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The Sign Says It All

I haven’t posted in awhile, but I had to comment on this experience. Suzi and I went to the Dairy Queen near the intersection of South Street and Normal Boulevard in Lincoln, NE where we live. It’s an old school walk-up DQ but they’ve enclosed the front where you order. We like this one for several reasons. It’s close to where we live, but it also has cute swings for customers to use while enjoying their treats, and the staff always seem friendly.

On this visit, I noticed their marquis which said, “We have the best employees!” On the door as I went in another sign said, “Employee Appreciation Month.” When I walked up to the counter I said with a big smile, “I appreciate the employees here. You guys are always friendly and you have the best buster bars in town.” There were no less than six young people working inside and they were all busy but every one of them heard me and looked up to smile or laugh.

When a young lady stepped to the register to take my order, I told her what we wanted and then asked, “So, is this a great place to work?”

“Yes it is!” She instantly replied.

“What makes it such a great place to work?” I asked.

One young man who was working at a machine nearby looked up and said, “She likes working with me!” Everyone laughed. That humor and banter told me something about the work culture of that Dairy Queen.

By this time all the staff was migrating to the front of the store as if they all wanted to answer my question. Again, that told me something. Not one of them said anything about the pay or even the hours. Another young man said, “I think the management does a good job.”

“Really?!” I responded, “What do you mean when you say they do a good job?”

His answer told the story. He said, “They get to know us and they care about us. They let us know that people are more important than money.”

Do you know what I didn’t see at that Dairy Queen that night? I didn’t see anyone slacking. Everyone was working. I didn’t see any frowns. Everyone was smiling and having a good time. And, I didn’t see a sign that said “Now Hiring.” Hmm, I wonder why.

It doesn’t matter what your widget is, every business is a people business. If you take care of the people, they will take care of the business.

That DQ is always busy and it’s no wonder. Customers love a place where the people who work there love being there. That happens only when “Management is doing a good job.”

How do your employees feel about working at your place? If you’d like to learn how to create that kind of work culture (even if you don’t sell ice cream), type the word “Happy” in the comments.

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