Secret Santa 2011. 24 Free Books. 24 Happier Employees!

Ho-Ho-Ho! Tomorrow is December 1st. Tomorrow begins Secret Santa 2011: 24 Happier Employees Here’s how it works: From December 1st to December 24th each day I will select one person to receive a free printed copy of my book Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth: 52 Provoking Thoughts for Creating a Great Workplace The person who receives the book will be based on nominations I receive from you! My committee of three (me and two dogs) will choose the winner (while roasting chestnuts on an open fire) based on who we think needs the most help. Nominations must be recceived the day before. So nominations I receive today will only be good for a book being sent tomorrow. You are encouraged to nominate daily. When you submit a nomination give me a good reason. Nominate a friend, coworker; maybe even your CEO? You can include the snail mailing address in your …

Should authors hold a story hour in your home or office?

Two weeks ago the Electrolux vacuum cleaner rep came knocking on my door. She wanted to enter me in a drawing to win $1,000 worth of groceries. The catch: they are going to follow-up with me (relentlessly) in order to get into my living room, demonstrate their product, and try to convince me to buy one. Yesterday, a neighborhood kid knocked on my door asking me to buy some pasta so he can go on a school trip. I guess those of us who don’t have kids are expected to subsidize those of you who do? Or subsidize the schools for offering a trip that neither the parents nor the school system can afford? At least it’s pasta; something I can eat; and not some useless wooden holiday trinket or wrapping paper that showed up eight months later. (I’ll save that one for another time) But these two incidents got me thinking……………….. Maybe authors should …

Ring Bell for Service. Piss off Store Employee.

So I did what the sign said……………………………Ring Bell for Service. I stood there and smiled with a big ole childish grin. Now what I did not expect was the woman behind the counter to give me a look as if she wanted to throw me in the pizza oven across the driveway. So as she stared me down I responded “Well it said to Ring Bell For Service. I was doing what I was instructed. I guess someone does not have a sense of humor.” Quickly another employee jumped in and in a playful voice responded, “Yes, that is why we hide her in the back and don’t usually let her come out.” (Ah, perhaps the big meany is the business owner? But goody, someone wants to play with me) “Well she’s not the ideal role model for customer service” I went on to say. “I know. We’ll have to …

If every employee is not smiling Tim Smith can help!

Most days I smile. But let’s be honest, aren’t there just those days that no matter how much you try that smile just cannot be mustered up? Enter Tim Smith……CEO and Curator of Smile-Therapy. Whether it’s a link to a fun video or song, a humorous story, a motivational message or a joke, each morning I get something delivered to my inbox to start my day. But today’s was something to get me thinking. With Black Friday just around the corner and Small Business Saturday the next day I thought today’s Smile-Therapy was appropriate. With Tim’s big smile of approval I share today’s Smile-Therapy:   Today at Smile-Therapy: New idea for the Holidays: Do you like this? It’s that time of year when the Holidays are upon us. You can almost smell the cranberries, stuffing, apple pie and glazed turkey in the air. Anyone notice that we’ve already had 2 or …

Two large retailers staying open until 3:00PM on Christmas Day

Oh crap! You’re at a neighbor’s house Christmas Eve and they give you a gift. You weren’t expecting one. You thought the whole gift exchange thing was done. And naturally you’re not the type who keeps that emergency gift in the closet for just these times. Lesson learned. So what did you do? Rather than saying “Thank you, you shouldn’t have” these words rolled off your tongue: “Oh, I have one for you too. I was going to drop it off tomorrow morning before we headed out to see the family.” Well fortunately for you our friends at Walmart and Target are going to save your butt. Yes, they have told their employees that Christmas is cancelled. Forget church, 7 fishes, Santa, the Yule Log and whatever other tradition you may have. Christmas for you is cancelled. In a shareholder-centric move, Walmart and Target stores will remain open from 4:00 …

Take a Recess from NOT DOING something

Last week I spent some time with Recreation and Parks professionals at their annual national conference. The topic: Fun and Affordable Marketing. Or as I liked to call it Slap in the Face 101. The reality is the majority of this group of people do not market their products and services. They do very little to engage with the customer to keep them buying. Now this piece is not a bashing of Parks & Recreation; because many industries and businesses are guilty of this. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of putting out an electronic brochure (i.e. your website) and hoping people find you Raise your hand if you’re guilty of not staying in touch with customers who have already bought from you Raise your hand if you’re guilty of not encouraging each and every employee to make it their job to market your business So recently I redesigned the Meeting …

Act like a Peabody Duck. People will still have a good time.

I’ve been to Memphis four times and have never witnessed the March of the Peabody Ducks. So this time I put it on my list of things to do during my overnight stay. It was top of the list; even before BBQ and listening to some fantastic blues music on Beale Street. The duck march was at 5:00 but I suspected I should get there earlier. I arrived at 4:15 and my gut instinct was right. (As my friend Lynn Robinson taught me, always trust your gut.) People had already been congregating around and above the fountain where the ducks were swimming. At 4:55 we heard a short presentation from a Peabody staff member adorned in his Royal Duck-master outfit. He explained that the ducks would walk out of the fountain, down the stairs, around the fountain, then down the red carpet in single file and hop on the elevator …