Today has been a great day in my company’s office. We received a Christmas hamper, but that is not the reason why I got very excited, since I have worked many years here and I am used to receiving it. However, today I returned home very happy. Do you wonder why?
It all started this morning at breakfast. As usual I went down to have coffee with several colleagues and among them some interns. While being there, I got an email saying we would receive the hamper, and I told them the news. The first thing that came to the interns mind was if there was also a hamper for them. I said yes and I noticed how their face lit up with the news. Then I had an even more obvious question to answer: if the basket was the same for everyone, and of course, I said yes.
At that moment I realized that those people who were with me felt integrated and equal to all the others, and I conveyed their happiness and enthusiasm, which gave me extra motivation for the rest of the day. That morning was full of excitement, people rushed down to get their hampers, and in the same queue you could see an intern and behind him a manager.
Reflecting on this made me realize that these things are what motivates employees and make them feel part of the whole. I have been having that feeling of belonging and of equality within a group for so long that sometimes I forget how lucky I have been all these years. And in this case the hamper is just a symbol that reflects the relationship between the employees of my company. Another example: yesterday I was taking my meal and at the same table I was sitting at sat the General Director, a person of R&D and a boy who had just joined the company, all engaged in a pleasant conversation. We could quote many other cases, such as those related to the office space management: leaving the offices open to talk to any of the companies’ employees face to face or having your boss working at your side at the same table... All of this easies out the protocols for rushing to any person in the company that is an expert on a subject, regardless of his or her rank.
Being able to communicate freely, transparently, to feel part of a team, to be treated equally (as in the example of the hamper), are all aspects of what is called “emotional salary”: circumstances that motivate us in our day to day life.
All these feelings made me think that we are also part of another large company, which is our country, family and friends, and also made me remember that some of mine have not been given the Christmas extra pay and that will not have a Christmas hamper, or worse, they have been fired. I remember specifically a person who always gave me the most valuable object in his hamper because he knew that I liked it a lot. This year my friend will not get a hamper -as many other people whom you also know-, and that is why, after picking up mine and before I went home, I went through my hamper and offered him a part of it. In doing so I realized that there is nothing that will produce more happiness than making others happy. And that's what our HR Director must have felt today, and that is what her face reflected, when I met her on leaving the building. Emotional salary is not only for the employees, but also for the people who drove the actions leading to it.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!