I used to work in a customer service/sales call center when we first moved to Colorado. It was a low-paying job, but I needed the work since I had three young un’s to feed. It was also a big adjustment since the job I left in New York was a professional position working at a college. Quite a step down, but a necessary one at the time.
Why Greetings Build Relationships
Something that made the job more tolerable were relationships with co-workers and especially my supervisor. Her name was Kathy Mutz. Kathy made an effort every day at the start of her shift to walk the aisles and stop by each station to say hello to the rep working there. She’d wait until we had finished our customer call, then ask how our day was going and if we had any questions she could answer.
Her greeting, along with a cheerful smile did a lot to brighten the day and put us in a positive mindset. It also helped to foster a sense of connection, which strengthened the relationship. No doubt she benefitted as well, knowing that most supervisors care about how they get along with subordinates. For my part, it felt good to be recognized. There were hundreds of people in that call center and she probably had 40 people on her team to greet.
When I became a supervisor in another call center, my team numbered over 100 in our busy season. There was no way I could have made it around to that many people at the start of every shift, but remembering Kathy’s achievement, I made an effort to greet as many as possible. Typically, I’d hear a greeting and see a smile in return.
At home, welcoming my husband when he’d come back from work is a habit. I’d spring up from where I was seated in my office, just like a bunny rabbit, then give him a big bear hug and plant a kiss on him before he got too far inside the doorway. One night he said, “Coming home to you is such a joy.” I couldn’t have guessed how important my greeting was to him until he said that.
The Importance of Saying a Warm Goodbye
Saying goodbye is just as important. We never know when it’s the last time we might see someone, whether it’s a co-worker or a loved one. And if you’ve ever left a job, you know how nice it is for people to make an effort to give you a warm send-off. When my daughter, who’s an assistant store manager, was transferred to a different store, she was touched when co-workers brought in a cake and gave her a goodbye card. They said she would be missed and wished her well in her new assignment. It made a big impression on her.
When I visit my 91 year old parents, I try to burn the memory of our last few minutes into my brain should I want to recall those moments in the future. Saying goodbye to elderly loved ones takes on a great deal of importance knowing your times together are precious and likely more limited than with others.
Greetings and goodbyes are no-cost opportunities to build relationships. It only takes a few moments to make someone’s day. You will build fond memories by these small gestures and no doubt will also benefit immensely by making the effort.