with your entire team, is possible! Try this one --> Portraits of Appreciation

  6. Calling a morning huddle in the lobby or conference room doesn't usually require calculating time zones and video conferencing.

  7. A dozen (or two or three) Blue Star Donuts makes for a sweet snack for your afternoon all staff team meeting.

  8. As a leader you can share your vision in 1:1 dialog to ensure that everyone is engaged.

  9. Some fantastic tools are free to small businesses under a certain number! Officevibe (employee engagement tool) is one example.

  10. In times of significant excitement or significant sadness for your business or team, your whole workforce comes together to support and encourage.

Bonus: Small business leaders know their workforce well enough to realize that enrolling team members in a "Jelly of the Month" club is not a good holiday gift (a la the movie Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase).


Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace! We help small business leaders (CEO, Owners, HR, Controllers) cultivate exceptional workplaces through strong HR and people practices. 

Bucket Filling in the Workplace [Team Builder]

Over Thanksgiving I overheard my husband talking to my parents about how successful my business has been in 2016. “Her efforts have paid off!” And, “She’s amazing!” rolled right off his tongue like I was paying him to say those things! Of course, I wasn’t. But my heart grew bigger and my confidence grew stronger so much that I think I stood nearly an inch taller by the end of the day. Let’s face it, how amazing does it feel to be recognized for our hard work? Recognition, either in public or in private, is ridiculously motivating. We are in a unique situation where most of us want to call it a year and sweep 2016 out the door. But wait! Let’s pause and all look at what’s going right in your workplace.

 
 

Get it started:

  • In your own way, take a minute or two to recognize someone for their hard work. This can be verbally in front of peers, it can be in private, digitally via email, social media, text, Slack -- there are so many digital choices these days! You pick.
  • Then, add the tagline below to your note (or send it separately if your recognition is verbal).
  • This note was inspired by a Bucket Filling in the Workplace activity to generate loads of appreciation at work. Do you want to pay it forward too?

How can I participate

  • If you received a Bucket Filling in the Workplace note you are hereby challenged to give back three times what you received. That’s right, pay it forward to three people.
  • What is Bucket Filling in the Workplace? Just a note telling someone what you like and appreciate about them. This can be in the form of a handwritten note, an email or even a text. Whatever comes naturally to you.
  • Include the tagline and link at the bottom of your communication (or send it afterward for verbal recognition). Let’s get the spotlight focused on what’s going right in your workplace.

Examples of killer workplace recognition (plagiarize as you wish):

  • Jen, you lead with heart. There is not a leadership decision that you have made this year that your heart didn’t enter the equation. Your ability to pause and take note of where humanity fits into our workplace motivates me to do the same. Thank you for constantly role-modeling this for me and others in our workplace.
  • Ryan, your drive to achieve results is unrelenting. Once you set a goal there is no holding you back to achieve it. This year you hit your sales target and then some. I am beyond impressed!
  • Thank you, Natalie, for your help reinventing our workplace culture this year. People like you are one in a gazillion. Seriously, in your league, you have no competition!
  • Ben, hands down, you are one of my favorite people to work with. You are a bright, big picture thinker who delivers every single time. I appreciate that so much about you. Thank you for being you!
  • Thank you, Emily for helping me keep my head in the game in 2016. It was a tough year and without you I might have given up on our goals. You kept not only me but our entire team motivated with your infectious personality, unrelenting drive and supersized heart. I appreciate you so much.
  • You rock! Is it fair to say that when I’m assigned to projects on your team I do a mental backflip because I know it’s going to be an out of this world experience? Joe, working for you is simply the best.

Now, go spread some workplace cheer. I'm talking to you. Yes, you. Do it. You will be glad you did. 


 

Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace! We help small business leaders (CEO, Owners, HR, Controllers) cultivate exceptional workplaces through strong HR and people practices. Learn more here.

 
The Exceptional Workplace
 
What are you grateful for at work? [Team Builder]

Supplies: Whiteboard or large post-it paper (for virtual teams a shared Google doc will work) and markers (colorful markers are best)

Participants: Any number

Time: Unlimited (could run Monday - Wednesday of Thanksgiving week)


Team Builder Gratitude at Work - McGeachy Consulting

Gratitude is contagious and most often it doesn't cost anything. Grab the post-it notes and start decorating your office!

 

This team builder can be kicked off at a regular staff meeting or even via email. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and being grateful, have participants share on the whiteboard or post-it paper what they are grateful for at work. The goal is to have employees reflect on what is great about the workplace and build a bond among the team as everyone collectively takes this time to reflect. There is no limit to how much each person writes; one person might write a word or multiple words while another might write a sentence.

Start with a whiteboard or large post-it paper and put it in a prominent location in your office. A location where people walk by often is the best. Write in the center, “What are you grateful for at work?” A bucket of colorful markers will help liven up the team builder.

Every workplace will have a different end result, some might be full of words while others may even have icons or pictures drawn. Encourage creativity.

Results: The individual and collective group reflection about what makes your workplace a great place to create a bond among the team. It’s simple and collectively effective at drawing out insights into your workforce.

Take a picture of the final product. Perhaps send the picture to your team expressing your own gratefulness or keep it for yourself for a rainy day to remind you of the synergy you've created. And if you want to brag about your workforce send me a picture of this masterpiece. Nothing makes me happier than a grateful workplace.


 

Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace! We help small business leaders (CEO, Owners, HR, Controllers) cultivate exceptional workplaces through strong HR and people practices. Learn more here.

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Simple Halloween Inspired Spirit Booster [Team Builder]

As featured in The Exceptional Workplace - an eLetter for conscientious business leaders. Sign-up to receive bi-weekly team builders and much more.

Supplies: Photos from team members, tape or pushpins

Participants: This is a relaxed spirit-boosting team builder for both small and large teams (3+)

Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Have team members bring a photo of themselves in a Halloween costume. They should secretly give it to you prior to the next staff meeting. All photos must be workplace friendly! Prior to the staff meeting, post all of the photos on a whiteboard (or wall). Let the team try and guess who is who. The person with the best-disguised costume (the hardest one to figure out) is the winner. This may be arbitrary! Give a pat on the back or a candy bar to the winner, your choice.

Results:

A fun stroll with your team down memory lane. Some employees may choose to bring a photo from their young childhood while others may want to bring something more recent. Either is acceptable as long as it’s workplace appropriate.

 


Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace! We help small business leaders (CEO, Owners, HR, Controllers) cultivate exceptional workplaces through strong HR and people practices. Learn more here.