Many conflicts in the workplace arise because people ignore the proverbial elephant in the room.
At the Danish auto parts company The Kjaer Group, it’s rather hard to ignore the elephant in the room because, well, there’s an actual elephant in the room. It’s a large stuffed elephant, and it’s used as a way to pass along praise to a fellow employee who has done something worthy enough to receive the much-coveted, albeit a little silly, “Order of the Elephant.”
High-performing organizations understand the importance of building a culture of continual celebration, recognition and praise. Thanking people on a regular basis has been proven to be one of the easiest ways to boost someone’s own level of happiness, and study after study reveals a positive link between the amount of sincere praise given between team members and the performance of the team.
Which is why I like the “Order of the Elephant” concept. Kjaer has made it simple and fun for employees to thank each other, and the stuffed elephant serves as a highly visual and continual reminder of the importance of thanking people. The elephant also serves as a conversation starter – when an employee notices the elephant on someone’s desk they’ll ask what the employee did to earn the honor, which not only makes the recognized employee feel great, it encourages positive conversations on the need to continually provide great, elephant-sized service to the rest of their teammates.
Michael Kerr, Humor at Work Reprinted from the Humor at Work weekly e-zine. Sign up for great tips, humor and inspiration at www.humoratwork.com
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