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Why You Should Love Your Employees

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I love my receptionists. I do. They’re amazing, and they make my job not only easier, but possible. I love my coworkers. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the team that surrounds me.

Last Friday two big things happened. Around noon, a group of about 25 of us (supervisors, department heads, managers, etc.) loaded onto a bus to head to a remote island in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, so that our managers could show their appreciation for our hard work and commitment throughout the year by treating us to airboat rides, fresh seafood, and a day filled with great times with great friends. They wanted us to know that they love us. We piled onto the bus that had two TVs on it, broadcasting live news. It was there that we learned what had happened.

Sandy Hook Elementary School.

And it was there that a teacher told her students she loved them.

I’m sure you’ve heard the story. ABC News’ Diane Sawyer interviewed Sandy Hook elementary teacher Kaitlin Roig about the events of that day. Kaitlin had locked her students in a bathroom and, one by one, looked them in the eyes and told each one of them that she loved them. She forgot about the stigma that is attached to teachers’ and their students, forgot about the invisible line that has been drawn in society, forgot that she really wasn’t supposed to tell students that she “loved” them. But she needed them to know.

At the same time Kaitlin was telling her students she loved them, my boss (not knowing anything of Kaitlin’s story) was telling us that he loved us. He needed us to know that even through the frustration, the missed marks, the mistakes, the pressure and expectations…he loved us. He loved us for who we were and what we do everyday to make our company what it is. And he wasn’t afraid to tell us.

As managers, it is more often than not easier to reprimand and critique our employees, than it is to tell them that we love them, that we appreciate them and that we need them. So let me challenge you (and in turn, challenge myself) to make sure that your employees know that you love them. Not just because of what happened at Sandy Hook, not just because of the Holidays — but because it creates a strong culture that you would want to be a part of. Communicate that deep knowledge to them, and in turn, they’ll love you, love your company, and love their job. That type of culture will pay off in the long run.

Amanda Purser is the front desk manager at Gainesville Health & Fitness. She can be reached at APurser@ghfc.com.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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