Monday, January 07, 2008

I remember way back when, when the company put out their quarterly meeting videos. It was a big deal for us. We'd all be able to sit in; I could put the phones on automatic (although hardly anyone ever did accept the automated voicemail system). They sent out for lunch. Fabulous. And then there was the video link itself. Movie time! I didn't even mind the blatant corporate imagery, the motivational aspect that was so embedded into it.

Of course not every company does that sort of thing. Some don't go with live video. Some go with animated motivational stuff. These short cartoons teach things like customer service skills in a fun way. Marastar is a company that specializes in these short video cartoons. One of the things that makes them truly special is that they include humor as well as the basic skills and gentle reminders to your staff. If you're the one in charge of planning company-wide meetings and training sessions, consider cartoon humor as a good way to motivate people. It does make an impact. Personally, I felt much more motivated by our quarterly movie and lunch than I did by the coffee mug or service pin. With a little thought behind the planning, you can spark something fresh in your team. This of course has to be based on the people who work for you. If you've got a bunch that can be fired up by a logo on a mug you might want to consider a different sort; the sort who bring a spark of humanity back into the workplace. We've long suspected that drones don't really accomplish much. If you can engage the person, instead of the contracted business services provided by a human-shaped entity who is just there for the paycheck, that's a great first step to making a business that will last longer than 5 or 6 years.

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