Heroes In The Workplace

August 01, 2014
08:32 AM

By Elroy Z. Uta

First, I need you to pause for a moment. If you’re in your workplace I need you to look around, and if you’re not then I need you to imagine your workplace. Would you agree with me if I say that you have a hero hiding somewhere behind the desk? Now hold that thought for a moment.

Everyday Heroes
“People, who go to work every day, make sacrifices to raise families, and get through life without hurting other people if they can help it-those are the real heroes.”
―Dean Koontz, Winter Moon

If I ask you what your definition of a hero is, most probably your answer might be a person typically revered because of his or her bravery and honourable qualities. Maybe you’ll think about our National Heroes, and the men and women who made this country what it is today. But heroes aren’t merely people who fought and died for our country, or those who saved others from, say, a burning building. Arthur Ashe is the first African American who won the US Open and Wimbledon, and he said, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” In short, a Hero can be just an ordinary person who makes his/her ordinary work extraordinary.

So how does this apply to our workplace?

We need to remember that an organization is a combination of teams spread out across the network we call ”the organizational chart”, and each team or unit is composed of people who possess various roles.

These same people will spend most of their waking hours fulfilling their assigned roles. They give their lives in the organization, often sacrificing their time in the process. For me, they are the unsung heroes who get things done, doing the extra mile, totally underrated and out of the limelight.

In our organization, these heroes are the strongest strand of the fabric that holds our company together. That’s you and me. Without us, our organization may not survive.

Recognizing our everyday heroes

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
—Helen Keller

As cliché as it may sound, how many organizations do you think have emphasized the words above? How many company vision/mission statements embrace that kind of mantra?

I remember a quote that says, “An organization is only as good as its people.” I believe in that quote. I believe that the success of an organization largely depends upon its people united towards a common goal. And equally important is that people should also be praised, valued, rewarded, and recognized for their contribution.

It’s not rocket science that everyone feels the need to be recognized and to feel a sense of achievement for their work or even for a valiant effort.

That’s why every year, The Brown Group of Companies; hold its Annual Service Awards Ceremony. The Service Awards Program recognizes employees who have their service anniversary and to honour the contributions as well as the sacrifices made by these men and women in our workplace. The success of the Brown group is absolutely dependent upon these kind folks and it’s important that we identify these heroes. Employees need to feel valued and appreciated because they spend more time with their work compared to many other relationships in their lives.

People who feel appreciated are more inclined to contribute as much as they can, because they know that their hard work is being recognized. The more you show your appreciation, the more likely you will end up with hardworking employees who want nothing more than to represent your business in the best way possible.

Heroes in the workplace

Now let’s go back to your workplace. The heroes of our organization are the people you meet every day in the hallway, the person who greets you as you punch your time in the biometric, they are your co-workers, your best buddies, your partners.

These heroic employees pride themselves on knowing that they did their job well and sometimes their only consolation is just the silent thought of accomplishment for making it through a tough deadline.

We know who they are, we know the amount of effort and sacrifice that they put into their job, and so would it be nice if we can show them how much we appreciate what they do? And if we appreciate someone, can we not keep it a secret?

A pat on the back or a thank you note will certainly do. Can you do it now?