I've just returned from a visit to Hobaica Services in Phoenix, AZ.
Hobaica Services is the ContractingBusiness.com 2011 Residential Contractor of the Year. And whether you're a commercial refrigeration or focus only on residential or commercial HVAC markets, you can take a lesson from Hobaica's when it comes to employee appreciation.
Once each month the company holds a rally for its employees. The meetings begin with the company cheer, jingle, motto, and a pep talk. Then the real fun begins, when bonus money is distributed to employees for points they accumulate through excellent customer service.
The more "Raving Fans" they create — that is, customers who are so pleased with their service that they phone in a compliment — the more points and bonus money they earn. The top bonus earner at this meeting pocketed more than $1,000. Other winners received bonuses of $300 to $800.
Owners Louis, Paul, and Mike Hobaica also are generous with vacation points. In fact, one of their top salesmen was at Disneyland with his family on the day I visited.
The point is not how much cash you can give your employees. It's how much appreciation you can show them. You might not be able to reward them so richly, but fin a way to keep employees eager to go out of their way to provide excellent customer service. Think of ways you can improve your employee appreciation programs this spring and summer, and you'll all be richly rewarded.