Management

Sept. 11: Then and Now

Ten years later, the pulse of New York City is very much alive.

September 09, 2011
KEYWORDS center , federation , trade
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‘I felt like a New Yorker’

Rosenthal grew up in the New York metropolitan area (Newark), and attended graduate school in New York City. After spending time in Connecticut and Washington, D.C., he returned to the city in 1980 to get married.

“But in the back of my mind, there was a sense that this was temporary; that when the daughter we had in 1981 finished elementary school we’d move somewhere else; maybe to Washington. But that didn’t happen.

“After 9/11, I felt like a New Yorker for the first time,” he continues. “It became quite clear that for many of us, this is where our fate was. And that feeling has persisted.”

Many people left New York after Sept. 11, believing the city would never be the same. And it has changed, Rosenthal says, but in many positive ways.

The downtown area where the Federation currently resides has been revitalized with both new buildings and older structures converted to luxury housing.

The crime rate fell following Sept. 11 and has remained at historic lows. And the city’s population has grown to a level unseen in a half century or more.

“The pulse is very much alive in New York,” Rosenthal says. “It was extremely painful to watch the crippling [antics] among the various interest groups and real estate developers fighting over the rebuilding of the trade center. It was frustrating, embarrassing, and outrageous.

“But now the trade center has risen to more than 70 stories, and is adding a story per week, if not more. And the memorial will open this Sunday. So there’s a tremendous amount of activity.”

He likens Sept. 11 and its aftermath to a volcano that covers everything in its path. “Eventually, there’s new growth through the volcanic soil. You can’t ignore the scars, but you certainly see new life. To some degree it feels like that.”

Rosenthal plans to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in October during a meeting with the Federation’s board. The organization’s new offices bring it still closer to the World Trade Center, but the group isn’t concerned about the potential safety risks.

“We feel pretty confident about the level of security here,” he says. “We’re very close to it—just a few minute walk away. We don’t live our lives in fear of what could happen again. We’ve had to be resilient. And for the most part, we are.”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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