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Jim’s Corner

Connectivity

Moms Matter Even More This Year

April 27, 2020
Jim with Mom for Mom's Matter Most This Year

You may have heard of our long-running program, “Mothers Who Matter Most”. This year, the campaign has evolved into “Moms Matter Even More This Year”. Why? Because this Mother’s Day will be different. Whether working remotely, serving on the front lines against the virus, or taking care of their grandchildren at home, moms are being called upon to do more than ever right now. You may not be able to be with the important mothers in your life and celebrate in person, but that doesn’t change the enormous role mothers play in the lives of our families and communities.

“Mothers Who Matter Most” began some thirty years ago when we received a heartwarming request. A peculiar envelope, printed in block letters, was sent to our Bayside, Queens, NY office with $16 and a note from a young man who wrote that while he’d certainly made mistakes in his life, his mother had always stood by him. With Mother’s Day approaching, he wanted to know if we could do something special for her. We, of course, sent her a beautiful gift and he was forever grateful. The letter moved all of us and inspired us to ask customers to share with us stories of the incredible mothers in their lives.

Jim & Chris with Mom

At one point, we were contacted by a producer from Leeza, an earlier version of today’s Ellen. This woman told us how touched she was by the stories. We ended up collaborating on a campaign where one of five finalists was featured each day the week leading to Mother’s Day, and several celebrity judges, including Jim, picked the winner. Every year, we look forward to reading through your entries and hearing about these wonderful women and the lives they touch. Continue Reading…

Connectivity

Gratitude for Administrative Professionals Week

April 21, 2020
How to show admin professionals gratitude

A Note From Our Founder, Jim McCann

The week ahead is an important one – Administrative Professionals Week. Believe me, it’s one we feel very strongly about here, and I want to tell you why.

To me, this week is an opportunity to celebrate the people in our professional lives who make things happen. As many of us transition to working remotely, some of these folks may be more out of sight than usual. But they should never be far from our minds. If anything, I suspect many of them are working harder than ever – setting up remote offices; coordinating schedules at a distance; keeping facilities clean and up and running for when normal hours resume.

I could never accomplish half of what I do – nor do it with a smile on my face – without the amazing work of my assistant, Patty. We’ve worked together for nearly 28 years. Patty, Jo, Lisa, Susan, Kim, Barbara, Tammy, Letty, Marilyn, Andrea and the other amazing administrative professionals at 1-800-Flowers.com are the people who just “make things happen” and we are all incredibly grateful.
How to show admin professionals gratitude

Show How Much You Care

Whether you have an administrative professional reporting to you directly or not, we all have people at our offices or workplaces who make the business run smoothly. Make sure you go out of your way to thank them this week and let them know what their work means to you.

I’d suggest we all learn from our 1-800-Flowers.com CMO, Amit Shah. During our all-team offsite meeting last summer in Long Island, NY Amit took half his time on stage to thank those individuals by name who make things happen at 1-800-Flowers.com. Hank and Edward in building services, Brian in the mailroom and Jeanne in reception. It was wonderfully moving and an example for us all.

The administrative professionals in your life may not be there when you walk in these days, nor walking the halls during your workday. So, make sure you go out of your way to thank them. Send a text. Make a phone call. Write an old-fashioned note. Make sure they know how indispensable they are – in these crazy times, more than ever.

Connectivity

Traditions Old & New

April 10, 2020
Jim's Corner, Old & New Traditions

A Note From Our Founder, Jim McCann

Many of us around the country are concluding our Easter celebrations or are in the midst of Passover. These will have been unique celebrations, with far fewer faces around the table. But we hope you kept traditions alive and have connected with your family and loved ones who couldn’t be there in person. Maybe you extended a few “virtual hugs,” like I did with my grandchildren.

Last week, I suggested we use this Holy Week to renew our faith, our relationships, and our commitment to our values. It’s important that we keep close to these sentiments as we face more weeks of social distancing and disrupted communications.

