The “WOW!” Is In The Details

Image source: Pinterest

It’s surprising how easy it can be to WOW people. 

Yet, in the crush of our busy days we are focused on getting things done and checking off our to-do lists.  As the day heats up we fire-fight, multi-task, prioritize, work through lunch, come in early, and stay late.  And, in the process we usually do a good job on accuracy and product quality — and we can sometimes become blind to doing the little extras that could make the difference between satisfying and or wowing employees and/or customers.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the Wow experience.  Consider:

  • What have people done that has Wowed you? 
  • Have Wow experiences ever changed your attitude and behavior?
  • How can you tell when you’ve Wowed someone else? 
  • What’s the impact of “Wow!” and is it worth taking time to create it?

About 20 years ago, I was engaged as a consultant with a new leadership team responsible for a new company made up of several recently merged manufacturing companies.  The V.P. of H.R. was my principal client and I often received support from his assistant, a woman named Gail, a special woman who knew about the power of Wow.  Gail showed us how investment in details can transform an effort from good to Wow.  To this woman, it was simple:  “Let’s make it nice.”  This was Gail’s approach with people in general, in both her work and personal life.  And, what a difference she made for people and for the organization.  The thing is, we can all make this difference – it’s all about creating the “Wow!” and it takes remarkably little time and effort.

Following are two typical situations where the “Wow!” is available to us, in the details.

Reward:  Team Lunch

Option A:  Getting it DoneOption B:  “Making it Nice”Results
Order plenty of pizza with different toppings Table cloths Option A:  Creates satisfactionOption B:  Creates the “Wow!” 
Place the pizza boxes on a table with paper towels Plastic  forks, knives; straws, napkins, paper plates 
Include salad as part of your buffet, for people who are trying to eat more healthfully OR provide menus for people to choose their own food 
Sodas, water 
Paper place mats that say Thank You! with each employee’s name 

Set Up Summer Safety Hydrating Program For Plant Employees

Option A:  Getting it DoneOption B:  “Making it Nice”Results
On the first hot day, find spots to put out water and gatorade In advance, purchase travel cups with the company logo and each employee’s name for them to use in and outside work Option A:  Creates satisfactionOption B:  Creates the “Wow!” 
Communicate in team meetings about  the safety issues of working indoors in the heat  Plan the locations of hydrating stations so that they are quickly accessible to all work station and share it as a graphic with your team for their input prior to set-up
Review the rules  Print a one page flyer of summer hydration information (from the OSHA.gov web-site) and hand them out in the travel cups during your team meeting 
Invite your Safety representative to the meeting to talk about the symptoms and signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion and how to deal with them 

Set Up A Company Cook-out For All Employees

Option A:  Getting it DoneOption B:  “Making it Nice”Results
Provide a grill, picnic tables and benches, hamburgers, hotdogs, condiments, napkins and plastic forks, spoons, knives; employees prepare the foodAdd salads, beverages, cookies and table-cloths on the tables and designate managers to prepare the food for employees with choices of rare, medium rare and well doneOption A:  Creates satisfactionOption B:  Creates the “Wow!” 
Schedule it for non-work hours, in advanceSchedule it during employee paid work hours, in advance
Have a member of management give a talk before the meal on a business subject  Have a member of management give a talk to thank employees and share good news before the the meal

Provide an Ice Cream Social for All Employees

Option A:  Getting it DoneOption B:  “Making it Nice”Results
Schedule an Ice Cream Truck to come during paid time and communicate it in advancePurchase tubs of several flavors of ice cream with a selection of toppings as well as boxes of various ice cream bar treatsOption A:  Creates satisfactionOption B:  Creates the “Wow!” 
Schedule it during employee paid hours, including either indoor or outdoor seating
Set up serving stations where employees line up in short lines and managers make sundaes to order, employees choose treats

The value of wowing people is in how it makes them feel:  important, cared about, and appreciated.  It builds feelings of mutual good will.  By making extra effort you’re leading by example.  And, you’re building a Wow culture. Is it worth it? You decide.

Please share your thoughts, opinions and experiences with “Wow”.  What difference could you make as a leader at work with a little more focus on details, on ‘making it nice’, on creating the “Wow!”?

Revised, Copyright 6/8/2021 by Rosanna M. Nadeau; Copyright 4/28/2014 by Rosanna Nadeau, Prism Perspectives Group, LLC.

Image source: Pinterest

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