Praising What Stays the Same


I’m not sure it is the turkey or the dressing or the gifts that we crave during the holidays.

It’s more likely the promise of it.

The continuity. The foundation.

It can all be “less than” (carry out is fine), no matter the delivery (paper plates work) or setting (dining rooms are not required). It still works. The important bits — the people, the conversation, the support — must be there.

In workplaces, we laud disruption at work. However, we rarely emphasize this same form of stability. For example, the promise that hard work will be recognized and rewarded. This might explain why we see lower levels of satisfaction and engagement. In this domain as well, it not the delivery that matters or the setting. The snacks or the stocked fridge.

It is the core. The foundation. The mutual respect. The simple things.

Saying “thank you” does matter. Noticing hard work matters. Spreading the word about a job well done matters.

It’s not the grand gesture.

It is simply keeping the promise.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

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