“Spiderperson!” he shouted from across the office.
I can still picture it, even all these years later.
I was standing up in my cubicle looking over across the vast cube walls to the far side of the room as our HR director passed through, saw me and called out his nickname for me.
I laughed, partly because of the name, but also because it didn’t seem to matter to him that I was most of the way on the other side of the large office. He was still going to give me a shout out.
To give a little background, I played pick-up basketball with our company and earned the name spiderman for my ability to… actually I can’t quite remember why, other than I was quick and could get to the basket with the ball.
Somehow or other, the name spiderman came about.
And from there, our HR guy Matt decided that I would be a more general “spiderperson”
And on that day, as he did quite often while passing through on the far side of the office, he said hi or gave a shout-out to anyone he saw peeking their heads above the cube walls. It didn’t matter if they were a few feet away or on the other side of the room.
What he didn’t know was that, for me, that really meant a lot. As one of the newer guys there, to get a shout out from Matt made me feel valued and one of the team.
I say all of this to challenge you as a business leader to make the extra effort to help your team members feel included and valued. Even if it means something kind of crazy like having a conversation across a busy office with a single person.
Maybe you have a person or two in mind that could use that kind of a connection with you. Look for ways to give them a little boost or find a fun nickname for them.
Then shout it out across the office for all to hear… just like Matt did all those years ago.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode. You can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.