I know. No budget.
There are things any leader can do using barter and very little budget that improve morale and improve the attitude of everyone.
1. Pre-book dinner with all personalities with limo transport to and from the restaurant
2. A public meeting with the entire staff or even at an event where the audience is present to award trophies to air staff and other employees for their achievements.
3. Snail mail a letter to their home thanking them for all they do when someone does something truly outstanding. That way, their whole family will know you appreciate their dedication.
4. Send flowers to spouses and then let the air staff know you did so and made the flowers “from them.”
5. In mid-summer, take everyone to an indoor location for a (machine-made) snowball fight or in the middle of winter to an indoor pool for a pool party.
6. “Staff” jackets for the air staff with their name on them.
7. Old fashioned telegrams to individual air staff saluting them for the “above and beyond” things they do.
8. Conduct a “war college” at the local military base or reserve post. Go to the local Army-Navy store and equip everyone with fatigues, show pieces from “Patton,” and psyche up your warriors.
9. Do a meeting in the locker room of a competitive college or pro team and have the coach talk about motivation and winning.
And, finally, 10. Stage an amazing annual Christmas Party.
And, an admission: I learned a lot of these tactics over many years of working with Mike McVay, who with his business-and-life partner Doris took the definition of “Holiday Party” to a new level each year with an amazing staff dinner at the nicest hotel downtown and concluded with a party game of “wheel of McVay,” which was a fun way of giving everyone who works together all year with an impressive gift and a feeling they all work for a generous, winning organization.
Maybe that's why, after all these years, A&O&B still retains an association with the McVays. They know how to motivate and retain people.
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