Give them a FedEx Day where they can brainstorm and ‘deliver’ something new overnight. Tip of the hat to Robert Brand for his column: Google's Magic Motivation Juice
Google allows their folks to spend up to 20% of their time on a personal project. That’s one-day per week assuming those at Google devote 40 hours per week.
Where’s the ROI for that benevolence? Here's a few sources:
- Google’s stock price
- Their low hiring costs
- Their low employee turnover
- Their minimal losses from employee sick days.
- And a few good ideas that drive their revenue and their stock price.
Right again. And you know what? A day like this is a key reason all these super-smart, uber-talented, employees are recruited, hired and, most importantly, remain. unique. Together, they create a culture where super-smart people are allowed to perform as super-smart people.
What’s different about your culture? Three things come to mind.
- Do you treat mistakes as failures or learning opportunities?
- Do you allow your employees to pursue their ideas, even for a moment.
- What and when was the last new idea presented, much less executed? Do you know who presented it?
The results of that likely include:
- Your stock price is a bit lower than Google's
- Your hiring costs are not only higher than Google's but higher than it could be.
- Your employee turnover is higher not only higher than Google's but higher than it could be
- You see more empty desks on Fridays and Mondays, tallied, if you tally them, as sick days, and their tally is higher than Google and higher than it should be. Maybe, the employees are not lying in bed, feverish and delirious, but they are sick of their job.
- You haven't had any good ideas that helped drive revenues and stock prices in...a long time.
Why not find out? Give everyone a FedEx day. Let them work on a project and deliver their ‘package’ absolutely, positively overnight. Give them the chance to tell the story of their package and how they made it and why it’s important for improving their/your organization.
Lest anyone think this a company-sponsored play-period, accountability is included in that last sentence especially this phrase: why it’s important for improving their/your organization. Peer recognition is a very effective motivator. So, is recognition by your leaders and managers.
So many steps of recognition are rolled up into this one simple, audacious, step. There's:
- Share Your Failures,
- Know Their Dreams,
- Tell Them Why and How They Matter...
- Make It Fun
- Make Meetings Meaningful for Them
- Reward the Disruptors
The step's audacious. When you take this step, even if you take this step, is key. If you are just beginning your journey towards an engaged culture, maybe wait. Take it as one of the last steps in your journey.
But, whenever you do, prepare yourself to be surprised and delighted. You’ll soon discover (recognize) you already have super-smart people around you. And you’ll see why they’re super-smart.
And they’ll know you recognize them now as super-smart. And so will their peers. And their managers.
Think that will translate into a stock price equal to Google's? No. Not today, not even tomorrow.
Think that will translate into customers who want to share their experience of your culture? Yes.
Think that will translate into more super-smart people wanting to join your organization of other super-smart people? Yes.
Think that will translate into more ideas for more products in more markets to drive more revenue? ...Yes.
There's the ROI for this simple step of recognizing your employees as the super-smart people they can be...if you let them. So...
Give them a FedEx Day
You can start with any week of the 52-Week Employee Recognition Plan and make that your first week.
You can take one of those weeks and turn it into a month or commit to an accelerated pace and complete 6 of the weeks in one month.
You can create your own week of employee recognition. Share that journey here. Share it in your blog or Twitter or Facebook.But do something to recognize your employees! They set your brand apart as your ultimate competitive edge. And the more you recognize their achievements, the more achievements you'll see and they'll enjoy, along with your customers and and shareholders, partners and vendors.