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“Looking Good, Salene”- Why You Should Root for Your Employees

May 14, 2012

 See me reading this blog post on a VLOG- a video blog on YouTube (my first one).  Click here to watch.

Last  Sunday I atttempted to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. There were 25,000 runners and 1,000’s of spectators.  I was taken aback by the impact of having so many spectators on my race time.  I felt compelled to write about it.

For the Pittsburgh Marathon, the specators had placards, posters and tshirts with their runners’ names and faces on them and witty, clever,  or inspirational quotes.  As you run the bridges, you hear cow bells, horns, noise makers of all sorts.    There were live bands every two miles.  All to pump up the runners, inspiring them to keep plowing forward in the heat.

One may ask, does all this hooting and hollering even make a difference?

Supporters also lined the streets and held out their hands to get high fives from the runners.  Someone even had a sign that said “free high fives”.  I indulged when I had the breath and energy to do so.

With a tight schedule in the last few months/years, I had not trained properly for this race.  In fact, the most I had run in the last three years was 5 miles, once.   I didn’t tell many people I was running this race.  I had no friends or family there.   I was unsure if I could actually finish this one.

As I was running, to my surprise, most of the supporters seemed to be cheering for all of us.  With feet dangling, they were lined up on almost every bridge.

As I rounded mile 2, a stranger read my name on my bib and said, “Looking good, Salene.”  I was stunned.  How did she know my name?  Did she really look at me that closely?  If only this stranger knew how inspirational she was to me.  I was running and this crowd was watching.

I also wore a visor with the West Virginia Univesity logo on it.  Over and over fellow WVU alumni kept hollering at me… “Let’s go, Mountaineer.” It was crazy.  These total strangers kept motivating me.   The beats of the bands, the rings of the bells, pushed me forward.

I finished the race and beat my last half-marathon time (3 years ago).   I was even  close to matching the first half-marathon race time I had ever run, for which I trained 9 months.  Both of the last two races were on the Montour trail, an isolated flat, wooded chip trail along which there no spectators.

Thanks to all those strangers who pushed me on.  Your support was heard, even though you may have thought that your voices were not making a difference; they were.

BUSINESS OWNERS- So we all hear about employee recognition.  Some of us may even watch Undercover Boss.  Do you recognize the contributions that your employees make?

  • Do you ever take the time to  “watch” your employees”?
  • Do you ever give them gifts  unexpectedly for a job well done?
  • How you recognize an extraordinary effort?
  • Are you specific in your praise?
  • Do you know all of your employees’ names from the copy boy on up (I think this is all-important!).

If you think praise, support, and encouragement fall on deaf ears, think again.  Encourage your employees in the smallest of ways.  Let them know you are watching and rooting.  Trust me; it will help you push your company across the finsh line.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. theContractsGuy permalink
    May 19, 2012 1:19 am

    Congrats on running the race. The support of the crowd is indeed awe inspiring.

  2. July 31, 2012 2:19 pm

    Great job Salene! I ran the half last year and the full this year. I found the same thing helpful as I heard my name from random strangers along the course!

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