This past weekend we went for our normal hike. Mostly normal, anyhow.
Grace was dressed in her blaze orange vest, a safety precaution that she wouldn’t be mistaken for a deer during hunting season here in New Hampshire.
While Grace isn’t even close to the size of a deer, she does leap through the woods with deer-like hops and the rustling of her movements might cause confusion. Her coloring blends perfectly with the autumn leaves thick on the forest floor, so this blaze of color wrapped around her speaks in hunter’s language as something to avoid. Even when she was far ahead and typically invisible to us, we could see her running, darting, jumping, and sniffing. We were aware of her every move. Yes, her every move.
Even though the nylon material made a slight crinkling noise as she moved, she never indicated that it bothered her in any way. In fact, she seemed to like being noticed. It was as if she was in her best party gown and it felt special to be admired.
It makes me wonder if sometimes we forget the beauty, talents, skills, and successes of those that we interact with everyday. Do we become so immune to all they contribute that we forget how lovely and valued they are in their normal “attire?”
Some employees are timid and modest and would never seek praise or recognition. Others may ask for it, but might not receive it in the dosage they require.
I was interviewing a candidate late yesterday who is seeking employment with one of my clients. I got the impression he loved his work and many things about his 10-year tenure there, so I was curious what was prompting his career move. I asked about his current employer and what it would be like to leave them. He felt that while they knew he was one of the few managers in the district exceeding the sales quota, he had the impression that they would not hesitate to accept his departure and willingly hire from outside the organization to save on their payroll. Assuming that he is correct, it’s a very short-sighted approach. But at the very least, the leadership has given this employee a perception that he is not valued for his everyday, routine, and consistent performance. He feels unnoticed, under-appreciated, and it opens his willingness to pursue other career opportunities.
And if it would help, buy blaze orange vests!