Last month, 94-year-old Loraine Maurer celebrated her 44-year anniversary working at McDonald’s. Since 1973, Maurer has worked at a number of U.S. locations in Evansville, Indiana. During the winter months, fellow McDonald’s coworkers and loyal customers pick her up and drop her off at home after her shift.
“After all these years, Loraine remains committed to serving her customers with one of the most delightful smiles around. She has a loyal following and they look forward to having her take their orders,” Chip and Katie Kenworthy, the owners of the McDonald’s store Maurer works at, wrote in a statement.
Ms. Maurer has eaten McDonald’s at every shift and on several occasions when she was sick, she had food delivered to her house. But at the end the day it’s not the food that keeps her around. “My customers make my life,” Maurer says. “I have traveled with them, gone to ball games with them. They’re friends, not just customers.”
While I have not had the pleasure of sitting down with Maurer to ask her to take my 10-question employee engagement survey, I already know the results. She’s engaged. The result? Customers who keep coming back for more – more interactions with Maurer and more Big Macs, which means a great brand reputation for McDonald’s and greater profits.
How do your employees stack up to Maurer? Would fellow coworkers and loyal customers pick them up and drop them off at home after their shift? Do they continuously smile? Would they spend their free time with your customers getting to know they families and interests? Do they ask for your product to be delivered to their home when they are sick because they miss it?
If not, you may not have the right person in every chair in your company. You see, every day, your employees go to work and have a choice. They can do what they have to do to get by, or they can give you a ton of discretionary effort and make your company shine.
And while I believe it’s management’s responsibility to create an amazing work environment where employees can engage and excel, the truth is that some people choose to not engage. No matter what you do, they will never be satisfied because of how they are wired. Or, they have so much baggage they have not dealt with that it’s continually dragging them down.
BE AWESOME! Every company has employees who – for a myriad of reasons – are bringing your firm, and everyone around them, down. Who are the biggest offenders in your company? Once you’ve identified these people, develop them. Development is always the first step, but if they choose to not change and grow, document your efforts and consider termination. Why? Your company will never flourish if you allow slackers or people with toxic attitudes to stay. And besides, why would you choose someone who gives 50 percent when every chair in your company could be occupied someone who gives 100 percent? Someone like Ms. Maurer.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.