|How do you build employee morale, and turn it into a competitive advantage, where your employees fight for your company and brag about working for you?
Sometimes it’s the pay, and sometimes it’s the perks you offer.
But sometimes it’s the love you show.
The following story is going to inspire you to do more. Meet Tami Blanchard, owner of Homestead Landscaping in Vermont. She is a new member of my Leader’s Edge Peer Group, whom I have known for a few years now. In a recent zoom meeting, Tami shared something remarkable with the group about how she was caring for her team.
What she shared blew my mind.
Building Loyalty Using Camaraderie, Caring and Food
Tami began working for Homestead as the bookkeeper years ago, and after seventeen years, her boss offered to sell the company to her. She was already running the business day-to-day, so she jumped at the chance.
The company has since flourished over the ensuing 15 years.
A large part of her success is the care she has for her people.
When the pandemic hit, and PPP money was granted, she decided to supply her employees with a bagged lunch every day. They could no longer stop and pick up lunch, so she made it part of their combat pay, and she personally handed them out each morning.
She found it a great way to connect personally, especially with new hires.
When the stores opened back up 6 weeks later, she told her people to bring their own lunches from now on (no more stopping) and then she pivoted and wowed them with a novel perk.
The Snack Cart at Homestead Landscaping is Famous
Tami introduced a snack cart with water, Gatorade, Red Bull, and snacks like nuts, protein bars and apples and more. Beef jerky, it turns out, is the most requested item.
Tami or someone else drives the snack cart out in the morning and everyone can grab a few things.
The UPS man may hate her for having to deliver huge heavy boxes of Gatorade each week, but her employees love her.
She often tries to buy local and spends around $50-75 per month, per employee on this fun perk.
It has created a real buzz in town and now strangers will even stop by having heard of the snack cart wanting to see it.