On Sunday we had all four kids for turkey dinner and a testament to their appetites were the minimal leftovers from a 19 pound bird. We also got our 3rd annual Andrew-special family-photo-on-a-timer….
On the topic of turkey dinners, Tom, our eldest and an electrician in Calgary, was treated to a “fantastic” one last Thursday. Shaw Court, a good-sized building in downtown Calgary, is undergoing a major renovation and has been the job site for Tom and dozens of other trade professionals, for months. They are working around the clock – apparently the job is behind and all the stops have been pulled out in terms of compensation and benefits to get the work done. But I found it interesting that of the various perks Tom has mentioned being available at this site, one that seemed to really impress him was the turkey dinner laid out for them at lunch just before the Thanksgiving weekend. It was likely the least expensive “perk” from a dollars perspective. I don’t know why but there is something about corporate actions which are for or abut the person and not just the pocketbook that seem to make an impact.
Last week I was working at my desk and I noticed Andrea was bringing back someone for an interview.The meeting room of PGB is never glamorous and at any given time can be a photo studio, nap room, assembled box storage area, or bridal consultation lounge (“lounge” is a stretch). At this moment, I knew it was just plain empty since it had been cleared of chairs for a big order earlier in the week, so I carried a couple of the chairs that had been stacked by my desk into the meeting room. Heading back to my office, I said hello to the person Andrea was interviewing for a baker position and shook his hand.
Yesterday Andrea sent me an email from the person accepting her offer (he had subsequently had two great trial shifts). In his email he mentioned that he really liked the atmosphere at Prairie Girl and that “Jean shook his hand and made him feel welcome”. Reading that, I reflected (for the umpteenth time in my career) that it is amazing how the smallest gestures or comments in passing can matter to people who work with you, or for you. I’m not suggesting that I now think I need to be involved in every interview – as I have written here before, if you have good managers, it is important to let them run their own shows. But it was a reminder to me that little things (a turkey dinner catered by a contractor, a handshake and warm hello to a job applicant) make more of an impact than we might realize.