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Cheer Leadership Tip 12 - Sticky Note Sneak Play

This tip is so easy, yet so meaningful to the recipient. Hide a sticky note with a word of encouragement somewhere on your teammate’s desk—in a drawer, filing cabinet, under their printer lid, under their locker door or even on the computer monitor. You’ll be the highlight of their day! This is especially appreciated when someone is struggling or going through a tough time at work or at home. You don’t even need to sign your name to express this type of Cheer Leadership.

Don’t know what to say? Something as simple as “You’re doing a great job!” “We appreciate you!” or an inspiring quote or profound proverb will be sure to create a loyal fan (should you choose to sign it) with this little surprise! We’d love for you to email us ( your video of you hiding your “sneak plays” around the office. Better yet, catch someone on film finding that treasure! Of course, these were my favorite plays as a member of special teams!

Did you know that creating a culture of kindness in the workplace can reduce stress, foster teamwork and stronger relationships, increase health and well-being, and ultimately boost levels of engagement and loyalty?

Trudging into the office when you’re not getting along with your spouse or when you’ve been dealing with a sick family member is tough. The old saying of “leave your personal problems at home” is sometimes easier said than done. Perhaps you’re struggling with a large, complex project or working on securing a huge new account that could make or break this quarter’s numbers. All of these stressors can make focusing and concentrating on the tasks at hand difficult. Sometimes a small distraction is all you need to shift your mindset.

One simple way you as a team leader can provide that small distraction involves using a basic office supply - sticky notes! Imagine the smile that will come across your team member’s face when they walk into their workspace and see a handwritten note with an encouraging message! As an added bonus, this small act of Cheer Leadership also fosters a culture of kindness in the workplace, which can lead to increased energy levels, increased well-being, and more positive perspectives. In fact, one study found that people who were treated kindly at work repaid it by being 278% more generous to their coworkers. Behavior is contagious!

This week, I challenge you to open your desk drawer, take out a pen and pad of sticky notes, and start leaving messages for those on your team! Create a list of possible notes/messages so you have something to easily refer to if you start to draw a blank. Bonus points if you can pinpoint an employee who is struggling and could really use the extra encouragement and kindness. Share pics of your “sticky note sneak plays” with us by emailing!

FUN FACT: The idea for the Post-it note was conceived in 1974 by Arthur Fry as a way of holding bookmarks in his hymnal while singing in the church choir. He was aware of an adhesive accidentally developed in 1968 by fellow 3M employee Spencer Silver. No application for the lightly sticky stuff was apparent until Fry's idea. The 3M company was initially skeptical about the product's profitability, but in 1980, the product was introduced around the world. Today, Post-it notes are sold in more than 100 countries.


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