- Look at your business card. Does it have anything distinctive about it?Is there anything that represents you as a unique human being? If not, turn it over and add something on the Human level such as a quotation, a sticker, a motto, or a graphic or picture of something you love.
- Have a contest with employees — “If my company/ department were a T-shirt, this is what it would say. . . . ” Then have them actually design the shirt. Photograph or videotape the results.
- Collect drawings from employee’s children or grandchildren of “What my Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa does at work.” Compile these into a company booklet or display them for customers to enjoy.
- Send a handwritten note to at least one customer a day.
- Keep a bulletin board in your office of pictures of regular customers and their families. Send birthday cards to them on their special day.
- When people in your organization first turn on their computers, have a message of the week such as a quotation on customer service, personal growth, something humorous, or even the birthdays of employees during that week.
- Put a specially wrapped package of M & M’s (or any other candy which might represent your company) in every package you ship out with a note saying, “We’re glad you’re our customer.”
- For an all-company celebration, in small groups creatively dramatize significant events from the year or from the company’s history or even a company legend. These can be presented either live or videotaped.
- Collect company legends and success stories on video or audiotape. If possible, interview the employee or the customer to whom they happened.
- Once a month encourage the senior managers to do something creative for all employees or for employees in their divisions: cook them breakfast, bring around an ice cream cart, serve them doughnuts and coffee, wash the windshields of their cars as they arrive at work.
- Add a personal signature to your work to differentiate yourself from all the others who do the same work as you. (My personal signature as a speaker is that I always line the walls of the room where I am speaking with brightly- colored laminated flip charts of quotations related to the topic, and I give each person in the audience a “Pass It On” card.)
- Have a company poster party for all frustrated / aspiring artists to create signs and posters that demonstrate the company’s values. Display them in clear plastic frames throughout the building and move them once a week so that everyone can see all of them.
- Purchase a “Red Plate” for your organization which says “You are SPECIAL today.” This can be passed around as an affirmation to anyone in the company.
- Add a quotation, graphic, cartoon, or seasonal reminder to memos and fax cover sheets. Make them fun and interesting!
- Give out buttons that say something like “Kindness is Contagious. Catch it!” when someone does a kind deed for you. Then ask them to pass the button on to someone else.
- Create a company mascot which goes along with the spirit of the company. For example, Rosenbluth Travel uses a salmon because they’re always “swimming upstream!”
- Have a “Laugh a Day” bulletin board where you display appropriate cartoons and humorous writings.
- Designate one room as the company “Whine Cellar,” the place for anyone to go who is having a bad day or wants to gripe. Put a sign on the door and have fun decorating it (in black?).
- Take a look at your office — what does it say about your Human level? Always display in your office one or two reminders of things you really love.
- Create a service guarantee for your work unit. For example, a suburban hospital says, “If you’re not seen in our emergency room by a professional in 15 minutes, your visit is free!”
- Have a Four A’s jar (Acknowledge, Appreciate, Affirm, Assure). Keep it filled with wonderful, uplifting thoughts for anyone who needs one.
- Purchase pieces of clear acrylic for blotters on each employee’s desk. Have the employee create a collage under the blotter which contains creative reminders and examples of the company’s values, such as photos, quotations, cartoons, mission statements, customer service models, slogans or signs.
- Post “Street” signs to name hallways in your building. Choose names which communicate your company’s mission or values.
- Plan a “Bring your family to work” day for your organization.
- Think of something creative you could offer your customers as a “free” sample. The Savings Bank of Rockford, CT, gives its customers a dime taped on a foldover card that says, “Who says we don’t give free samples?”
- Invite your customers to a party planned by employees.
- When you speak to a customer on the telephone, draw a picture of what you think the person looks like or write out his or her name to focus on the person as a REAL human being.
- Find out at least one personal thing about each of your customers. Then acknowledge that in some way as you work with them. (Stamps from places you visit, a Cubs baseball hat for their children, a message of condolence when their favorite sports team loses, a book for a new baby, articles clipped about their hobbies and interests, etc.)
