Regular readers know that I like to stress the importance of rituals and traditions in the workplace as an easy way to boost morale and foster a sense of team spirit. I’m especially fond of rituals that make it fun not only for employees, but for the customers as well. And if you can conjure up a tradition so wacky that it generates some free publicity for you, well then you’ve truly scored a home run.
Which is why I love the tradition the folks at the Third Street Bakery in Phillipsburg, Kansas have created. Whenever a customer orders their famous Big Chocolate Honker donut (reputed to be the biggest donut in the U.S.), an employee squeezes an old-fashioned bike horn to celebrate the order with a loud honk or two. But the best part is this: all the seniors who hang out at the bakery have been trained to respond to the sound of the honking horn by swinging their arms up into the air and yelling out “Honk! Honk!”.
Yes, it may be silly, but that’s the point. By creating an offbeat, wacky tradition not only have they created an atmosphere that’s fun for the employees and customers, doing something to stand out from the herd has garnered them free media attention and improved their sales. Definitely something worth honking about!
Michael Kerr, Humor at Work www.humoratwork.com
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