Sunday, November 12, 2006

The treasures your employees look for

The treasures your employees look for

“Dad, I got a job!”

Music to a father’s ears. Yesterday my son Jon called to say that he has a job as a waiter starting today. Last May Jon graduated from Colgate University, moved to Brooklyn, NY with a fellow grad, and landed a summer job with Boys Club.

Last Friday he wrapped up the Boys Club position. He’s searching for a professional position in New York but in the meantime he needs to feed his 6’8” inch frame and pay the rent. His plan? Get an evening job as a waiter, leaving daytime hours open for his professional job search.

For three days he walked the streets of Brooklyn, NY looking for a job as a waiter. Restaurant after restaurant had no openings. Yesterday he walked into an Italian restaurant and they had an opening. After a brief conversation the manager asked, “Can you start tomorrow?”


Then the manager asked to see Jon’s resume. After glancing through it he said in surprise, “You don’t have experience as a waiter.”

“I’m a very quick learner, sir, and I’m a hard worker” Jon said quickly. He finally had his foot in the door and he wanted to keep it there.

The manager thought a moment, smiled, and said, “You can start training at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon.”

The manager hired a treasure. Jon is extremely personable and helpful and people like him. He’ll make a great waiter.

Right now Jon is looking for a job to pay for food and rent but soon he will be looking for other kinds of treasure through his job. He’ll want to know that his supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about him as a person.

In First, Break All the Rules, the author’s tell about the restaurant manager who let his staff know that when they needed a short term loan they should help themselves to money from the till and simply leave an IOU in the till until they paid for it.

The same manager made it a point of getting to know his staff, giving better hours to those who were supporting a family.

For twenty years the Gallup organization studied organizations to see what made a great work place and identified 12 treasures that separate great workplaces from so-so workplaces. According to the Gallup study Jon will be looking for workplace treasures like:

  • At work, I have the opportunity to do what you do best every day.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • My supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person.
  • There someone at work who encourages my development.

For a complete look at the fascinating treasures that employees look for according to Gallup’s study check out First, Break All the Rules or at Feedback for Real on Gallup’s website.

Wisdom for the week: Employees look for more than pay; they look for treasures from their worksite.

Fair thee well, Rich

Ps. Check out the 7 Paths, their principles and paradigms at the Evergreen Leaders website.

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