There was an episode in the TV show Friends where Joey and Phoebe debate the fact that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. I’m sure that there are some people reading this who’ll remember the episode I’m referring to (go on, admit it, there's a bee in it) and It is pretty sad that many of my cultural references can go back to ‘Friends’ but I’m firmly of the opinion that a good deed is a good deed whether or not it is selfless or selfish. That is why when I read an article in the Sunday Times yesterday about being a work ‘cheerleader’ it made me feel really positive. I firmly believe that if you think someone is doing a good job at work you tell them or/and (perhaps even better) you tell their boss.
A positive work environment is something that we all long for and employee engagement can be massively bolstered by a culture that encourages supportiveness rather than one-upmanship. Being a ‘cheerleader’, as the article suggests, is when you champion others’ abilities and successes. It could be anything from a compliment to unsolicited feedback during appraisal periods. A few kind words here and there can make a massive difference to people’s attitudes and perceptions of their immediate working life.
More importantly, It is also about getting over our own self-doubt. It can sometimes take someone else to say ‘why aren’t you putting yourself forward for that new position, you know you could do it’? We all need a bit of a mental push on occasion to help us achieve more than we feel we are able to do ourselves. So in the midst of a dank and dark January, we could all try and push the good deed forward, maybe be someone else’s cheerleader - it may not seem like a big thing to you but it could make the world of difference to a colleague, friend or team member.