Monthly Archives

October 2021


By | Team Sanova

NEW YORK, (October 22, 2021) – Signe Pihlstrand, SanovaWorks Vice President

What do employees want? Other than summer Fridays? They want to feel appreciated at work. They want to feel important, to their team, to their manager, to the company. One way to do this is with feedback.

Feedback vs. being office buddies

Feedback is the most important aspect of employee growth. It’s not difficult to implement a process for feedback. And, you likely think you are giving feedback but you aren’t–at least as far as your employees are concerned. Being friendly or becoming office buddies with your team is not the same thing. Having a great relationship with your employees is great, but that’s not feedback. Managers often make this mistake and think because everyone gets along so well, that employees know they are appreciated, and they aren’t getting the feedback for growth they want and deserve.

There have been countless studies and surveys on it – employees say they want more meaningful feedback, more interaction with their managers on how they are doing, whether it’s positive or constructive. Engaged employees want to know the same things, no matter where they work. How am I doing at my job? How does what I’m doing matter to the company? Is my manager happy with my performance?

Appreciation is key

The common denominator is appreciation. When an employee feels appreciated, and that their performance and contributions are recognized, that employee is more likely to feel content at their job. Money and perks may get an employee in the door, but that feeling of contentment is what keeps them in your company.

Our managers are encouraged, and instructed, as part of our management program, and as part of employees’ development, to give regular feedback to their employees, both positive and constructive. Remember, constructive feedback is important, to not only steer in the right direction, but to show that you are invested and notice what they are doing – that you care about their development in their careers, and as part of the company.

Company culture as an environment of appreciation

Additionally, we try to foster an environment where people appreciate each other. We’ve created a company culture that feels like we are all connected and support each other. We encourage celebrating being a great employee. Getting shout-outs on Yammer, and being acknowledged for something you did, and knowing your manager knows, is a great feeling we like to give our Team.

How does your company promote an appreciative environment? Are your managers providing enough feedback to their teams? Are you?

Tip: If you’re not in the habit – start! Hint: a huge key to good feedback is being specific. Yes, “Hey, just wanted to let you know you did a great job on Project X” is terrific to hear. But, “Hey, that work you did on Project X was really amazing. Thank you for spending that extra time to outline all of those key points for the client. I really think that made the difference in the end.” sounds way better, doesn’t it? The more specific it is, the more impact it will have.

Try it now. Did one of your employees do something today that you were happy about? Or, did you hear about something really great that they did? Go and tell them.

All the best,


Signe Pihlstrand, SanovaWorks Vice President

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (October 8, 2021) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is always time to reflect on my personal experience. 

In 2014, I was diagnosed with stage 3 b metastatic breast cancer.  And because of my experience with meditation, I was able to walk into that journey with a strong and stable mindset that this was not necessarily a bad thing. At times I felt almost like a “cancer fraud,” because I was getting so much joy out of learning how to handle it in the best possible way. I showed up every day and learned what it was like to accept this thing that I had no control over.

I am a skier, and my meditation teacher Kadam Morten Clausen of the Kadampa Meditation Center New York City, often uses skiing as an analogy for our practice, because for an experienced skier, a bump, a mogul, is something you are looking for, the challenge that you want. So I went into this cancer journey with that skier mentality: that feeling of — “Isn’t this what you’ve been training for?” It was like the boots-on-the-ground experience of the big things we talk about in Dharma.  Sickness. Possibly dying. It really upped the ante, and I had to accept moment by moment what was happening.

I began to realize that most of the things we worry about haven’t actually happened. They are just thoughts in our minds. It’s like Mark Twain said, “I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.” So where can you be peaceful? In the clarity of your own mind, in the freedom and flexibility of this moment. We talk about “living in the now,” but having cancer gave me this real opportunity — this knowledge that if you truly live in the now, you won’t experience the suffering of things that haven’t happened. And it worked. It totally worked.  Now I’ve had no evidence of recurrence of the disease for a number of years, and I also don’t spend any time at all worrying about it.

In a way, finding a positive approach to dealing with cancer was like learning to do a breathing meditation. It’s on the same continuum. When you do a breathing meditation, you begin to realize, if I can hold my mind on the sensation of the breath for one moment, I can do it for five, or ten. And that peace starts to come in, and you know that it’s possible to be better than you are now. You can recognize that potential and gain that confidence in your own experience. So I was able to go into something of a much higher intensity than whatever crappy mind I had this morning when I did my breathing meditation — having those thoughts of, “what’s going to happen in the hospital today?”  — and I began to have that confidence, that knowledge that I could bring my mind away from that, back to the peace, back to the peace, back to my heart. Back to the clarity of my own mind.

A special thank you to my incredible medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. That team includes oncologist Dr. Shari Goldfarb and the team in oncology, my surgeon Dr. Monica Morrow and the team in breast surgery, all the chemo nurses, the people in radiation, imaging, and hematology. I’m so grateful for the care you provided then and the care I continue to receive.

Be well,