July 7, 2013

Do You Have All-Stars On Your Team?

By Paul Bieber

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is next week at the home of my NY Mets.  Let’s look at some thought on how you can recognize and reward the all-stars on your team in the glass industry.

First step, decide that you want to recognize your all stars.  If you don’t, click the delete key and move on.  Since you are still reading, I know every team, (glass company) has all stars.  It is someone who does their job just a little bit better than you expect, someone who has less callbacks on their installs, someone who shows up on-time and someone whose goal is to advance the whole team, which is your company.

Don’t get stuck in the “Halo Effect”.  This is when someone has a big mouth, kisses up, but doesn’t do a great job.  You can get befuddled by this.  It happens all the time.  Someone dresses sharply every day, someone brings you coffee on their way in.  This is always appreciated, but it does not pass the test of being a good employee.

You may not want to make a company-wide event in recognizing your all-stars, as some people get jealous or ask, “Why note me?”  But you definitely want to recognize your all-stars, if at least privately.  A good rule of thumb is that 10-15% of your employees are or should be all stars.  Recognize them with a huge pile of praise and smaller pile of actual reward; a gift card to a local restaurant, a $50 gas card or a bonus in their pay check.  More people will appreciate the thought than really want the money, but the money never hurts.  I urge you to make this a public presentation.  Let the rest of your company know that you appreciate the folks that go out of their way to help customers, which helps the company.  Let your folks know that you do notice when someone works hard, that you care about your employees and that the future of the company is based on people who do care about customer and customer service.

What if your employees only work within the shop and have no customer contact?  Redefine your image of a customer!  If you have one person acting as a receiver of materials, his customers are the metal shop, the glass line workers and the accounting department.  He could do a great job getting his paperwork in on time, checking orders for discrepancies and all with a smile.  He can be an all star along with the crew on your trucks.

If you think you have no all stars, than you are not hiring good people, or you have to recognize that your standards might be a smidge too high.  In this case, give your employees more education; give them opportunities to shine on special projects and give them encouragement to stick their necks out. (A sign on my desk: “Behold the lowly turtle-he makes no progress until he sticks his neck out.”)

Do you have an employee of the month or the quarter?  Give them a special parking spot, take them to lunch with the boss and then give them a newer employee to mentor in their area of expertise.  Transfer what the employee does well to as many folks as you can.

The Countdown:  It is now about three weeks until my new book, “The Five Minute Consultant’s(tm) Solutions To Everyday Business Problems”, will be here.  I’ll tell you more about it next week.