Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boss's Day Sentiments

Have you ever heard or uttered those words before? Chances are you haven’t. I have never been in an office where the day was observed, although I am sure there is some happy outpost where the employees are honoring their boss on that day.

Eighty-five percent of employees like their boss and think they are doing a pretty good job. If you think your boss is in that 85% too, why don’t you take a moment to let them know you appreciate them? A little honest appreciation, as you know with your own employees, can go a long way.

I know many of you don’t feel comfortable giving cards or writing sloppy sentiments to anyone, much less your boss. That’s why I have come up with some snappy messages that you can add to a card or note. I suggest you forego the electronic message for something a little more time-tested and traditional. Paper, whether a fancy greeting card, a blank notecard, or even just a sheet swiped from the printer, makes a stronger impression than a virtual message, no matter how many sounds and colors are attached. How quaint, I know, but usually true.

For your greeting-card ease, check these out:

The Haiku

Haikus traditionally reference nature. They are a good choice if you work in international business or your boss appreciates poetry, the outdoors, or sushi. It’s pretty easy to create a poem with the 5 syllables – 7 syllables – 5 syllables formula. Here are three examples:

In stormy work times
Your equanimity is
An island of calm.

Your guiding presence
And encouraging support:
Like sun in winter.

“Awesome job!” you say
And I work harder for you.
I return the praise.

Try it out yourself, it's not hard.

The Limerick

Limericks are a little trickier to write than haiku. The limerick is often a little bawdy and may not be the best choice for your boss unless you have a very good relationship with them, they love jokes, and you can keep it clean. Here is the formula to write a limerick: Lines 1, 2, and 5 of limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other. I may have fudged a bit on some of that below:

There once was a boss from Intel
Who implored her staff, “Sell, sell, sell!”
Her staff did her bidding
The boss did no ridding
And all stayed together in hell.

Oh, oops, maybe that wasn’t quite right for Boss’s Day, and anyway that was too specific for general use. How about another?

There once was a generous boss
Whose staff was prepared for loss
When layoffs came round
New money was found
So the boss did not have to toss.

Our boss is an exceptional guy
He knows how to tie a tie
And when he walks in
Respect replaces the din
On him we can rely.

There is an amazing man
Who leads a misfit clan
With patience and care
Smarts, humor and flair
With him, succeed we can!

A little Yoda-speak there on the last one, but you get the idea.

Perhaps that’s enough “poetry”, if you can call it that. But using a standard poetry vehicle lifts the seriousness and eases any discomfort about telling people how we feel, while still conveying appreciation.Once again, I encourage you to give it a try.

But sometimes you just want to say something simply. All kidding aside, you really want to let them know you appreciate what they do (at least most of the time, right?) The most straightforward and probably most appreciated note would say something like one or a combination of the following:

I am lucky to have you for a boss. (Why? Give a specific example like “no one else has ever taken their role as a coach so seriously” or “I have experienced more success working for you than anyone else.”)

You have a knack for …(managing our diverse team, simplifying the confusing, inspiring our efforts, handling difficult situations, etc….) and I am learning from you.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. (and then give a specific example of when they encouraged or supported you or say something like “There are so many instances where your encouraging words were just what I needed.”)

I appreciate your … (fill in the word: patience, persistence, creativity, resourcefulness, sense of humor, appreciation…)

You get the idea. I know finding the right words can be difficult sometimes so I hope these examples will help you express your gratitude. So don’t forget - October 16th is Boss’s Day. Since it’s a Sunday, you may want to celebrate this Friday, or at the least Monday. But really, any time is a fine time to convey appreciation.

A simple note could have prevented this public appreciation fiasco!

If you can't see the 1.48 minute Parks and Recreation video, here is the URL: