Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday Lunch Box

First, a small introduction about me as a preamble to the topic. I am widowed about two years ago when my wife died leaving behind me and our 8 months old daugther and 7 year old son. From then on I had a play a dual role at home (father and mother). As a conscious fat(mot)her I wanted to give the best to my children and to an large extent they should not miss anything b'cos of loss of their mother.

Now, let me come to my daugher who is 2.5 years now and for the last four-five months she is in a play school, spends about 3 hours everyday. Mostly only moms come in to the playschool, to drop the children, school function, trip, etc and I will be lone dad in those school events. How do I make my daughter feel she is special?

I have started making her lunch box slightly different every Friday, the same food (dosas, chappati, etc) is made in a different look and feel. I started designing dosas on the “tawa” and called it (atleast me and my daugher), areoplane dosa, girl dosa, star dosa, shapes, giraffe dosa, traffic light dosa, etc. This little thing has helped my daughter to eat at school (without getting fed by someone) and at the same time she is felt very special. In fact the school teachers are now looking forward for Jasmitha’s (my daughter) “Friday Lunch Box”

Drawing parallel into the corporate leadership world, do you think we need to make our people special? My view is “yes” and we can do this in a simple way, it need not be weekly, but can be yearly or on some events. One idea is to wish them on their anniversary, not only birthday and marriage, on the anniversary day of joining the organisation. We shoudn’t put a software and make “auto text” these wishes, it should be so special, write personal mails, it will be even great if you handwrite them a card or even in a piece of paper.

Let me give you some examples which I came across on making someone special.
- Last year one day I got a mail which said “three years to go” from an ex-colleague who used be one of my supervisor earlier. The meaning was, it is three years to go for me to complete 20 years in the Company. This leader made me so special that day.

- Few months ago, one of my colleague completed 15 years in Wipro. On that day I and my colleague from HR made a surprise visit to his house at 730am, wished him for his long 15 years in the company and thanked his wife and daughter with sweets and flowers for their support. He and his family felt very special.

- During our recent event in our company, I have noticed a group of ~25 people together chatting and taking a group photograph. It is their leader who clings on every opportunity to connect with his team and he used the event more memorable for his team. It is not a surprise that this leader is one of the Best People Manager last year.

Do you think making somemone special in corporate world helps in bonding to the organisation / person? Can you share with the group on some of simple things you have done to make people around you special and the occassions you have been made special by someone.

Thanks for reading this blog and your comments and now I need to think of what snacks for next “Friday Lunch Box” (any ideas for Friday lunch box are welcome)