Last weekend, my family went to one of our favorite places to stop for a treat – Jamba Juice. We know what we like to there and we can order very quickly. As we started giving our order to the teenager behind the cash register, I noticed that there were four other employees behind the cash register in the area where they make smoothies. To my surprise, they immediately sprung into action and as fast as the young girl taking our order called out our smoothie, the Fantastic Four tossed ingredients into blenders and as I received my credit card and receipt back, they were already handing us our finished smoothies!
As I watched in amazement, one of the teenagers proudly stated to the other four, “One minute, sixteen seconds!” I was completely blown away by what I had just witnessed. I asked my wife to take a picture of the team so that I could write about them. Do they look happy or what? These are not your typical Generation Y (or Generation Why) / Generation Slack teenagers. They enjoy what they do and put every bit of energy they have into their job.
As I have thought about this event over the last few days, the following ideas came to my mind.
1 – Make Your Work Fun – I worked in restaurants (fast and slow) in college and I know from experience that it is sometimes very hard to keep yourself and your peers motivated in that line of work. This team of young people made a game / contest out of their job and not only had a great time doing their work, but also got the job done faster than they could have “the regular way.” Not to mention, the customers (me!) got an eyeful of positive energy from them.
2 – Competitions Can Be Good, Sometimes They Can Be Great – Practically every place I worked had some type of internal competition which gave us incentives to do our job quicker, better, more accurate, etc. Contests ranged from individual efforts of who could clean their area the quickest or who sold the most items to team efforts such as getting the customer their products in under a certain time frame. Whether there is a monetary reward (50 cents an hour raise that week for the team making a certain sales level) or just a public recognition in front of your peers, these contests and incentives worked for teenagers and can also work for adults. I don’t know if this was a formalized competition or just something that the Jamba crew made up to keep themselves amused, but it definitely worked.
Customer Service is a hard job; these teenagers found a way to make it fun. I haven’t yet mentioned the best part of this whole thing…they got our order 100% correct.
Thanks for reading,