As my mother said while I was growing up, “If you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability.” Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
When you work on a project, do your best. Don’t cut corners. Do the best you absolutely can. Be present.
When you spend time with your kids, make it about the quality of time rather than the quantity. Be present. Pay attention to them and only them.
When you spend time with your spouse or significant other, make the time special. Focus on making your significant other feel as if no one else is more important. Be present.
When you worship God, worship in spirit and in truth. Don’t focus on your wants. Focus on what God wants. Be present.
To put forth your maximum effort in whatever you do, there is one rule. Be present. If you are present, which means not allowing yourself to be distracted by anything else, you will focus on what you are doing.
Many of us think of effort in terms of time. But the more time you spend on something does not equate to better output. Instead, quality is so much more important than quantity when thinking about time.
Increase your focus and you can decrease your required time and still increase your productivity.
Toward the beginning of a two-hour drive for a client meeting, I stopped at a local fast food joint to pick up lunch to go. Naturally, the exchange with the Chick-fil-A employee over the speaker in the drive-thru was pleasant. She said “my pleasure” twice during the brief exchange. I know this is ingrained in the training process of Chick-fil-A employees. Chick-fil-A employees focus on creating a wonderful customer experience. It’s such a pleasure to patronize a Chick-fil-A restaurant.
The car in front of me in the drive-thru was at the pick-up window for less than 30 seconds. When he pulled away, I pulled up next to the window. A young and very enthusiastic Chick-fil-A employee practically jumped through the window and said, “We’re playing a game today. If you can finish the next part of the Christmas song I sing, your meal is free. You have to sing it though.”
“Okay. I’ll try to get it.”
“I’m dreaming of a,” she started to sing.
When I belted out “White Christmas” in song, she and her to co-workers clapped and screamed with delight. Sure enough, my food was free.
This completely took me off guard. Every time I frequent a Chick-fil-A (except the one in the food court in the mall in downtown Philadelphia), the employees are polite, service is tremendous and the food tastes great. But, this “game” surprised me.
Whether this “game” was dictated by management of the local restaurant or a chain-wide directive, I don’t know. I wonder what the employees reactions were when they were told to do this or if they came up with the idea themselves. Regardless, they did it with enthusiasm and class.
I put Chick-fil-A employees in the same group of employees of great brands like Southwest Airlines, Panera Bread Co and Hampton Inn as far as quality service and consistency. However, this is my first experience being caught completely off guard by something like this.
Way to go Chick-fil-A!
If you have ever had a similar experience with any company, please leave a comment below. Let’s spread the idea that happy employees make businesses great!
Try to sit in a room and listen to people speak about current and proposed accounting standards and stay awake. I dare you.
It’s not easy. Accounting rules are not fun or exciting. In fact, they are pretty boring.
That being said, I love public accounting because continual learning is necessary and expected. No, I’m not necessarily talking about the class room setting above. Instead, I’m talking about learning in other ways.
I loved school. I loved to learn. There were, of course, classes that did not keep my attention. Overall, though, school was very enjoyable.
Do you like to learn? You probably do but maybe you don’t know it.
If you like to read, you like to learn. Even if you read fiction, you’re learning something. Either you’re learning about human relationships or something else.
In my public accounting career, I’ve discovered the opportunities for continual learning are prevalent. I get to learn about banking rules and regulations, accounting standards, writing and editing, human personalities, etc. I learn something new every day.
For example, today I learned about a different thought process for proposing on new work from prospective clients. Yesterday, I learned about the importance of making sure everyone in an audience can hear me when I speak. Every day I learn something new about how companies operate and the business reasons decisions are made. These may be little things to learn, but they make each day different.
Do you crave to experience continual learning each day? Did you even realize you learn each day? If not, you learned it now (hopefully).
p style=”text-align: justify;”>Continual learning is not specific to public accounting. Every career, every industry, every person learns every day. You can appreciate your opportunities to learn or you can ignore them. How do you choose to react?
Approximately 33,000 people work at Google. Google employees experience some great corporate perks such as on-site rock climbing walls, permission to work on personal projects, etc.
Public accounting (my industry) heavily emphasizes hours worked. Netflix, in contrast, does not have set hours or days to work. Instead, management of Netflix focus on what gets done. This is just one of many great corporate perks.
We can’t all work at google or Netflix but we can experience some pretty good corporate perks. Perks are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. I hope to see these in the near future:
On-site masseuse – Nothing feels better than a good massage. I’ve only had two professional massages in my life and they helped relieve my back aches. Maybe you’re like me and carry your stress in your neck and shoulders. Massages help relieve that stress.
For anyone who works in an office at a desk or in front of a computer, proper posture is hard to maintain. Without good posture, your back starts to hurt. Oh how a good massage would help that back ache and allow me to be more productive.
A full-time on-site masseuse would be fairly expensive as far as corporate perks are concerned. I think the employees’ productivity would make up for that money pretty quickly (depending on the size of the company/office of course) but one day a week is probably a good place to start.
On-site chiropractic care – My family relies heavily on our chiropractor for more than just sore backs and necks. Your spinal column being out of proper alignment can cause more than just a sore back or neck. You can treat the sniffles, fevers and so much more just by getting a chiropractic adjustment.
In fact, we took both of our youngest children to see the chiropractor within a few days of being born. A natural birth is very hard on a baby and a slight adjustment can help that baby be comfortable. Our chiropractor was also the one who diagnosed my appendicitis and shingles.
As with an on-site masseuse, an on-site chiropractor would help productivity by allowing people to be more comfortable. They could sit for longer periods of time without having to get up as frequently. It would also cut down on the number of sick days used by employees because problems could be fixed or prevented. Can you envision this as one of your corporate perks?
Free supply of healthy foods – If you’re anything like me, you get the munchies in the mid-morning and in the afternoon. I try to bring something healthy with me to the office to satisfy those periods of hunger but I’m not always able to do so. When I don’t bring something, I do one of two things. Either I convince myself to drink more water to fill up or I go down to the lobby shop and buy something. Option one is good; option two is not quite so good.
A healthy supply of fruits and vegetables would be better than the frequent leftover cookies and cakes. You could satisfy that need for something crunchy by eating a couple of celery or carrot sticks. You could satisfy the sugar urge by eating some grapes.
Some businesses implemented this corporate perk a long time ago. Kudos to them. I can’t wait to see it more. An extra $200 a week to buy healthy snacks for employees would be earned back quickly by more productive employees.
Free coffee, tea and sodas are corporate perks but those are already popular. I have, however, witnessed companies that do not offer free coffee for employees. I guess the cost must be too high (please note my sarcasm).
What other corporate perks do you wish your company would have? Do you think you would be more productive if you had more corporate perks? A definitive return on investment has to be realized before those corporate perks will ever be implemented. If you want them, prove they will help.