The $125,000 Thank You

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    All companies go through tough times but it’s the way management handles it that makes a difference.

    For example, Armstrong International, a number of years ago, had to put a wage freeze into effect to get through what looked like a very difficult year. Right from the start, management was up front with the employees talking about how they plan to handle this challenge.

    However, the year turned out much better than projected. So to celebrate, everyone was asked to attend a meeting where David Armstrong, the CEO, was standing behind a large table covered by a white sheet. He explained that since the company was doing better than anticipated, he wanted to share its good fortune.

    He then lifted the sheet and everyone saw, to their amazement, a table covered with $10 bills; some 12,500 of them – stacked two feet high. One by one, each employee came up and was told, “Thank you for your understanding and commitment to Armstrong.” Each walked away with forty crisp, new $10 bills.

    What can be learned from this great story?

    1. Treat people fairly.
    The company could have kept the $125,000 and nobody would have been the wiser.
    2. Make thank-you’s appreciative.
    Sure the company could have given everybody a $400 check, but it wouldn’t have had the same effect. By thanking each one individually, management sent a message that it truly values its people.
    3. Communicate with style.
    Seeing $125,000 up close is exciting, even today. There’s nothing wrong with some fun and drama. This story has been told over and over again by employees and by the media. It’s a great morale booster for present and future employees and great publicity for the company.

    Management Success Tip
    It’s the small things everyday that can bring down morale and it’s the small things everyday that can raise it as well. How well do you keep your workers motivated during these tough times? Are you an effective manager? For additional ideas to boost morale see How to motivate without breaking the bank.

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?