Jim's Corner, Old & New Traditions

Traditions old and new

I have been inspired by the kinds of activities people have been able to continue online, and the new digital rituals that have emerged. At our house, my wife, Marylou, always paints Easter eggs with our grandchildren. Obviously, that was not an option for this year. But we did manage to paint alongside our grandchildren on video chat. My friend, the author and entrepreneur Dave Kerpen, convened a digital Seder and kindly extended me an invitation. Continue Reading…

Connectivity

A Time to Reflect

April 4, 2020
A time to reflect by Jim McCann

A Note From Our Founder, Jim McCann

We are facing an unprecedented challenge. Our professional and personal lives have been upended. The way we work, study, socialize, worship and more will be different for some time yet. Unlike crises past, this is one that affects every one of our families.

A Time to Reflect

If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it is that we are being pushed into a heightened state of consciousness. I consider this kind of situation a “forcing function”. The term dates to the 19th century, but it’s most often used today, in user experience design, to describe a feature that prevents someone from taking action without giving it their explicit attention.

For me, a forcing function prevents us from living our lives on autopilot. By disrupting our normal rhythms, the virus is forcing us all to take a closer look at our lives. Some things that seemed important in our busy daily lives may no longer seem as critical. And now we may see more clearly the people and experiences that deeply matter.
A time to reflect by Jim McCann
Continue Reading…

Connectivity, Jim's Corner

Inspiration Through Words of Wisdom

March 26, 2020

Thoughts and Advice from
1-800-Flowers.com Founder Jim McCann

In these anxious times, I find it is sometimes comforting to look back to wisdom forged in crises past. Few captured our country’s amazing resilience as well as FDR. I was recently reminded of this often-overlooked passage from his fourth inaugural address in 1945. FDR shared these remarkable words with Americans looking to him for guidance. I hope his words inspire you, as they did me:

Continue Reading…

Connectivity

Making a Plan to Connect
with Friends and Family

March 24, 2020
staying connected tips by jim mccann

Thoughts and Advice from
1-800-Flowers.com Founder Jim McCann

“If there is one silver lining to this fast-unfolding crisis, it has been remaining in close contact with my immediate family. I am lucky in that my three grown children and grandchildren are all (relatively) nearby. Over the last four or five days, I’ve had many more conversations than usual with my son-in-law, my daughter, and my two sons. Even while I worry about what they’re feeling – anxiety, fear of the unknown – all this contact has made me feel better. Today, I suggested that we have a daily conference call for the four of us. We first tried it this morning. We talked about real things, no nonsense at all. It was reassuring and, I think, healthy. I heard their concerns, and we talked about problems and solutions, namely, what to do if someone gets sick.

I suggested previously that you think about the people in your life you want to connect with – or even connect with on a more regular basis – and divide them into four groups: friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. I urged you to develop a contact plan and get into the habit of checking in on a regular basis, for your benefit and theirs.

I also would encourage you to use the amazing new communication technologies available today – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. – to create regular group conversations among your family or specific groups of friends. If you have older folks in your circles who have never embraced a technology like that, do them a favor: Call them and walk them through setting it up. It will change their lives. In these anxious times, it’s more important than ever that they can see familiar faces as well.”

staying connected tips by jim mccann

Jim's Corner

Thoughts on Staying Connected from
Our Founder Jim McCann

March 19, 2020

“Against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve had four conversations with four different friends that were deeper, more emotional, and more honest than I can remember having had in the months that proceeded. The steps we take to keep ourselves safe – whether isolating or breaking up our normal routines – can also exacerbate our feelings of loneliness, even fear. Knowing we’re all experiencing these feelings in different ways is all the more reason to make the effort to connect. Here’s what I would suggest.

Jot down a list of people – even just three, four, or five – under the following headings: friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Develop a contact plan for the days and weeks ahead for those you should be reaching out to on a more regular basis. It could be an aunt who lives alone, or far away, that is taking this outbreak especially hard. It could be an older neighbor, or neighboring couple, who may be isolating as a precaution and may need help or just company. Some you may want to contact every day, some every week. These need not be long conversations – they can even be emails or tags on social media.

What I know is that this will make them feel better — and you, too. I certainly felt this with the friends I spoke to recently. They felt an empathetic release, and I did too. You’ll offer comfort to these friends, coworkers and relatives, and you may find benefit and greater intimacy that will, one day, pay dividends. At the end of this period – and rest assured, it will end – you will emerge with more, deeper, and better relationships.”