This idea is excerpted from Barbara’s book, “CARE Packages for the Workplace –Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work,” (McGraw-Hill)
Who knows better how to nurture than Moms? And who do most of us think of when we’re really down and need some tender loving care? Organizations who truly care about their employees can make “nurturing” a part of someone’s real job!
The Idea In Action:
At Evolving Systems, Inc., a computer software company in Englewood, Colorado, they have five and a half full-time “Moms” and one full-time “Dad,” one for every 80-90 employees. Their whole job consists in giving personal attention to the employees, and they report directly to the president of the company, Harry Fair, the founder of the Moms. Nita Cronin, whose title is “Lead Mom,” shared with me a little about their job which is to create a unique, happy, friendly environment and to add the comforts of home to the workplace.
One of their primary jobs, besides knowing each employee by name and a little bit about them and their families, is to keep all 18 kitchens (every wing in each building has 2 kitchens) stocked just as they would be at home–with dishes, silver, napkins, paper towels, fruit baskets, daily fresh fruit juices, coffee, tea, and condiments. There are also free soda and beverage dispensing machines available.
The Moms provide daily snacks, both morning and afternoon, of such things as cheese and crackers, fruit plates, carrot and celery sticks, and breakfast bars which they put out in the kitchens. They have a budget to stock the kitchens, so there is no charge to the employees for any of this. Nita said, “If employees are working and they are hungry, they break their mindset and lose productivity if they have to go out to a convenience store, so we make it possible for them to go to the kitchen and get a small snack at any time of the day or night.”
The Moms also select two restaurants a day, and they order in meals for the employees if they wish. Each employee has an account with them, so the lunch can be charged which makes it extremely convenient. Nita says that if an employee isn’t feeling well or has an injury, they deliver the lunches right to their desks! They provide birthday cakes at company meetings and even give employees little birthday gifts such as stress toys and balloons. They plan parties, open houses, and anniversaries and provide all sorts of valuable information and advice to their fellow employees.
The Moms want their office to be a fun place to be so that employees will “come to see Mom!” They stock candy, medications, pantyhose, eye drops, eye glass repair kits, dental floss, toothbrushes and paste, and even shoelaces–all provided by the company. “The Mom’s job is to come in with a smile and to be morale boosters,” says Nita. “We spend a good part of our day ‘out and about’, watering plants, saying ‘hi’ to employees, inquiring about their families and hobbies, and finding out what is going on with them. When someone has a deadline, we try to drop off special treats to encourage them and thank them for their hard work, or if they aren’t feeling well, we check to see how they’re doing and what they might need. We even mail things for employees when they are too busy.”
The company looks for warm, caring, upbeat people to be their Moms, and they are interviewed by the president himself. The philosophy of the company is, “If you can provide a good working environment, you can create better products.” And that is exactly what the Moms are there to do!
Tips For Implementation:
Isn’t this a wonderful idea to help regenerate spirit in any workplace? Obviously, the benefits must far outweigh the costs at Evolving Systems, Inc. Happy employees ARE more productive employees without a doubt, and all of us could use a little more nurturing! Couldn’t your organization use a “Mom”? I suspect there are many seniors out there, not yet ready to retire completely, who would love to be needed again.
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.