Ideas: Make The Workplace A Community

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, 1996)

The Idea:

In order to help your employees feel commitment to the organization, it is important to give them as much financial information as possible. Some organizations do this through “Open Book Management, ” allowing all employees access to all the financial data of the company and even training them to be able to understand and interpret it. Other organizations encourage employees to work directly with vendors to help ensure getting the best prices. Information is power, and as information is shared, the power, too, is distributed in a way that makes employees feel important.

The Idea In Action:

John Giattino, CHA, the General Manager of the Clarion Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, wants a hotel with 115 owners! He has devised a creative way to help his associates value the property of the hotel. Once a month at their general pep rally and coffee break where they do such things as celebrate employees’ birthdays with a special cake, each department takes a turn at playing “The Price Is Right.” Items from the hotel inventory such as a pen, shampoo, a ream of copy paper, a vacuum, and a uniform top are placed on a table with the price of the hotel’s cost facing down. The members of the chosen department then guess what the hotel must pay for each item. The winners of each round receive $5 and then get to compete in a showcase. This might consist of pricing the cost of a full set of room amenities, and that winner gets a prize like two tickets to Busch Gardens. Mr. Giattino feels that if his associates understand the value of items they work with daily, they will respond as if they are the hotel owners, with respect and care. And the game adds fun and friendly competition to the workplace!

Employees at Southwest Airlines can win free trips by answering quizzes on business expenses in the quarterly newsletter. Their “Vice President of People,” Ann Rhoades, says they are not concerned about where the employees get the answers. They just want them to understand business costs.


No matter what your business is, this idea is applicable. What a creative and fun way to share power and to “whack” people’s thinking as consumers themselves! Be sure to include the most mundane items everyone in the organization uses daily.

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 and

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