A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

By | Communication, Culture, Life at Daxko, Workplace | No Comments

Recently I was leaving work when a Daxko Team Member (name withheld to protect the innocent) approached. Since I work on the People Team, I assumed this person had a need or issue on their mind. Imagine my surprise when he said he just stopped me to say, “Thank you.” I was speechless (which is rare for me…just ask anyone who knows me). But it was a moment that made my day.

He wanted to express appreciation for the work I do and to say that I am a valuable team member. It was a great way to end my day! This not only made me feel good though, it was also a great reminder that a sincere “thank you” at work can pay great dividends. So, let’s break it down:

  • Cost = 0 dollars and minimal time.
  • Benefits = more engaged team members, positive reinforcement of desired behaviors, and making someone’s day!

What does it take?

  • Willingness to look for people doing something right (and not just catch them doing something wrong);
  • Purposefully reaching out to that person (verbally, via a quick note, etc);
  • Being sincere. Tell them why you are thanking them so they know you mean it.
  • Don’t do it every day, but do it often enough. If you do it all the time, it loses it’s meaning to the person. But if it is so rare that spotting a UFO seems more likely, then you aren’t getting the benefits mentioned above as often as you could.

Daxko gives great, more formal awards as a way for the company to recognize excellent performance, but it is hard to beat a thoughtful, purposeful and genuine expression of thanks from someone you work with every day.

Who can you thank today?

Pitch Perfect

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career | No Comments

Recently, I used my Human Resource experience to help some local college students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to construct their own elevator pitches.  It was a lot of fun and such a great group of students to work with!

An elevator pitch is basically “you” in 30 seconds.  It’s how you brand yourself to others.  Maybe you are branding yourself to a potential employer, mentor or a company with an internship you’d like.  And often, you only have a short time, like a ride on an elevator (ergo, the clever name), for it to pay off.

Even if you aren’t looking for a job or internship, it can be useful to be able to brand yourself.  Think, networking.  So, here are a few tips I shared with the students that apply no matter the reason:

  • Like a pick up line in a bar, you must make them interested enough to want to get to know you better. Being cheesy, negative, or sounding more conceited than confident, makes others cringe not share their digits with you.
  • Like any presentation, you must know your audience. Customize your standard pitch for whoever the audience is, what you want from them and what you can do for them.
  • Say it like you mean it. You should memorize what you want to say and practice it so much that you come across naturally, not scripted or like a second rate salesman.
  • Like Dorothy, you must believe. If you don’t believe in you, neither will they. Be confident in your tone, with your handshake and by using good eye contact.  You are the expert about you, after all!
  • Like a mirror, be yourself! No, not the crazy hung over self from last weekend, but if you try to be someone else entirely, you will fail anyway.  So be genuine and let YOU shine through.

What advice do you have for making a perfect pitch?

 

Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.

Coming In Second

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

You may have heard the saying, “2nd place is first loser.” I hate that saying. I mean, no one likes coming in 2nd place, but does it really mean you are a loser? This time of year, there are a lot of sports playoffs happening. I recently viewed the Women’s College Volleyball Championship which was a very close game between two excellent teams. In fact, just to get to the playoffs proves these are teams who are doing things right! So, while I watched the final shots and saw the “thrill of victory” on one side, I couldn’t ignore the “agony of defeat” on the other.

What do you do when you’ve worked hard, made many great decisions, zigged when you should have, zagged when you should have, and still you don’t reach your ultimate goal? Well, goals aren’t always the ultimate measure of success. After all, if you ALWAYS achieve your goals, then maybe you aren’t shooting high enough. Goals should be audacious visions of what we want to do. But, if they are too easy, then maybe they aren’t worth doing. Making them hard, and even a bit out of reach, means we have to keep reaching upward. But that also means that when we don’t reach them, we can’t look at the experience as a failure, but instead remember all the victories along the way. Sure, we always want to review where we could do better, but success isn’t simply about reaching the goal itself. Instead, it is more about looking back and feeling the satisfaction of all the milestones we made and the obstacles we overcame to get where we are.

Watching the women on the volleyball team that came in a little short against such a great opponent, made me realize that although their immediate feelings were obvious disappointment, when given the chance to review all the “wins” along the way, I know they will feel like the successful players they are. After all, it really isn’t about how close we came, but rather how far we made it!

Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.

It’s a Big Little World

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Healthy Stuff, Workplace | No Comments

This is the season where I find myself squeezing more hand sanitizer than usual, becoming paranoid of my every sniffle and suspicious of anyone around me sucking on a lozenge.  There are some big, bad monsters in the world that we can see and try to defend against.  Not to minimize those (pun intended), but far scarier to me than all the werewolves, vampires, zombies, serial killers who kill in your dreams (reference Freddie Kruger) in the world are those infinitesimal, unseen by the naked eye, grotesque necessary evils called viruses and bacteria.

Oh, sure, we need those little bugs, since nature works as a finely tuned machine with parts that need each other to make the whole thing turn.  Or so they tell us.  But as much as they help the system as a whole, they can devastate small parts and in the large scheme of things, you and I are some of those small parts.  As I write this blog post, my husband is napping…a highly unusual inactivity for him as a Southern man on college football Saturday.  But a mean bug has attacked his system and he requires rest to allow all of his body’s energy to summon the resources to fight it.  In addition, my Team Lead is feeling puny too, brought down by something completely different, but equally small and insidious.  No we don’t see them coming and likely never see them at all.  We just experience the symptoms they ravage upon us and the aftermath they leave when our bodies, damaged from the war, try to mend.

These unseen foes are so devastating in part because we cannot see them coming.  Not unlike our work lives, entirely.  Just this week, a well planned for event was completely derailed due to something completely out of the control of the team member who worked so hard to plan the event, and she never saw it coming.  So, what did she do?  Just as the body does in the event of an unseen foe, she brought in other resources.  She needed some help from the team to try to get a grasp on what was happening, mitigate the negative effects, and determine a game plan moving forward.  We all stepped up and did our best to help and while there was no fairytale ending, we pulled together and made it through to fight another day.  Was it stressful? Yes.  Did it hurt?  Yes.  Were there lessons learned?  Of course.  Though, like remembering to wash your hands frequently to avoid contagion, it sometimes takes a “bug” to remind us of those pesky details.

So, cough into your elbow, drink plenty of fluids and get some rest.  If you are fighting a foe at work that was unforeseen and surprising, you can draw on Team Members too and together, you’ll get through it!  Maybe not unscathed, but alive.  By the way, is it just too ironic that the derailed event I mentioned was a flu shot clinic?  I thought so.

Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.