As simple as two trash cans

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April 16, 2015- ISSN# 1545-2646




As simple as two trash cans

I witnessed something this week which I just had to share.

As business leaders we are always looking to find the magical element to engage our employees into their jobs.

Some employers craft fancy compensation and bonus programs.  Others set goals and give opportunities to win trips and sporting event tickets etc. Others provide in office perks like nice lunch rooms with TV’s and pool tables.  Everyone is trying to find that special way to spark their employees to that next level of contribution.

This week I happened to be at a client location when he was delivering some very general supplies to the work location.  The items he was delivering were two rubberized trash containers which are used in the performance of some business activities. I was expecting a rather dismal reply from the employees to whom he gave the items but to my surprise they were very thankful.

They were so excited to take the old trash cans out to the dumpster and throw them away that I almost was run over in the process.

This started me thinking about how sometimes as leaders we overthink a solution trying to make it great when all that is needed is a simple conversation with the people doing the work to find out what would really make their jobs better.

As I did my investigation and asked a few questions, I came to find out that the request had been made by the employees just a day or so earlier and the trash cans arrived in just a short time later.  What excited the employees was that they were listened to and their input was acted upon immediately rather than days or weeks later after a long and worthless evaluation or so they were expecting.

I found out the total cost of the investment was under $50.00 and a few minutes to chase to the store to get them.

I suspect the return will be days of engaged employees and a reinvigorated spirit about their ability to contribute to the success of not just the company but to their own little space in the outcome of the business.

This week take a few minutes to ask your staff about low or no cost improvements to help them in their work efforts. Don’t overthink what they are asking for – just go spend a few dollars to show them that not only are you listening but acting to support them.

Curious about what you might do to engage your team? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 for some thoughts on listening to what is going on in the trenches.

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2015

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JKL Associates
18530 Mack Ave #242
Grosse Pointe Farms MI 48236

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