For her latest Living Your Best Compliance Life column, Mary Shirley talks about how making expressions of gratitude part of a regular practice can encourage colleagues to live up to their full, ethical potential.
Air New Zealand is my home country’s national airline. It is known for creative and entertaining safety videos, as well as delicious lollies, candy you are given on descent to help with the change in air pressure. However on my recent travels home, the safety video and lollies were outshone by cabin announcements.
On both of my flights, inflight service managers thanked the cabin crew for their hard work. On the long-haul flight, passengers were thanked for their patience and kindness.
I loved the public appreciation for the team’s hard work as a standard practice each flight. In the absence of an intercom system and captive audience in the sky, how might you make this a regular practice? Check out my column here for some ideas.
The latter idea, with regard to patience and kindness, reminded me of a lesson I learned in an old Reader’s Digest book my father passed on to me that is filled with words of wisdom. To paraphrase, one of the lessons outlined was: Give someone a reputation to live up to and watch them shine. I have used this as a management technique where I wanted to bring out more of a certain trait in a colleague — identify an area of opportunity and when they come close to exhibiting the trait, call that out and thank them for it in hopes that will encourage more of such behavior.
I have taken to thanking colleagues for their commitment to ethics and integrity at the end of presentations to highlight that their time spent in the session helps to do that. Air New Zealand’s practice makes me wonder if more repeated efforts to thank colleagues for honest and ethical commitments would act as just-in-time training, a reminder to hold themselves consciously to those standards.
There are noted benefits to bringing to mind our values, so asking colleagues to recall their values for a moment as part of ethics and compliance presentations may be something you wish to consider incorporating in your presentations, as well as giving them an ethical reputation to live up to in your communications and awareness efforts, to help them shine.