We often forget how important and valuable we are – especially when life and work are hectic.  I wanted to share some thoughts I’d had on the value of you as a colleague, employee and person – and some ideas on how we can all contribute to creating a more meaningful and happier workplace.

Sometime ago I attended a leadership training and team building course with a group of colleagues – all senior managers within the business I worked for at the time.  The course was residential and lasted a couple of days, everyone attending had given up some of their personal time and all had busy jobs so being on the course instead of in the office meant they may end up giving up a little more personal time to catch up later.

During the course and our first evening together we shared information with each other about ourselves and our lives, we learnt a lot of new things even though many of us had worked together for a while.

It struck me how much people had sacrificed in order to attend the course – they had young families at home, partners, pets, older relatives they cared for, voluntary roles – and they were spending their time on our business (and, yes, their careers) instead of with those they loved and cared for.

During the course we had to do a short “leadership speech”.  For me it was only natural to talk about and recognise the value of the people I worked alongside, particularly as I was very aware of the sacrifices made by my colleagues to be on the course as well as how, each day, people in our business went the extra mile.

I hope it is natural for all of us – leaders, managers, supervisors and colleagues – to talk about and care about the value and importance of ourselves and those we work with.  So, I thought I would share my short leadership speech with you and I hope you like it:


“We all know how important it is to fairly reward employees.

We do, don’t we?

Benchmarking, banding, salary reviews – we all know about them, don’t we?  And they are important.

But for what people give us, what we all give – how can we truly reward?

Look at each other for a moment.

You are here, now, giving your time.  And what is your time?

It’s the most precious thing you have.  It’s your life.

This moment of your life is now gone, you will never get it back.

Right now you are giving to me, each other, our trainers, the business – you are giving your life.

That is priceless.

No money can compensate for what you are giving right now.  For what your teams and colleagues give.

But together there is something we can give in return, something that recognises that value.

We can give a good job – so that people have a chance of doing a good job.

And we can give a reason for doing it that makes the heart of each person sing.

And we can recognise the efforts and time and life being given by each person we work alongside.

We can give fulfilment and recognition, praise and opportunity.

We can give our time in return for the life being given to us, to our business.  That is reward.

We can add to each person’s life experience, and in doing so we add to our own.

Let’s make a place where we all know why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Why we’re giving our life.

Let’s make a place where it’s safe to experiment, safe to mess up….because we’ll work it out together.

Somewhere we put our money where our mouth is and remain true to our values – even when the chips are down.

Let us be people, leaders, colleagues, who show that we work with human beings, not human doings – not machines.

That we respond to the call of each person we work with – that call that says:

I’m alive – acknowledge me

I’m trying – appreciate me

My intentions are true – believe in me

We can reward the life given by each person here.  By the horses and husbands and children and dogs behind each and every one of us.

We can show that we truly know how priceless that is.”