Words of appreciation can make a big difference

When Christians work hard, demonstrate initiative and operate with integrity in the workplace, not only do you become a valued employee, but you also position yourself to have greater influence for Christ.

That’s because competence creates credibility. People who command the greatest respect in the workplace are the ones who do the best work.

If you are a deadbeat at work — showing up late, leaving early, passing off responsibilities, trampling the rights of coworkers, abusing customers, griping to the boss about others and griping to others about the boss — nobody will listen to anything you have to say about anything, including the Gospel.

If you had something of monumental importance that you wanted to talk about with somebody at work, wouldn’t you go to the person who has demonstrated, through their performance at work, that they are trustworthy, competent, thoughtful, conscientious and sincere?

How we work is the first factor for influencing others in the workplace. The second factor is how we act. How do you act at work? Specifically, how do you treat other people? If we are seeking to mark lives for eternity, we need to be people builders.

People builders respect and encourage people. We respect people by honoring them. We place a high value on people. We give them the dignity they deserve as people who matter to God. That is often a missing ingredient in many workplaces, schools, churches and home environments.

In far too many case, there is more humiliation than honor in these settings. People are often sent messages, verbally and nonverbally, that they don’t matter. “Just do your job. Mind your own business. Be glad you have a job.”

Statements like these make people feel like they don’t matter, but God calls upon his followers to value, love and serve others. When we do that, people feel respected.

Do you know anyone at your work who needs to be encouraged? Here is a fool-proof way to determine if someone needs to be encouraged. Just see if they are breathing. If they have a pulse, they can use some encouragement.

Even a small gesture of kindness can make a big difference. And encouragement doesn’t have to be a line item in the budget. It’s simple and cheap. Follow the Golden Rule.

What would be a meaningful source of encouragement to you? Sometimes, it is as simple as someone acknowledging a job well done. Words of appreciation and affirmation can make a big difference.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].