by Lynette Silva
My father died last month. It was unexpected. Stroke, caused by an underlying brain tumor. While trite, it is true it’s a blessing he went fairly quickly and didn’t suffer long. But I’m not sharing this with you for sympathy. I’m taking the opportunity to express my appreciation to the medical staff at UnityPoint Health – Methodist in Peoria, IL.
When my dad first fell ill, we expected a full recovery fairly quickly. Then complications set in. He spent a total of two weeks in the hospital, most of it in the Intensive Care Unit. My family is the type that just moves in when one of us is in the hospital. The ICU nurses were very accommodating of our need to be by my dad’s side for the duration. We came and went in shifts (never exceeding the 2 visitors at a time rule), but someone was always there, trying to stay out of the way of the nurses and help whenever we could.
Every single nurse, nurse assistant, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, doctor and staff member was not just accommodating, but comforting and concerned. Not just for my dad’s health and well-being as their jobs required, but for that my mother, my sister and myself as well. One nurse even called me directly when the worst happened to be sure my mom wouldn’t have to leave my dad’s side. That is above-and-beyond. That is true care.
So, today, I’d like to say thank you to the staff of Unity Point Health Methodist. To the ER doctors and nurses, to the ICU team, to the surgical recovery floor staff where my dad had a brief respite between ICU stays, thank you. You made a difficult, horrible experience a bit more bearable.
I’d also like to encourage you to take a moment today to think about those outside your workplace who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Perhaps it’s family members or friends who sustain you in hard times. Perhaps it’s the people at your place of worship. Or maybe it is your medical provider who helps you sustain body, mind and soul. In honor of my dad, I ask you to take a few minutes, reach out, and thank those people, too. Then think about the people you interact with as you run the regular errands of your life – grocery store, gas station, banking, vet, etc. These people are at their place of work when you encounter them, but may not be getting the recognition and appreciation they deserve. Some comments back on blog posts show how true this is in some of the most unexpected places. I’ve heard from readers that recognition and appreciation for people who work in places of worship are particularly lacking, for example.
And recognition at work – from colleagues or customers – is very powerful. It contributes to a more thoughtful, empathetic and caring environment, like what I experienced at UnityPoint Health – Methodist. In my two weeks there, I regularly observed staff helping each other, thanking each other, supporting each other. And I experienced it in a very personal way here at Globoforce. As I went through a difficult, highly personal time, my colleagues were also my friends. Yes, they took over the work that needed to be done, but they also spent personal time reaching out to me and offering support. Our culture of appreciation helps make day-to-day efforts easier – as it smooth over the bumps that we all go through. I am very thankful, too, for my friends at work and their continuing support. I experienced first-hand what our latest Workforce Mood Tracker revealed – just how important friends are at work – as we spend more time with them than our family. Recognizing and appreciating each other – noticing each other – builds those deep bonds that sustain us.