- Start a cartoon collection by topic and by industry. Add these whenever you give a presentation. You may also use them as ideas and create your own cartoons.
- Provide a sick room (or several) for employee’s children. Equip them with a bed, T.V., and perhaps some books and toys.
- As a reward for modelling whatever the company values, name a room/hall/building or even a special recipe in the cafeteria after the employee.
- Encourage employees to sign up for an individual or small group lunch with the president or CEO of the company just to talk. Hold these “lunches with management” on a regular basis..
- Hold “grapevine” meetings of all employees at least once a month to enhance communication and get worries and concerns out in the open.
- Sponsor community service projects with employee participation– clean up litter, help feed the homeless, build houses with Habitat for Humanity, hold educational fairs for the community.
- Find creative ways to use the expertise and experience of folks in local nursing homes to enhance both your organization and their lives. Dr. Jeff Alexander, a pediatric dentist, asked several people in a rest home to volunteer as the tooth fairy for his patients to call.
- Hold spontaneous celebrations. Bring in jugs of apple cider and doughnuts, or cookies and milk, or cokes and chips just to boost everyone’s spirits.
- Make sure there is a Human level in your company newsletter. Include customer service stories, company legends, pictures of employees, personal and family events and successes, customer feedback, ideas and resources for personal growth, cartoons, graphics, quotes.
- Create a personal motto to represent what your mission is or what you “stand for.” (Mine is “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm.”)
- Collect favorite employee recipes for a company cookbook.
- Think of creative enhancements you can add to your product or service. Zanos Hair Designs gives complimentary neck and shoulder massages and one of the employees brings you your car when you get your nails done. Some bakeries give a free cookie to customer’s children.
- At least once a year let each employee change jobs with someone else in the company for a half day.
- Send a calendar of quotations that exemplify your company’s values (one for each day or week of the year) to all your customers as a gift.
- Encourage departments or divisions within the company to hold theme parties during lunch to appreciate their internal customers.
- Appoint someone in the organization as Manager of Creativity, Vision, and Values. Give them the responsibility for checking activities of every department to ensure they are in line with the company’s vision and values.
- Create a database of interests, hobbies, and areas of expertise of all employees. Use this for networking, sharing of resources, and setting up internal classes.
- Sponsor free exercise classes, aerobics, or even a video exercise program before, during, and after work using company volunteers as instructors/leaders. Offer free childcare, again staffed by company volunteers.
- Humanize your voice mail message. (Mine ends with “I hope your day is filled with peace and joy.”)
- Ask each employee to make a list of the best recognitions (things that cost little or nothing) and rewards (things that cost some money) that anyone could give to them. Keep these in their employee file and USE these ideas when the employee excels in some way.
- Have a cartoon or joke box in a central location. Encourage employees to contribute to it when they are having a good day and to take from it when they are having a bad one.
IDEA FOR TODAY: Start an “A.I.G.” (Ain’t I Great!) folder of cards, notes, and letters from people who are thanking you for something or who think you are special. Then on “down” days you can take these out and read and reread them to help boost your spirits.
- In small table groups take a message which you will be given and communicate it in a creative way to the rest of the large group.Possible message ideas:
We really are enjoying this presentation.
We need a break.
We need your help.
Let’s all work together on this.
Wow! You really did a great job.
You are important to this department/organization.
- Have a variety of art materials available. Create your own business card, one side business, the other side human.
- Create a personal motto and share it with the group.
- Consider the four quadrants of the brain in the Whole Brain model or the different ways Neurolinguistic Programming outlines how adults learn–Visual, Auditory, Olfactory, and Kinesthetic. Take a message and communicate the same message in four different ways to appeal to each of the learning styles or brain preference quadrants. (Include a copy of the Whole Brain Model.)Example: Upper Left — facts only
Lower Left — sequential, organized, in story form
Upper Right — Creative; unusual
Lower Right — Action / Caring / Feelings
© Barbara Glanz Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Barbara Glanz Biography
A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.barbaraglanz.com.