Smart Ideas for Workplace
#1 Smart Idea
A great motivator for only $2
It works like magic to motivate your
employees. It's the simple, obscure $2-bill. (Yes,
it's official U.S. currency, available from your local
Barry R. Schimel, CPA, president of
The Profit Advisors, Inc., tells how the forgotten
$2-bill is used to get employees to generate new and
unusual ideas and efforts.
You can hold what Schimel calls a Profit
Super Bowl meeting. (He describes the strategy in his
book The Profit Game: How to Play - How to Win.)
"Where we facilitate a Profit
Super Bowl," says Schimel, "we ask the coordinator
to arrange for rewards: $250 worth of $2-bills." Why?
"Because they're unusual. A $2-bill signifies
that unusual dollars are rewarded for unusual ideas
"There's magic in it," Schimel
adds. "It's literally like giving a trophy. It's
so unusual, the people who get them aren't going to
spend them. They're a great reward."
#2 Smart Idea
Employees good at teamwork work
Employees with high team work habits
are less likely to miss work without an excuse, and
are less likely to call in sick.
That's the conclusion of a nationwide
survey of 874 supermarket employees, conducted by McGraw-Hill/London
House and the Food Marketing Institute.
Team-oriented employees scored high
on helping co- workers and customers, suggesting improvements,
and helping make decisions.
Employees who scored low on teamwork
were: 57% less likely to help a customer and five times
more likely to help a co-worker steal merchandise.
"Our results indicate that team
oriented employees have attitudes that can significantly
impact how productive they are," says Scott Martin,
a senior director at McGraw-Hill.
Smart Idea: Screen applicants
for positive work-related attitude and team-orientation.
Contact Employers of America for guidance.
#3 Smart Idea
New way to
control unemployment taxes
A clever way to encourage terminated
employees to get jobs and hold down your unemployment
taxes: offer them a bonus to get a new job.
That's what one of our members just
did. (He wants to remain anonymous so we'll call him
Ken had to lay
off three employees. He says, "The feedback
we got made it clear that all three planned on taking
out unemployment, working for cash and taking some
vacation... It appeared we were going to get hit
with big unemployment claims."
He continues: "We
needed an incentive for the people to find employment
quickly. So we offered to match 50% of wages earned
for the first X-number of weeks, with X equaling
the number of years they had worked for us. It didn't
really cost us more and probably less than what our
unemployment liability would have been."
Adds Ken, "The
three got new jobs right away. In fact, there wasn't
a day they weren't employed."
#4 Smart Idea
Get on the phone for good ideas
Spend a few hours on the phone with
your employees and collect some good ideas. That's
just what David Sullivan, COO of Promus Hotel Corp.,
did last year...and plans to do again soon.
Promus Hotel Corp.,
Memphis, TN, franchises and runs Embassy Suites,
Hampton Inns and Homewood Suites. Sullivan and his
advisors wanted input from their employees. So they
set up an 800 number, and Sullivan took calls from
50 to 60 employees during a four-hour period. Sullivan
says, "You do this,
and you have more calls than you can handle."
The best idea
came from a phone operator. "We
were paying them based on the number of phone calls
they answered. They felt pushed to handle more calls
and give less service. So we changed that to an hourly
Smart Workplace Practice: Want
to get good ideas and feedback from your employees?
Set times and invite your employees to call you during
those times with their input, comments and suggestions.
from Smart Workplace Practices Newsletter. ©1997,1998,1999