Create Moments, Create Community
I recently read an article in AdWeek about Eve Dubois. On Canada’s Family Feud, Eve confidently and incorrectly answered “Chicken!” when asked what Popeye’s favorite food was. There was only one correct answer, and that answer was “Spinach.”
I laughed at the video, but read on, learning that Popeye’s (the restaurant) helped make up for Eve’s missed opportunity to win $10,000 cash by publicly offering her $10,000 worth of Popeye’s chicken. Now, I realize that most people would rather have cash than fried chicken, BUT what I loved is that Popeye’s found an opportunity out of an average moment. Not only could Popeye’s boast a bit that their popularity outweighs that of the sailor, but they found a way to make people laugh and make a story of Eve’s public blunder, while still giving her a consolation prize.
I thought this was so clever that I shared the article on my LinkedIn page, but I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s almost embarrassing how much this cheeky little social media marketing story was on my mind. I was trying to rack my brain for ways that I, in my role, could be more like Popeye’s (without the giving away chicken part…I’m not great in the kitchen).
So here we go…
Instead of Popeye’s – leaders. Instead of Eve – employees.
What moments do your employees have every day that you can celebrate in a unique and memorable way?
I’m not suggesting leaders cut $10,000 checks left and right. I’m suggesting we find the small opportunities to make employees feel special, included, wanted. Because they are, aren’t they? Let’s stop thinking of employees as entitled and just average. They are unique beings with individual strengths, talents and passions to be celebrated…and they just want to be part of something.
I believe most people stay at a job because of the community, so how can you – every day – help your community at work flourish? It’s the words you say, the actions you take, the things you notice.
We recently worked with a client on refreshing their core values. We landed on “Create Moments” as one of the five, and I can’t help but think of this story. One employee in the office was heading out to buy some fabric for a nonprofit that helps the elderly do crafting projects to keep their minds and hands busy. Word spread rapidly and within days, the office had collected yards and yards of fabric donations to give to the organization. It wasn’t a planned event or initiative. It wasn’t a directive coming from the C-suite. It was just people being human and bringing that core value to life. *Moment created. Community strengthened.*
Watch for the little things that make your people human, and create a moment.
Did someone spend their evening volunteering at a homeless shelter? Collect some needed donations, or ask to come along next time.
Did someone make a new year’s resolution to read 52 books this year? Share your favorite book or make a big checklist in the office to celebrate progress.
Did someone get a new puppy? Have a puppy shower or get a dog picture frame for his/her desk.
Did someone start a new 21-Day Fix diet? Bring a diet-friendly snack into the office in solidarity or ask them to choose the menu for that next catered lunch meeting.
It doesn’t take a lot to create community. You don’t need $10,000. Or $10,000 worth of chicken. You just need people…and look around, they’re everywhere.