Beryl, whose phenomenal culture I speak of often, has a fabulous book called Smile Guide – Employee Perspectives on Culture, Loyalty, and Profit. The book features ideas, tips, stories, quotes and insights not from the CEO or higher ups, but, as the title suggests, from the employees. It’s their front line, in-the-trenches look at what Beryl has done to create an inspiring workplace. They write about their amazing referral program for new hires, their commitment to communication (from town hall style meetings to Beryl Life – a full color magazine aimed at employees), to the importance they place on having fun. They write, for example, about how whenever anyone says or does something funny, they write it down and store it in their Laugh Box. At meetings or during a stressful day they’ll pull out a few entries from the Laugh Box (which actually laughs when you open it). They write about Good Stuff Fridays, where people share positive work or personal related highlights to end the week on a high note. And here’s one I know some of you will like: They write about their Dessert Ambassador who kicks off a meeting once a month by introducing the group to a tasty new treat.
The idea of employees writing books about their workplace seems to be a growing trend. Zappos, another model business, has their Culture Book, which they produce once a year and features employees thoughts about the Zappos culture and how they live each of their ten core values, including my favorite: “Create Fun and a Little Weirdness.”
So here’s my big question of the week for you: If your front line employees wrote a 100% honest book, essay, paragraph, or even just a quote about your workplace culture, what would they write? Because the reality is, they are already writing your story every day, they just haven’t put into words yet.
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2013. Michael Kerr is a business author, international business trainer, very funny motivational speaker and hilarious business speaker focusing on workplace culture, customer service and putting humor to work for less stress and more success. For great ideas on building a better workplace sign up for the free weekly e-zine Humor at Work.
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