Have you ever made an excuse by saying, “Well, I would, but…?” We all have from time to time. Find your own personal favorite excuse below…
I would, but I’m…too old, too young, too tired, too restless, too set-in-my-ways, too overwhelmed, too inexperienced, too poor, too uneducated, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short…
When it comes to employee engagement, here’s the excuse I hear most often from managers: I would try harder, but I’m just a manager. I don’t control the culture. Engagement happens above my pay grade!
I’m glad the manager at the Ben & Jerry’s I met while flying through Atlanta, GA, recently didn’t have that philosophy.
Do you know Ben & Jerry’s? Started in 1978 by friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the duo sold their company to British-Dutch multinational food giant Unilever in 2000. I don’t know anything about the corporate culture that Unilever promotes for its Ben & Jerry’s brand, but I can tell you that the manager and employees I met in Atlanta are extraordinary ambassadors of Ben & Jerry’s.
So what did I get at the counter of Ben & Jerry’s? In addition to heaven in a spoon, I experienced engaged employees who love their jobs and enjoy their customers. I saw employee smiles, tasted free samples and heard laughs and opinions on the BEST flavors in the ice cream case.
The manager could have given me “Meh” service saying, “I would do better or care more, but I’m just a manager at a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop at the end of the Delta terminal, and I oversee hourly employees who don’t give a damn about service. Why should they? It’s a dead-end job. And anyway, I can’t control the culture!”
After I ate my treat, I came back to the counter because I was so curious about why these employees were so happy. So I asked the manager, “What’s your secret? Why is everyone working here on the late shift so happy?”
Here’s what he said: “We have front row seats to making people happy! It’s contagious.”
One of the employees chimed in by adding this: “No one walks away from this counter with a frown!”
According to engagement research, engagement requires that employees feel some emotional connection to a product or the mission of the company they work for. These guys aren’t curing cancer, saving the planet, or stamping out starvation. But they see themselves in the business of getting and giving HAPPINESS. They deliver happiness one scoop at a time. Not a bad reason to come to work, is it?
Have you connected your employees to your products or the mission of your company? Do your employees offer smiles and a little happiness to the customers they interact with each day?