“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected“
This week I put in an unusual sixty hours alongside some of my team members. We all had a number of high pressured, time constrained deliverables:
A critical workload to migrate during one of our client’s busiest sales periods of the year. An important presentation, to wrap up some world first specialised training the Consegna team have been privileged to receive with AWS. And to top it off, a trip South from Auckland to meet with another client, after the 2am change the night before – with a “sleep-in” until 5am to catch the flight!
You often hear people on public transport griping about their job and how busy they are. They express how put out they are, how much of a personal burden it is and how much their job really sucks.
Me? I absolutely loved every minute of it!
How could this be possible you ask? Well here are the five reasons appreciation ensures everyone’s success.
Acknowledgement of effort
Friday afternoon we had to present to the country manager for AWS in NZ, and some of the top ANZ AWS Professional Services team.
Before we got started, the AWS country manager personally thanked us for taking part in the programme we’d been training in, and the massive effort we’d all put in on top of our regular client deliverables. I really appreciate the acknowledgement of effort, it underlined his leadership qualities, and he achieved all that simply with a heart-felt “thanks”.
The internal acknowledgement had well and truly been there, but to get this extra acknowledgement was greatly appreciated.
Having people’s trust
My team and I completed two 2am back-to-back changes after two busy days working well into the evening. We were at pains to make the migration to AWS services as seamless as possible. The pinnacle of the change – nobody even knew the site had switched services.
Our client was ecstatic, and the careful approach that we’d used paid off.
Changes of this nature in the middle of peak business activity are extremely challenging. It’s only ever possible when you have the absolute trust of your team and your clients. When problems occur, you can’t successfully solve them if people don’t trust in your skills, expertise and ability to solve them.
We were ultimately successful because even in the face of difficult circumstances, we had our client’s trust and we did everything in our power to validate that trust. Trust is a form of appreciation, and without it, you just can’t be successful.
Making a difference
Earlier this year AWS helped enable their partners and clients with the “Well Architected Review” (WAR) tool. This allows clients to work with AWS partners to review workloads and identify whether or not they are well architected to AWS best practice, and remediate in areas where they’re not.
Among the high pressure deliverables the team had this week, was a WAR with one of our key clients which I lead. The pivotal moment of that exercise arose when, towards the end of it we could all see that there was a lot of work to be done. The client’s team were in a challenging spot, but then this magic moment took place.
We articulated the following;
“What we have here is a great opportunity to get you to a much better place than you are now. There’s a number of small easy changes we can make, and they’re going to get you a long way towards being well architected. Not only that, operationally your lives are going to be a lot better with these things improved.”
The uplift of demeanour in the room was palpable, and they knew that what was being suggested was achievable. Appreciation doesn’t always come in the form of words. It also comes from the expressions on people’s faces when you are able to deliver workable solutions. It provides a deep sense of satisfaction in what you’re doing, because of the difference it’s making to others. Enabling us to deliver better outcomes for our clients.
Team and Management Support
When you put in big hours and deliver to tight schedules, having the backing of your leadership and entire team is critical to your success. Knowing that they’re there when you need them is one of the subtler, but more powerful forms of appreciation. It’s also the little things, like your MD buying you a triple shot coffee because he knows you need it!
At Consegna we have a stellar team of people. People who are there even on their day off to support you, just to make sure things go smoothly. That’s true commitment.
It’s a two way street
This week was unusual. We have no interest in our team burning out from long hours, and it was me having to convince my MD and COO that I was OK. If anything I was buzzing and thriving on one of the busiest weeks I’ve had this year.
Some of the deliverables I’m not sure how I managed. Like putting together a slide deck after a 10 hour day, and still having the energy to present it the next day. Delivery is what we care about at Consegna, and that’s what we’d all been so busy with. Delivering great outcomes for our clients.
Appreciation is quite simple at the end of the day. We get well looked after at Consegna by a committed senior leadership team who have the team and our clients at the forefront of their minds. It’s a necessary two way street. You step up when you need to, and get looked after from end to end.
Personally I don’t see value in time-in-lieu or trying to account for all the time I’ve put in this week. I do it because I care and I love what I do! We get looked after well with team dinners and events, participation and inclusion in specialist AWS training. With fantastic office locations, facilities, and flexible working conditions. We also get all expense paid trips to key events like the AWS Summits and APN Ambassador events. These allow us to expand our knowledge and further hone our skills for the business.
When appreciation flows both ways success is inevitable. With delivery a focal point at Consegna, appreciation and trust in our team is what makes us a success.