There is more to Deroy’s story. (see the 5.7.10 blog for more details.) After his astonishing service, I felt I had to share with his manager that he was practicing what they had taught him in the orientation process. As a learning & performance specialist, I always eagerly welcome feedback about how a participant implements what we discussed. More importantly, I would want to know as a manager so I could acknowledge, appreciate, & applaud Deroy’s great gesture.
Instead this is what happened.
On the way in the store, Deroy saw his manager walking towards us. The manager was obviously busy because of the pace of his stride & his tight grip on his clipboard. His nonverbal shouted that he was on a mission. I stopped him and shared my story briefly. He did not ask for more details and only said in a low tone “Thanks, Deroy.” Wanting to see Deroy get the appropriate praise, I continued to express my appreciation. The next response took my breath away. He asked if I wanted to get my tire changed there. Now, as a business woman, I can understand promoting your services. However, this manager took his time to promote his business but not his employee. Could he have done both? Could he have taken a minute to make a big deal out of Deroy’s grand gesture?
As a manager or leader, it only takes a minute to significantly recognize an employee. One of my favorite authors, Ken Blanchard, wrote an entire series of books entitled, “The One Minute Manager.” This manager could have created a motivating experience, but his to-list took priority. The powerful lesson to this part of the story: leaders take advantage of opportunities to HONOR YOUR EMPLOYEES. That simple effort will pay big in return.