Differentiate Yourself With "Unusual" Compensation, Benefits, & Perks
Personal shopper service, diaper service, on-the-spot incentives (lottery tickets, movie gift certificates, breakfast cart, Burger King bucks, Panera gift cards—we made a whole booklet of what employees in one medical practice wanted so managers could easily obtain them!). These are just a few of the programs some employers & employees would consider "unusual", i.e. not your average paycheck, health insurance, company uniform type stuff.
Why have "unusual" benefits, compensation, perks? To be proactive in the increasing competition for the kind of staff you need.
Before you go too crazy, remember it’s not a "benefit" if the people you want to hire don’t want it. Start by asking your current great employees what is attractive to them. Again, be careful. Try multiple choice instead of fill-in-the blank. That way you can list the things you’d actually be willing (fits your company culture, gives ROI, etc.) to give.
Figure out what’s important to your employees, then be innovative in what you’ll add/substitute in your comp/benefits/perks and then promote it!
Email your most "unusual" comp/benefit/perk and we’ll list it and your organization name (free recruiting!) In the next issue of Recruit, Inspire & Retain.
Example: Oberweis Dairy in Tinley Park, IL, organized a game of "Assassin" for their employees, who are mostly teens. The players each get the name of the person they are assigned to "shoot" with water guns. They aren’t allowed to "shoot" anyone inside the store. It has to be outside, so they have to either lure their victim outside, or catch them in the parking lot before or after work. No one knows who has their name, and the last dry person gets a $20 gift card for Toys-R-Us.
In the Global Economy, Be Careful What You Name Things
an American Airlines packet of nuts - INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.
Small Organization/Large Organization? A More Inspirational Alternative to a Policy Manual
You’re growing, you’re doing well, and then you get the urge to write things down. You want to create rules, regulations, procedures. You decide you need a ...policy manual.
It's a natural enough instinct. You know why your business has succeeded, so you want all staff to do things just the way you do. You want them to look and feel the same, and to deliver the same value to the customer. You know that Fed Ex doesn't allow managers to paint their trucks green—or to decide that some packages don't absolutely, positively have to get there overnight.
But when you write everything down in a manual, people read it. Worse, they base their decisions on it. The manual tells them how they're supposed to run the business. It spells out all the things they can't do. Before long, all those fast-moving, get-things-done staff you hired are turning into cover-your-butt, manual-reading people (or they're out looking for a job at a real entrepreneurial organization).
Take a tip from PSS, who has a different approach to written communication—and it doesn't involve a policy manual.
When they do write things down, they steer clear of the policy-manual format. Their "Top 20"—a list of the company's core values—is written on a wallet-size card. When lawyers told them they needed written nondiscrimination policies, they made up a poster with cartoon figures explaining those policies, and put one in every office.
And then there's the Blue Ribbon, which is how they make sure they’re all reading off the same page.
They certainly want uniformity from one office to another. PSS’s reputation rests on delivering world-class service to its customers, and they have developed systems and methods to ensure that customers get that service. They have a business model, and they don’t really want staff experimenting with business models of their own.
But instead of a manual spelling out how an office has to operate—trucks must be washed no less than once a week; grade 3 employees are entitled to 12 vacation days a year—they created a 100-point checklist known as the Blue Ribbon book. Every office gets a copy. Then the offices take part in a contest they call the Blue Ribbon Tour.
Here’s how it works. Twice a year, one of PSS’s leaders will show up at an office’s door. Unannounced. It might be 7:30 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon, or anytime in between. "Blue Ribbon time!" they’ll say as they walk in.
At some organizations, this kind of inspection would be a horrendous experience. At PSS, when people hear there’s a Blue Ribbon on, they start whooping and hollering. They run around making sure the wastebaskets are empty and there’s toilet paper in the bathroom.
Nobody is in trouble if the office does poorly. You won’t get fired, disciplined, or even reprimanded for a bad Blue Ribbon score. What you will win or lose is bragging rights—and money.
Every person in a winning office pockets a nice chunk of change. Each employee in the office scoring highest on the Blue Ribbon gets $3,000. The 2nd place office gets $2,000 per person, the 3rd place office gets $1,500, and so on, all the way down to the 10th place office, where employees get $500 apiece.
The losing offices—which is to say all the rest—have to pay for the other offices’ prizes. They might have to pony up a couple thousand dollars from their operating profits. It isn’t enough to do any serious damage to their bottom lines; it’s just enough to make the leaders wince.
So this isn’t some military-style inspection greeted by fear and trembling. It’s a game. The offices are competitors. The people in our offices take pride in keeping their facility ready for a Blue Ribbon Tour at all times. They take enormous pride in winning—and, of course, in mentioning the fact that they won to their friends in other offices.
Sure, an organization that’s growing fast has to have consistency and uniformity. But you don’t need a bunch of written rules, regulations, and procedures. You’re better off figuring out fun, face-to-face ways of achieving the kind of consistency you need. The Blue Ribbon contest is a perfect example, and if you think it would work in your organization, well, you’re welcome to swipe the idea.
