Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Your Employees Are Big Kids- Reward Them!

Elizabeth related a funny story to me a few weeks ago.
Elizabeth is one of my employees, but she was sharing, over a few Colorado Bulldogs on my part, how she did such a good job for one of the companies, a hotel, that she worked for- the owner ran off and left her completely in charge of the whole operation! Elizabeth was only nineteen or twenty.
"Okie, Dokie. I am going to Calcutta now. See you later," the owner said.
Why'd he do that?
Because Elizabeth understood that the staff were big kids.
"So I started this sticker program."
"Stickers. You know, gold stars and silver stars and that kind of stuff?"
"Oh, right."
"You would not believe how much adults like stickers! I made a big chart so everyone could see it. I listed every one's name, you know. I had boxes by the different days, and if you did good that day, you got a star. If, for instance, I got a compliment on you by one of the customers, that was an automatic gold star! If you got your job done by a certain time, that was another gold star. At the end of the week, we'd total up the stars. "
By using stickers alone, Elizabeth was able to up the total level of employee performance, improve customer service, and even save the hotel money!
Everyone wanted stickers.
"And see, I had these two sisters, Mexican sisters. They had to outdo the other. They were so competitive you wouldn't believe it. They'd come in the break room and check out the chart and be all like, "Ooooh, girl. I don tink so... I going to jit a gole star and not chew."
I am fortunate beyond belief that Elizabeth works for me now. When I see her in a few minutes, I have something for her.
Appropriately, the picture on the card is that of an empty chair. I told her when she leaves in January, as she's going to Mexico for a few months, that just like this chair- very few people could ever fill it the way she does.

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