As we roll into August, we are feeling the dog days of summer right now! This is the time of year when bees are buzzing, ants are marching and termites are swarming. It is also the time of year when pest management professionals (PMPs) are getting more calls than they can handle and driving around in the brutal heat to get to their next customer. In addition, it is the time of year when the attic is only frequented by the most daring of PMPs.
While insect and business activity are at an all-time high, employee morale may take a back seat to business. It is important to remember what our business is all about: people. One of our service professionals, Dustin McCrystal, who has been with Truly Nolen for seven years, swung by my office during a recent training class break just to chat as we typically do. He noted that, “It’s just nice to be part of a company that cares about each other — it really matters.”
I share this because I think he captured who we are as a company, but also as an entire industry. We take care of people and address one of their most common, innate fears: insects. Just as we take care of our customers every day, it is so important to take care of your team that you work with, especially during these long days of summer. Here are three things Truly Nolen does during the dog days to boost team morale and care for our people:
1) Service Appreciation Week: Although we celebrate through different avenues year-round, we pick the hottest week of summer to give a big thank you to the ones that are out sweating the most. We celebrate with a nice cooked meal by the manager and gifts for each service professional. We also raffle off a bunch of fun prizes all week long — headphones, televisions, high-end coolers, gift cards and more. The week concludes with our executive team calling those on the front line, thanking them and listening for feedback.
2) Training classes: Most people focus on training during the slow season, but training is year-round at Truly Nolen. Break up the summer heat with an afternoon training class while the day is at its hottest. Although this can be a challenge with the demand from customers this time of year, your team will appreciate the reprieve from the heat — as well as the opportunity for career development.
3) Puppy Time: If all else fails, the best way to boost office morale is bringing your pet — in my case, two basset hound puppies, Windsor and Wessex. Most people cannot resist their sweet faces! My pups made a shameless debut on my LinkedIn page recently, and have brought smiling faces to everyone at our Orlando office. My dad, Truly D. Nolen, brought his dog Newman to the office every day and he was a great companion. I welcome employees to bring their housebroken, trained dogs to the office because you can see how they really bring people together. Furthermore, studies have shown pets reduce stress and promote health!
In conclusion, whether you use my suggestions or create your own ways to boost your company’s office morale, anything you can do that helps your employee feel appreciated goes a long way to retaining them, and in turn, helps recruit new ones due to your visible culture.