What makes this market so unique is the employees’ enthusiasm and love for their work. They have taken the mundane task of packing, wrapping, and selling fish to another level — that of pure amusement and entertainment, for customers and fellow workers. The workers toss fish, mimic words from the mouths of the fish, engage customers in lively chatter, and make shopping for fish something to look forward to.
THE FOUR BASIC FUNDAMENTALSThe book authors cited the following fundamentals as the keys to creating an engaging work environment:
Fish! Tales uses real-life examples to emphasize these fundamentals, describing them as choices that everyone can make. The owners of Tile Technology Roofing Co. in Tacoma, WA, acknowledged that roofing was a hard job (sound familiar?) and often attracted people with hard lives. The owners tasked themselves to teach their people how to grow and to value happiness — a daunting task.
The company sent their people to Pike Place Fish to learn about attitudes, because the fishmongers were young men like themselves, and were doing a job that few others wanted to do.
The employees were deeply affected by what they saw at the market. One posted the words “Choose Your Attitude” on his front door and said that as he walks out, he chooses his attitude for the day “then and there.”
AN EXAMPLE WE CAN RELATE TOI began thinking about these books and the real-life examples when visiting Randy Seaman, owner of Seaman’s Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration in Grand Rapids, MI. Seaman’s company won the “2002 Commercial Contractor of the Year” award from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
Seaman has a refreshing and uplifting attitude toward his customers and his employees. He credits the award to what his team does, not what he does.
The whole time we conversed, he never started a sentence with “I” — it was always “We.” I think Seaman uses a lot of the Fish! principles, whether he is conscious of them or not. He has a genuine passion for his job, which is very uplifting. I’ll tell his company’s story in a future issue of The News.
In the meantime, grab a copy of these books. I believe you will be moved by the messages.
Hall is business management editor. He can be reached at 734-542-6214; 734-542-6215 (fax); firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail).
Publication date: 05/20/2002