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CLOSING CASE: THE ROLE OF PRIDE IN BUILDING HIGH MORALE
PaeTec Communications wants its employees to engage in exceptional efforts to make customers happy. Arunas Chesonis, former CEO of PaeTec, realized that high morale among his employees was an important key to good customer service. He wanted each employee to feel a sense of pride in the company, so he made every effort to recognize work done well. Rewards ranged from a personal note to a cruise vacation. Jon R. Katzenbach, author of Why Pride Matters More Than Money, says employee pride is what drives high-performing organizations like Southwest Airlines, SAS Institute, the U.S. Marine Corps, and The Container Store. He offers the following toolkit for those who want to become effective pride builders: Personalize the workplace. This means get involved in the everyday problems of your employees. Managers at some Marriott hotels work with employees from several different countries. These workers often need help learning the English language, preparing to become American citizens, and finding affordable child-care services. Marriott realizes that any problem that affects employees will eventually affect their on-the job performance.
Localize as much as possible. “Don’t wait for your organization or its leaders to instill pride,” says Katzenbach. The best pride builders are quick to spot and recognize the small achievements that will instill pride in their people.
Make your messages simple and direct. A pride-building program can be as simple as telling a story that describes how an employee’s behavior exemplified a company value, or a story about how an employee solved a customer problem. Not only does this build pride, it demonstrates through example the values and behaviors a company wants to see in its employees.
1. Some human resource department employees voice concerns when supervisors or team leaders get involved with the everyday problems of their workers. Discuss your thoughts on this issue.
2. Some leaders in business and industry say that worker pride is the by-product of achievement. What are your thoughts? What factors constitute achievement at your local McDonald’s restaurant? Your local community hospital?