When you’re a 6-year-old and it’s summertime, the world is your oyster – or let’s say it’s your stalk of rhubarb, freshly picked from the garden. It was a long time ago in Mississippi, but I can remember the thrill of breaking off a stalk of dewy rhubarb from Mrs. McCreary’s garden and wandering through the neighborhood to enjoy it. My neighbor Jeff and I discovered the garden one summer, and we would meet up early in the morning and head over to the McCreary place, where we would help ourselves to a sample of the crisp, tart delicacy.
After several days of this early summer treat, we were approaching the garden one morning when Mrs. McCreary appeared on the back porch and beckoned us to her.
“There’s a thief about who’s been stealing my rhubarb,” she drawled. “You boys know anything about that?”
“No ma’am,” we replied in unison.
“Well I’ll tell you what, boys,” she said, “since I know you two are trustworthy and would never steal from a neighbor, I’d like to hire you to guard my rhubarb for the next couple weeks. Just keep an eye out for anybody who might look suspicious. For your trouble, I’ll bake you a nice big rhubarb pie.”
Well, miraculously there were no more thefts from Mrs. McCreary’s garden, and looking back on it, I learned a valuable lesson.
In her infinite Southern wisdom, Mrs. McCreary offered us a delicious incentive to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. It is a simple, effective tool that every supervisor can use when managing employees. People do better when they are asked to be part of the team’s success. It’s human nature to want to feel like we matter to the company’s success and that we are more than just a cog in the wheel.
An easy way to give everybody a stake in the company is to make each member of the team responsible for something. Let each team member take responsibility for something specific. It gives each one a stake in the outcome and lets them know that others on the team are counting on them. If you take the effort to make your employees feel like they are an integral part of the success of the company, your operation will benefit. Your employees will benefit too. And you won’t even have to bake them a rhubarb pie.
President, National Precast Concrete Association
SUZIE HERB says
This was a very ‘tasty’ rumination and a great lesson that all companies large and small should implement and practice. When you have employees that feel as if they are just a warm body performing tasks each day for a paycheck there is no true commitment or passion in their efforts. When you truly care about your employees, treat them with respect, and expect particular tasks from them to make them an integral part of the team it will inspire your employees to work with respect for themselves, their employer and the team as a whole. Anything less will result in loss of profit, low moral and as a cause and affect, loss of customer confidence and patronage. Everyone needs a purpose, to feel needed and to know they are inclusive in the outcome. Teamwork is essential to a thriving business.
Jesus Mario says
I agree 100% it is wise to recognize the value of good employees , a lot of supervisors don’t see it that way. An employee that feels appreciated will always perform better and that brings more rewards like working in a friendly and healthy environment.
thanks for sharing
Nicholas Bilyk says
This was a very helpful post. I really enjoyed reading how team work is a very important asset for any company. For example, a supervisor being able to recognize the strengths and values of their employees and assigning them to their appropriate tasks can greatly improve not only the company’s production but also the employee’s morals. With supervisors being more aware and rewarding of their employees efforts, this will provide more work motivation and a chance for employees to show their potential and worth within the company. All of this can be useful in creating a better image for the company.
Thank you for sharing this blog.
James Headley says
A little bit or even better, a big chunk of good old southern wisdom.
Kyle Reiner says
Great article. Teamwork is the key. It’s like “One stick breaks easily but a group of sticks doesn’t”. Power of Unity. 🙂
Nice and informative piece and great leaning about team work.