As it appeared in the daily nation of October 20th 2015
by Lucy Kiruthu
Happy Mashujaa day! It is yet another day to celebrate our country’s heroes fondly referred to as Mashujaas. Several years ago the only heroes that showed up during the Mashujaa day celebrations were the freedom fighters. However, this has since changed. Today across the country athletes will be celebrated. In my village in Nyeri where we started the “Shujaa Wetu Awards” 4 years ago we will be celebrating Gachatha coffee factory for best coffee. The leading coffee farmers will be feted too at a ceremony to be held at Wamagana Stadium. Who are you honouring this Mashujaa day? Who is your hero? Who will be our heroes 100 years from now?
For some their hero is a father or a mother, for others it is a sister or a brother yet for many others their heroes are renowned public figures, musicians, footballers, movie stars, politicians and the like. However, we often forget to acknowledge our everyday heroes. They are all around us in our families, at our workplaces and in our communities. These are the people who selflessly give of their time and effort in the service of others. Some put their life at risk when helping in times of calamity. Others are the A performers at work; you know they will get the job done. Others are parents, a spouse, a sibling or a friend that we can always count on to be at our service. Our everyday heroes are all around us; why don’t we celebrate them as often as we should?
In our offices we have many heroes or don’t we? How many of our organizations have taken time to plan their own Mashujaa day activities to celebrate their own heroes today? For many, Mashujaa day is just another holiday when we stay away from work and the everyday hassle of getting to and from work. It is the day when we relax and catch up with family and friends. It is the day we finally get to do some task that has been pending. Why don’t we celebrate our everyday Mashujaa in our own ways on this day? Why can’t we make this day the day when a shujaa dad, a shujaa wife, a shujaa colleague is celebrated.
As the customer service community, we have many everyday service heroes. These are the staff who tirelessly work in the frontline day in, day out. They interact with all unique customers in all sorts of business without losing their cool. We celebrated them during CSWeek2015 and we celebrate them once again because they remain our everyday heroes.
We need not wait for Mashujaa day or for #CSWeek2016 to celebrate our everyday heroes. We can celebrate them every day through a well structured reward and recognition program and during every day interactions. This reminds me of one of the traditions we had at the start of every shift at Wal-Mart stores. Every day, we had a session to celebrate everyday heroes. We would write a name of a colleague on a piece of paper and drop it off or simply share how a colleague went out of their way to assist the previous day. There were lots of chocolate bars and thank you cards to celebrate one another everyday! Let us celebrate lots of Mashujaas this day and everyday!
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy