I’m a model employee or so I like to think. Almost all of my past employers would say that about me. There was one Lucky Charms supervisor who couldn’t stand me but I think it was because I was so tall and I smiled a lot. At one point she told me I smiled too much and to wipe that #*)!@& smile off my face! The other one hated that my jewelry matched my outfits. I’m not sure what Freud would say about that.
I digress. I’m a model employee and as a model, I went to a photo shoot with Tyght Shots Photography. This young man takes amazing photos of me and in the process boosts my self-esteem. I felt like Iman or Tyra. All eyes were on me and I was the focus of his attention for a little over an hour.
Tyrone only took photos that he thought captured the best things about me. He said things that encouraged me to move my head and drop my chin a little. He helped me up when I couldn’t quite get off the floor after that low stool pose. He encouraged me when I thought the photos showed a my boot unzipped.
After an hour of his undivided attention, I reviewed the photos he had amassed. Some I loved, some I didn’t. A few weren’t too flattering and he was kind enough not to say it although he and I both knew. There were some that captured my personality and others I just was being very critical. Through it all we narrowed it down to 17 great photos some in color and some black and white. All of me being the best me I’ll be at the moment.
I thought about managers and supervisors. I see HR Employee Relations in every situation. But I thought about how the average employee doesn’t get the opportunity to star as the model in a photo shoot. The employee comes to work, gets through the day, attends meetings, reads emails, accomplishes some major task, without so much as an attaboy.
Maybe the employee gets a casual nod from the supervisor as the person walks past them in the hallway. The employee can hear the supervisor spending time with others but not with them. The employee wonders what it will take to be the star of the moment and tries to recall the fatal error that moved them to the reject pile of photos spilling on the floor of the supervisor’s office.
You can tell these employees from America’s Top Model Employee. They walk with their head down, don’t speak up at meetings, don’t attend office functions, arrive early, and leave after everyone has gone home.
Manager or CEO, remember, you once were a rising star. Remember when you were waiting in the wings to be called out to walk the runway? Encourage your staff, share a kind word, recognize their small and huge victories. Let’s pass it on.