Monday, June 23, 2008

Where Everybody Knows Your Name!

Who can name where today’s topic came from?

Here are a few hints...

- It was a famous tune
- It came from a hit TV show
- Norm, Carla, Diane and Sam
- It described a place
- A bar to be specific

Of course it came from the long running TV show "Cheers."

Company managers should catch up on Cheers reruns because the show’s basic premise provides a simple but powerful lesson in employer engagement.

In my last post I stated my belief that “employer” engagement is the prerequisite for “employee” engagement. In other words, don’t expect employees to be engaged if your managers aren’t engaging them.

This seems pretty basic, but as common courtesy goes, this is the first step to actually feeling like a valued part of anything.

For example, when you enter a restaurant and the maître d’ greets you with a, “Heeey Norm!” You feel like you’re a part of something: you feel respected and appreciated.

However, what if the maître d’ can’t remember your name? Even though you eat lunch there five times a week and have put the owner’s four children through college. What if all you get is an awkward look? But you know he remembers you, he knows who you are. You realize he may be just having an off day, maybe his hamster fell off the wheel temporarily. Nevertheless, you can’t help think he just couldn’t be bothered to retain your name.

It’s a situation neither of you want to be in and nobody feels good about.

So what can “Cheers” reruns teach us? That it’s important to have a company culture “Where everyone knows your name!”

Knowing and using someone’s first name is an important step to “real recognition.”

Recognition starts with a name!