I’m Bringing My Preschool Attitude To Work


April 14, 2009

Times are tough everywhere- that’s not even news anymore.  Companies are thinking more about cost saving measures and how to save jobs and avoid layoffs.  There is less and less money available to recognize employees.  Because of this, leaders are trying to find creative ways to reward employees and increase motivation. 

I, too, have been coming to work and trying to keep a positive attitude.  Trying to motivate myself.  Trying not to worry that each day may be my last in my role at a job I love.  It’s an ongoing challenge.  Today, I was dropping my five year old twins off at preschool when it hit me.  I NEED TO BRING A PRESCHOOL  ATTITUDE TO WORK.  Let me explain.

Each day when my kids arrive at school, they are greeted by their peers with hugs and squeals of delight.  It’s “I’m SO happy you’re here”, and “Good morning!  I’ve been waiting for you.”  This is accompanied by hugs all around.  The parents and I just smile and feel good that we’re leaving our kids at a place they enjoy coming to.

So, this happened again this morning.  That’s when I thought, I’m going to do this at work today.  Let me tell you, I work in a human resource department that is quite conservative.  We have our fun, but it is typically a quiet work environment where people tend to stay in their offices. 

Well, I walked in and the first person through my office door was my administrative assistant.  She said her typical good morning.  I responded with a VERY warm good morning.  I then asked if I could hug her.  She looked at me oddly, but agreed.  As I hugged her, I told her I was really glad I work with her.  You should have seen the smile on her face.

I didn’t stop there.  I walked to the office next door and hugged two more colleagues.  I sincerely told them that I enjoy working with them.  I headed toward our kitchen.  Again, each colleague I encountered, I hugged or patted on the arm and told them how much I enjoy working with them.  I continued this throughout the day.

I had a few colleagues come by and request a 2nd and 3rd hug throughout the day.  I had one colleague tell me that I hugged her right before an important meeting she was not looking forward to and that my hug made a difference in her attitude so her meeting went well. 

I know it’s not much of a scientific experiment, but look at the impact even one person can have on employee morale in an office. 

So, I challenge anyone reading this blog to bring YOUR preschool attitude to work and see how much better your day is.

More soon….





  • We do this where I work all the time and the effects are pretty amazing. Keep it going, the rest will eventually reciprocate! 🙂

  • Thanks Eva. I had such a good day because of it I will definitely keep it going. Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate it.

    • It was an honor working with you Gwen. I miss all our HR strategy sessions and us setting the world on fire! Sorry to hear about your colleague. I’ll call you.

  • Can I come and work for you? Because my sandbox doesn’t appreciate a cheerful smile and a helping hand. But I keep giving it to them anyway. That way they wonder what I’m up to.

  • Leila – Keep it up! Some of us appreciate your attitude and helpfulness, even if we aren’t within hugging distance!

    As for me, I won’t be hugging anyone around here either . . . but do what I can to leave them happier than I found them.

  • Reading your entry was like getting a virtual hug! Those of us who are unemployed and looking for work need to remember to keep the spirits up too. You’re message is as timely for me as it was for some of your co-workers.

  • You do realize that this makes me very said I no longer work for you…

    I will say that you are definitely right, having been on the receiving end of a lot of care and concern from collegues this week as I dealt with the death of a well-liked manager on one of my teams. People who called to check up on me and to see how I, personally, was feeling and dealing with the situation. I will say, it made me feel incredibly lucky to work with so many wonderful people.

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A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.




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