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The power of appreciation

HP management associate program participant

The power of appreciation

I recently returned to work full-time as an HR Management Associate after spending last summer being a MAP intern.

The HR Management Associate Program

The MAP is a program comprised of 3 rotations in various HR disciplines, and 2 more in a business area outside of HR. I worked on a project within HP’s Talent & Learning organization, which handles everything from instructional learning design and management of our HP Brain Candy social learning platform to talent and performance management.

HP Garage with employees

The full-time MAPs, interns, alumni, and managers hanging out at the Garage in Palo Alto, CA

Many wonderful stories sprouted from my summer internship, but one particular moment cemented an already growing realization that HP’s culture is special, one where things that might be exceptions at other companies are the norm.

I had the opportunity to meet my internship manager, Sara Rice, and the team I worked on, at a face-to-face meeting at our Boise office.  It’s hard to shake the feeling that everything that happens in an internship is some sort of ‘test’, so I was decidedly nervous. It was nearing the end of the summer, and while I had numerous interactions with everyone on a virtual level, I was anxious about making a good impression.

At our very relaxed team dinner the first night, my manager did something for all of us that I will never forget. For each of us, Sara prepared handmade and handwritten ‘quote cards’ with uniquely individual quotes that she felt best represented who we were.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a single drop.”

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a single drop.”, read mine, a quote from Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi. The entire team was touched. It was a beautiful way to kick off the week, and an important moment for me as an employee.

It was so special to not only be recognized for the work I’d done but appreciated for the person I am. It filled me with confidence. I was less nervous, less worried, and more engaged and eager for the work to come. It made me want to work even harder, and avoid complacency.

Appreciation and recognition have an impact that vastly outweighs any cost of taking such action. It’s so important to recognize and appreciate employees, to make it known that the hard work, the early conference calls, and the many revisions that go into the amazing experiences we create at HP do not go unnoticed. My experience is something I will always remember fondly. I will take with me into my career, and, if I ever have the privilege of managing people, use as a model for what recognition can do for a person.

I believe that what Sara did for the team is not the exception, but the norm here at HP.  And I urge anyone, manager or not, to take the time to thank the people you work with. To let them know that their work and individual worth is appreciated. Think about your own experiences being recognized and how they made-and, hopefully, continue to make- you feel. We create special experiences at HP and it’s vital that we create those experiences not just externally, but for each other as well.

Author: Kyle Schamberger, HR MAP.

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