Tuesday, March 14, 2006

LEADERSHIP--It's all about relationships

I work with a number of organizations--mostly with mid-level managers--showing them how the relationship they have with their employees is just as important as the relationship they have with their customers. (Check out my leadership workshops at www.marktalks.com...)

Here's a terrific example of a CEO who really shows his workers how much he cares for them. David Seeger runs the Great Lakes Credit Union, and recently he took a page from a reality TV show and used it as a fun new employee promotion that was as beneficial as it was motivational. Here's the story from the Toledo Blade:

A worker suggested that the credit union emulate the NBC show The Biggest Loser, in which contestants attempt to shed lots of weight. Mr. Seeger, a self-confessed "health nut," liked the idea and hired his own personal trainer, Donna Susor, to give his workers a tutorial on diet and exercise. At a holiday party near the start of the year, she measured and weighed them.

Employees of the credit union divided into three teams...the average worker lost 6 1/2 pounds, but some did far better. For example, Rachel Walters, of the winning team, lost 27 pounds and more than 20 inches. CEO Mr. Seeger said the weight-loss contest is just one of many activities to promote teamwork and fun. In the past, the credit union's "fun committee" came up with a night at Raceway Park, a scavenger hunt, a bowling party, picnics, and a trivia contest.

Sounds like a great place to work, doesn't it? I know the company well, and Great Lakes Credit Union has one of the highest employee retention rates in the industry. If "it's all about relationships," make sure your employees feel as appreciated as your customers!

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