Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’
A manager once told me my paycheck should be all the incentive I need to appreciate my job. Other managers made it clear to me extra pats on the back are unnecessary because bosses shouldn’t need to thank employees for simply doing their jobs. Those arguments may hold some merit but are out of touch with reality and present a poor strategy in retaining top talent. On the other hand, creating a fun office environment must stretch beyond the foosball table. We understand changing a work atmosphere starts with changing work culture, but let us shoot for the stars and pitch some ideas most executives would never consider. But we dare you to run these ideas up the corporate ladder.
- Do The Limbo: This classic inspires smiles from cruise ships to Bar Mitzvahs. All you need is a broom stick from the supplies room. Recommend proper attire to prevent awkward moments when people fall down.
- Trampoline: This won’t thrill the companies’ attorneys, but five minutes bouncing at lunch will make 5pm not seem so far away. Again, recommend proper attire.
- Throw loud things: Few things release frustration more than throwing stuff that lands with a bang. Grab a sample of traditional office supplies, head for that unused office and make the walls fear your arm strength.
- Stickers: Rewarding excellent work with sports or fashion stickers should raise spirits.
- Get dirty: Take off the ties and high heels, find a communal mud hole one Friday afternoon and make puddles.
- Blow bubbles: Bubbles seem to make people happy especially as employees refine their skills and improve drastically at this fun task.
- Bring dogs to work: A co-worker regularly brought his big dogs to work. The canines strutting around led to smiles. Then suddenly he stopped bringing our four-legged friends. The rumor was someone complained to management. Executives may poop on this idea, but they should stuff their excuses into a bag.
- Spin in chair: Lift spirits by asking people to quickly spin co-workers in their chairs. The ensuring laughter and dizziness can help kickstart the day.
- Funny hat day: I sparked several conversations when I started wearing an Indiana Jones-type hat while reporting outside during Arizona summers. Imagine the range of discussions when everyone puts their hats and heads together.
- Limo Ride: For a while, I thought of a way to scale back employee absentees or “mental health days.” When our business is large enough, we look forward to awarding the employee with the fewest absences and a guest a limo ride to an expensive dinner on us. A drawing will break ties in lowest absences.
What are some of your crazy ideas?
A neighborhood invaded by unwanted chickens on the loose
Women getting drunk by using tampons soaked in alcohol
A woman cleaning houses topless
A proud adult movie actor complaining that Viagra evened the playing field
Farmers worrying the government might tax them for cows passing gas
A search for a family’s large, lost lizard
Dressing up in a tuxedo and covering an Oscars party at a college
Airing two stories in one night about the fact it did NOT snow as predicted
Visiting a Nevada brothel to investigate whether Arizona should legalize such businesses to collect more taxes
Spending a day at a mall to demonstrate how much free stuff shoppers could get, which included getting my ear pierced at no charge
Yes, we took notice of the Cheerios commercial showing a white mom and an African American dad. We took notice because how many companies are willing to show interracial couples in their commercials? And why not? Look around. Couples whose faces do not look alike are part of America’s fabric. Look no further than our president. Look no further than my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
But Cheerios still had to fend off people leaving shameful comments. (Notice comments are disabled for the video unlike other Cheerios commercials on YouTube.) And, according to a report, kids don’t understand why people would write such shameful words.
I grew up in a South Florida elementary school where most of my classmates were African American or Hispanic. Few of us cared about our different colors. We were so young, no misguided adults had time to teach us to dwell on such differences. By contrast, I attended an almost all-white high school where classmates sometimes discussed minority-related issues as if writing a thesis. In other words, they had no significant relationships with people of color.
So I don’t blame kids for wondering what the heck is wrong with some adults. This is one situation where a company should not worry about offending a portion of its audience. If part of its audience can’t accept parents whose faces are of different colors, a company need not worry too much about such customers.
We applaud Cheerios for showing a family few others will. But it’s sad if showing a white mom and African American dad is still considered a risk.
We opened an envelope displaying nothing more than an address and AT&T’s logo. We were initially wary. Some companies send such envelopes, hoping their lack of information will increase the chances of people opening them. Also, we recently read that some cell phone companies are trying to quietly raise revenue with new fees. Most likely, we assumed, the letter would promote services.
The letter’s first line states, “I’m Vicki Martin, the Vice President and General Manager for AT&T in the Arizona and New Mexico area.” Beginning the letter this way was refreshing. Most big businesses don’t even try to take a personal approach.
The letter’s purpose is to let us know “what we’re doing” and “how we’re contributing to the community.” Seeing a company write in plain English also is refreshing.
The letter goes on to explain how AT&T is helping promote education, uphold human rights, protect the environment and prevent the dangers of texting and driving. The letter does not end with a catch. You know how some managers deliver compliments to employees simply as a bridge to deliver unfavorable requests?
Cynics might argue AT&T is up to something. They will assume the company is attempting to deflect negative impressions and will scoff at the idea that simply printing Vicki’s name on a piece of paper makes it personal. We also can’t verify the extent of the efforts the company outlined in the letter.
But this letter is still one step ahead of many other businesses. And moving companies from robotic to personal communications takes one long step at a time. Instead of constantly criticizing, the public must find moments, when appropriate, to applaud big business’ approach to building customer relationships. For this letter, we say good call AT&T.
In this picture, I’m shooting video for Crisis Response Network of Southern Arizona. One of our important responsibilities was to build an engaging video without unintentionally identifying anyone turning to the center for help due to a crisis. Businesses and organizations are full of private and proprietary information they wouldn’t want the public to see. Ask yourself these questions:
- Can viewers identify people in the background who are not part of the video?
- Can viewers read information on computer screens in the video?
- Can viewers read paperwork on desks or hanging on walls?
- Is it OK for viewers to recognize other employees in the background who are not the main focus of the video?
- Does audio of employees at their desks or on the phone include any information (names, numbers, addresses) that would identify people or organizations?
- Does any of the video show telephones that might display caller id and someone’s telephone number?
- Does the video show any license plate numbers?
- Does any “file” video inadvertently link outside organizations to this video?
- Does the video show any areas of the facility that the organization would not want the public to see?
- Did you ask someone to double check the video in case you missed any of the above concerns?