Putting money where my mouth is through financial rewards. . .
For the past three years I have engaged in an employee recognition program. Employees receiving a compliment from a client or even a fellow worker receive a “Compliment Memo.”
The Compliment Memo carries that title in big bold print and outlines who made the compliment, what the compliment was, and any other details about the compliment. We then print a copy for the bulletin board in the chauffeur prep area. We place another copy in the employee file and of course we give the employee a copy of the memo. We really make a big deal about it in an effort to encourage all employees to strive for perfect service every day with each client contact.
The purpose of this program has been to thank those employees who go the extra mile. We recognize that when a client picks up the phone or sends us an e-mail to recognize one of our shining stars, that the employee obviously had such an effect on the client that they were motivated to share the experience with us. We post it on a bulletin board so that co-workers can read the details and see what impresses people enough to contact management and inform us of a job well done.
Well, the economy could not be worse than it has been in the past year, and the current year projections are much of the same. The timing on this might not seem like a bright idea, but I view it as in investment in client retention and building the business rather than an additional expense.
Every employee receiving a compliment by phone, mail, or e-mail will receive a $25 bonus on his or her paycheck as a reward for representing the company in a positive manner. Before anyone brings it up, I will say our memo told employees they were not to ask someone to write or phone in a compliment. Since we might ask a client if he or she was asked to call in, we tell employees not to embarrass themselves or the company by requesting a compliment.
Before the ink had even dried on the memo, a client called in to thank his chauffeur for excellent service above and beyond the call of duty this past Friday. We will surely make a big deal about this chauffeur being the first recipient of a cash bonus for a job well done!
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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