What do you remember and celebrate?

Today is the 21st day of September and you likely know there’s a popular song by Earth, Wind, and Fire about this day. It’s a song I frequently hear at wedding receptions and one that my family celebrates while “crazy dancing” around our kitchen with the music blaring!

When I took the Dale Carnegie Course in my early twenties, my instructor was an older man named John Graham. For several years after I completed the course, John would send me a card on my birthday. It made a big impact on me, and inspired by John’s act of kindness, I started tracking birthdays of friends and family, work colleagues, and clients.

Several years ago, I happened to call a past client on the 10th anniversary of the day she had hired me to speak at her conference. I didn’t realize that it was the anniversary until I was dialing her number. When she picked up the phone, I said, “Happy Anniversary!”

There was a long pause on the other end of the phone before she replied with, “Who is this?”

I said, “Hi Karen, it’s Tim Richardson and it was 10 years ago today that we worked together on your conference in Tulsa.”

We went on to have a nice conversation catching up on each other’s lives. Toward the end of the call Karen said, “My conference is 3 weeks away and one of my keynote speakers just cancelled. By any chance, are you free on August 17th?”

Since August is often one of the slower months in the speaking profession, I was totally free but decided to play it cool. I said, “Let me check my calendar,” as I put Karen on hold.

Then I stood up from my desk and did a little celebration dance before reconnecting with Karen to tell her I was available. Karen and I now talk at least twice a year – on her birthday and the work anniversary of when she first hired me.

It’s important to remember and celebrate significant events and not just because you might get business from it as I did due to a serendipitous call. Birthdays, anniversaries, and successes should be celebrated. With very little effort and a good CRM or calendaring system, start tracking birthdays and work-related anniversaries if you aren’t already doing so.

Employee engagement and employee turnover are a big concern in today’s workplace. Finding opportunities to remember milestones to celebrate and regularly showing appreciation are more important than ever. People are motivated by recognition and most organizations don’t give enough praise and appreciation.

With a little discipline, you could easily recognize important events. Below are some ideas to prime the pump:

–       Thank you for eight loyal years of service to our organization – Happy work anniversary!

–       It was four years ago today that we landed our biggest account. I appreciate your role in making that happen.

–       Our successful product launch happened on this day in 2016. We couldn’t have made it happen without your help – thank you so much!

–       When I think of epic sales presentations, I remember the one you gave two years ago that earned the highest commission our sales team has ever received. Way to go!

–       On September 21st last year, we received the highest customer compliment that I can ever remember receiving. It was your hard work in turning a difficult situation around that made the difference. I am so grateful you are on our team!

 May this day, the 21st day of September, can be yet another calendar reminder of how important it is to recognize success on your team and perhaps inspire a little “crazy dancing”.

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