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Valentine's Day at Work: Business Leadership Speaker Mary C. Kelly Shows How Businesses Can Appreciate Employees and Co-Workers

DENVER, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Valentine's Day is not just for the romantically inclined! It is a time for business leaders and managers as well as co-workers to recognize people for their kindness, support, and work the rest of the year.

"Virtually no one feels over appreciated at work," said Mary C. Kelly, a business leadership keynote speaker and author of the award-winning book, "Master Your World: 10 Dog-Inspired Leadership Lessons to Improve Productivity, Profits and Communication." The book recently received the "Pinnacle Book Achievement Award as Best Book in the Business Category by the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.

"This lack of appreciation is due to increased demands on managers, more regulations that require more compliance measures, and a project management system that rewards outcomes," said Kelly, a retired Navy Commander, who presents speeches and consults with companies and associations for leadership and management.

"Study after study shows that recognition for doing something well at work, not money, is the top motivator of employee performance," she said. "While retailers are exhibiting all kinds of ideas to show appreciation for romantic relationships, chances are you spend more awake time with the people you work with than your sweetie."

Kelly offers these Valentine's Day office activities to make the workplace a little sweeter and show your workplace people some love.

  1. Install a white board in a common area called the Gratitude Board or the Wall of Thanks. Encourage employees to write short notes to thank each other on the board. Take a picture of the board on Friday and print the picture for everyone who was mentioned that week. Start over each Monday. (This works well for shift workers too, when sometimes it is hard for people to connect.)
  2. Have a fun workday theme and contest, such as "Colorful Sock Day" where no one wears shoes that day at work.  This works best when the CEO wears outrageous socks and prominently walks around displaying Mickey Mouse toes.
    Winner of the "Colorful Sock Day" gets awarded with, of course, socks. Customers, by the way, think this is hilarious.  If you are a retail store, extend the appreciation and include a pair of wild socks with every purchase.
  3. Scheduling a meeting during lunch? Provide lunch!
  4. Post a thank you note on someone's door, computer screen, or cubicle.
  5. Say thank you. Sincerely, honestly, and for a specific action or behavior. Better, say thank you with a handwritten card.

"There is no one singular action or activity that will motivate everyone, but sometimes just being thanked goes a long way," said Kelly.

About Mary C. Kelly

With over 20 years of leadership experience and a diverse background leading teams in the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Mary Kelly makes productivity and leadership a reality for all levels of an organization. She trained over 40,000 military personnel and led multi-cultural teams in 11 countries.

Dr. Kelly delivers tools that increase productivity and profits.

She is a renowned leadership coach, speaker and author, specializing in maximizing available resources. She has extensive experience in human resources, finance, insurance, organizational leadership, and project development.

She is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and spent over 20 years on active duty in intelligence and logistics. She has masters' degrees in history and economics, and a PhD in economics.

She is the author of 10 books, including Master Your World.