In Blog #19, I talked about how to Pursue Growth and Learning to get Ahead. In this post I want to talk about How to Motivate Employees and Improve Systems .
It was a fun contest that inspired our competitive juices to flow. I can’t remember if Jim kicked in anything extra for the winner but we had fun with it in any case. Based on this success, I made up other contests as a motivational tool later in my career. Funny thing, I was talking to Louis (yes, we have remained friends since Rodders) the other day and he has used similar contests too with his teams.
Our team became closer as time passed and we frequently went out for beers after work. Sometimes Bill and I would grab a beer or two. Other times just Louis and I. On rare occasions the whole team would go as Sharon & Donna had homework to do usually.
Bill was dating someone he was serious about at the time so most of our conversations were around her but we would also talk about our shoe careers and how to improve things in the department. I learned a lot from him with those conversations. Little did I know the lady he was dating would be my future mother in law one day…
Idea Man strikes
One night, Louis and I were talking about how the transfers took so long to get to the store. Louis said “too bad Donna and Sharon couldn’t just bring the transfers to each other at school since they both went to Fresno City college and Sharon lived near Fashion Fair”. We both turned our heads toward each at the same time and looked at each other for a minute. “That’s brilliant” I said, “let’s ask Jim”. With Jim’s blessing we created a faster “transfer system” which got the shoes quicker to the store for our customers.
Sometimes having a conversation can result in how to motivate people and improve systems. We had a simple contest that didn’t make anybody rich but sure created a healthy competitive atmosphere. This opened up our communication with each other that lead to putting our heads together. We ultimately improved a lengthy transfer system to better serve our customers.
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…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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