A little appreciation goes a long way

On the eve of Thanksgiving, and as holiday celebrations begin all over the world, Virginie O’Shea, founder of Firebrand Research, reminds us of the importance of gratitude and appreciation as we near year-end.

Things are looking a bit grim for the industry and everyone else right now. We’re heading into a global recession, layoffs are in the cards for a lot of the fintechs and financial institutions (if they haven’t begun already), and rising living costs and energy shortages could mean a very bleak holiday period for some. That’s why it’s especially important to be thankful for what we do have, including our friends, families and colleagues.

The end of the year brings a lot of assessments – what went well, what didn’t and why? How could we have tackled this differently? What can we learn from this project or that proof of concept? And all of this introspection can and should include how we treated those around us. A little goes a long way, after all.

In the US, the latter half of this week will see many heading home for a family holiday celebration, and in Europe, thoughts have already begun to turn to the seasonal break at the end of the year. The endless Christmas adverts everywhere this time of year can’t help but make you think about it.

However, before we finish up for the year, it’s important to recognise those in the workplace that have helped to make our lives a bit better. And if the answer is that no one in our workplace merits such appreciation, then maybe the CV needs to be dusted off in January or a new opportunity pursued in a different part of the organisation.

Taking a little time to be thankful for the team mate that helped you deliver a project in the 11th hour, or the boss that championed your team in front of senior management is extremely worthwhile. Saying thanks and telling someone why you appreciated their support this year takes relatively little effort on your part but it can make a big difference to the other person. It might seem trivial, it really isn’t.

I think the pandemic caused a lot of us to realise the benefits of working alongside other people for at least some of the week. Bouncing ideas around with your work mates is a lot easier when they don’t have four legs and a tail, for example.

I’m a big fan of mindfulness and we definitely need more of that in our work lives. So, just a thought for some time this month or next, take some time to say thanks. Someone will be glad you did.