Adapted from Inc. 4/98.
Global Understanding & Navigation
The world is shrinking and your employees have to successfully deal full circle with foreigners every day inside your local headquarters and in foreign countries since many corporations have often more than 50% of their total revenues generated abroad and many non-profit organizations work globally.
Your executives often have to travel at short notice to represent your organization and make decisions of lasting impact that often translate in key investments, purchases or alliances. Too often they go unprepared and much is lost: time, money and relationships like in this case...
An interesting example:
Geography, Demography, Resources, History, Society, Language, Beliefs, Personality, System, Intelligence and Exchange all played a part in transforming a bad business situation into a much better one with a double digit margin change.
— 11 KEYS —
Geography. The UK is a much smaller country than the US and an island. If politically the British Government is often allied to that of the US, business wise, Brits do not like to get orders from mainland Europe nor the US.
Demography. The market is African-American British women, the owners are African-American and the buyers are white women who do not know nor socialize with African-American British women. Other consumer groups are targeted to succeed.
Resources. The human resources of the brand owners are limited versus mammoth human resources for the buyers.
History. Negotiations are packed with American civil rights history that do not resonate in British ears. The French Caribbean Sales Director had a different approach to negotiations that understood the company and the buyers.
Society. A name rooted in a Saudi Arabian tradition ensured the sales target.
Language. The name of the fragrance was more than a name, it was a symbol to the Saudi Arabian women who purchased the products of the range proud to unexpectedly find a product with that name in London.
Beliefs. The sales director transformed a disbelief attitude of the sales team into a hour count of the results with a Positive Mental Attitude mantra that helped the staff discover new levels of skills.
Personality. The creativity and flexible personality of the Sales Director broke the rigidity that both parties were locked in.
Systems. Margins are the central part of a department Store economic structure and are not easily negotiable unless you have several brands in the space like Estée Lauder Companies. The only way to win particularly with a packaging flaw is to chock the buyer with sales figures.
Intelligence. Information and memory analysis of the brand led to the fragrance focus what the company never concentrated on.
Exchange. The exchange was maximized. The staff collaborated. The brand developed a better partnership with the store. Trade was good and the brand broke new ground towards a new clientele. The mainstream brands sales staff in the store gained new respect for the ethnic brand and staff.
Written by Ester Fraser.
Creating a Respectful Work Environment to Prevent Violence &
JUNE SPECIAL DAYS
June 10 – National Flag Week
June 17-19 – Father’s Day flashback Days at the Duct Tape Festival in Avon, Ohio,
June 13 – National Juggling Day & National Lobster Day (juggle 3 live
June 14 – Flag Day
June 15 – Power of a Smile Day & Fly a Kite Day (impossible not to smile when flying a kite)
June 18 – Father’s Day
June 20 – Ice Cream Soda Day
June 21 – First Day of Summer!!!!!!
June 22 – Chocolate Eclair Day
June 23 – Typewriter Day (you remember what a typewriter is...right?)
June 26 – National Chocolate Pudding Day and the day the toothbrush was invented (which came 1st, the toothbrush or chocolate pudding?)
June 27 – Sunglasses Day
June 29 – Remote Control Day
July 1 – International Joke Day
July 3 – Eat Beans Day & Air Conditioning Day (should be Air Freshener Day!)
July 4 – Independence Day
July 5 – Workaholics Day
Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCES
June 11-14, 2006
Training Director’s Forum, Palm Springs, CA,
June 14-17, 2006
European Distance and E Learning Network 2006 Annual Conference, Vienna, Austria,
June 22-23, 2006
Accelerated Learning Advanced Design Class, Lake Geneva, WI,
June 25-28, 2006
SHRM's 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC,
July 7-9, 2006
National Career Development Association 2006 Conference, Chicago, IL, 1-866-FOR-NCDA
July 26-30, 2006
WorldFuture 2006: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
July 28-30, 2006
Annual Conference of the World Future Society, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
August 19-22, 2006
ASAE’s 2006 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA,
September 25-27, 2006
IQPC’s E-Learning 2006: Evaluating, Delivering & Aligning E-Learning Technologies with Business Strategy, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA,
October 4-6, 2006
Strategic HR Conference, Phoenix,
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER & GIVE
Global Volunteers (http://www.globalvolunteers.org)
Donate Old Suits
Check with your local Dress Barn. Some have programs to help unfortunate women get jobs by supplying them with business suits people have donated. Plus, they offer the donator a 10% off coupon for any purchase. Give a little, get a little!
Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Recycle PCs, cell phones, printers, CDs diskettes, etc. with GreenDisk. For $29.95, they send a 70-pound-capacity box. When it’s full, you download postage from their website and ship it back. Your "junk" then goes to workshops for the disabled and are refurbished.
Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,http://www.cristina.org; Goodwill, www.goodwill.org, Salvation Army, www.satruck.com/MakeDonation.asp.
Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.
Find local Electronics recyclers at http://www.earth911.org and http://www.ebay.com/rethink
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