Do you ever feel like Clark Griswold or do you sometimes feel like Clark’s boss Frank Shirley?
While we may not be in the same situation as Clark and Frank, generosity in the workplace can go a long way. In Christmas Vacation, Clark was dependent on his boss’ generosity and Frank had no idea how his generosity affected others – until he was abducted by Eddie and stood in Clark’s shoes.
Generosity can take many different forms. It is not just about doling out financial rewards at the “end of the year” office party, generosity can be manifested all year round. Merriam-Webster defines generosity as “the quality of being kind, understanding, and not selfish”. The word “quality” means that this is something that becomes part of who we are, not who we are during the holiday season.
Also, they use three words to describe this quality: kindness, understanding, and unselfish. This means that it is not just about giving tangible items, while this may be one part. It can be giving of one’s time and knowledge to both staff members and clients/patients. Taking the extra time to train staff members to excel in their field. Providing a means (CE lectures, etc) to improve your staff’s knowledge base. Generosity can also be extended beyond your staff and current clients and infiltrate into the community. Does your business sponsor events in the community?
While one of the key principles of generosity is not expecting a return, no one can deny the way generosity permeates into the culture of an organization as the leadership team acts from this spirit of generosity. Expect others in your team to emulate this quality and it may even become infectious within your organization.
As the current year ends and a new year begins, think of different ways you can display generosity to both your staff and clients. I would propose that generosity should be more like the “jelly of the month club”, as spoken by Eddie: “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps giving the whole year”.
-Kevin Benjamino DVM, DACVS