Sunday, February 19, 2012

Toot My Own Horn

I founded in 2003.  Since then I have been pretty much working by myself to build the business - buying inventory, making changes to the site with The Huband's help.  But recently, I stumbled upon some great employees and decided it was time to take things to turn up the heat and really get things going. 

Since we are adding employees and implenting new procedures and carving out new positions, we are basically going through the growing pains of a start-up.  There is so much going on in the office on a daily basis.  Everyone is busy and we leave at the end of the day feeling like there's so much more we could do, that we NEED to do. 

I don't always have all the answers and I doubt that I'm the World's Greatest Boss.  But, I learned something from reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.  I need to create an environment that reflects the values that I feel are important to running this business.  My choices set the tone for the office/business.

I want my team members to feel valued and appreciated.  I want us to know when it's time to work hard and know when it's time to have fun.  I want them to know that their ideas are heard and often implemented.  Why?  Because that is somewhere I'd like to work! 

A few weeks ago, while working on some new text for the website redesign, someone joked about tooting their own horn.  We all laughed.  It was appropriate for that team member deserved some recognition for what she'd done.  Then, a few days later, someone else joked that they wanted to toot their horn for an idea they'd come up with. 

So I went to work.  I jumped on and purchased a few bicycle horns and had them shipped to the house.  Then I went into my sorely under-used craft room and found some cute patterned paper and went to work creating individual tags for each team member.  I thought the idea was just so darn cute.  The picture isn't very clear and it's only a few of the horns, sorry...I was in a hurry to post this before I had to actually work - on work. 

The next day I arrived at the office and unveiled the new horns.  I told them that whenever they did something fantastic or came up with an idea that would help our efficiency/production/etc., that they should toot their own horns. 

These days people tend to criticize themselves, sell themselves short and feel undervalued.  I wanted to give my team members a way to stop and say Yay for me!  Look what I did.  And I am so happy with the results. 

When's the last time YOU tooted YOUR own horn?  


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