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John Putzier

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Get Weird! 101 Innovative Ways to Make Your Company a Great Place to Work
by John Putzier   

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Books by John Putzier
· Weirdos in the Workplace! The New Normal
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Category: 

Psychology

Publisher:  AMACOM ISBN-10:  0814471145 Type: 
Pages: 

189

Copyright:  1-1-2001 ISBN-13:  9780814471142
Non-Fiction

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Get Weird
Get Weird! 101 Innovative Ways to Make Your Company a Great Place to Work

Easy, inexpensive ways to attract, retain and motivate high-performance workers. Also a primer on developing your natural creative thinking and problem solving abilities.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XV
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
PA R T 1 TAPPING YOUR NATURAL WEIRDNESS
(aka Creative Thinking & Problem-Solving)
Three Barriers to Creativity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Second Right Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
In Search of QWERTYUIOPs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Whatiffing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Let Your Fingers Do the Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Wall of Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Break the Mold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
How Bad Can It Get? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Five Whys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Press Release of the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Challenges for Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Personal Brainspurt Journal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
PA R T 2 WEIRD IDEAS TO WIN TODAY’S TALENT
(aka Recruitment)
1. All the Right Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
(sending press releases to publications that are
important to your employees)
2. All the Wrong Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
(advertising in nontraditional places and recruiting
nontraditional candidates with transferable skills)
3. WYSIWYG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
(watching for people inside your company—but not
directly employed by you—whom you could hire)
4. What’s Your Sign? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
(asking weird questions to reveal potential
employees’ attitudes)
CONTENTS
5. Postnuptials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
(delaying exit interviews until an ex-employee’s
honeymoon with the new employer has worn off)
6. “Get out of Jail Free” Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
(giving ex-employees the opportunity to bypass
the bureaucracy if they want to return)
7. Bridge over Troubled Waters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
(bridging or restoring prior service if exemployees
return)
8. Missing You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
(organizing an alumni organization of
ex-employees)
9. Opportunity Knocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
(sending job postings to alumni)
10. Homecoming Celebration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
(holding a welcome back party when an alum
returns)
11. Birds of a Feather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
(involving peer hosts in recruiting)
12. Hire Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
(arranging post-interview fun for candidates
and their significant others)
13. Wanna Trade? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
(bartering tickets to special events for qualified
résumés)
14. Bozo Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
(getting unqualified candidates to screen
themselves out)
15. Headhunter Hostage Pay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
(offering headhunters deferred bonuses when
the people they supply stay and perform well)
16. Secondhand References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
(going beyond the references candidates give)
17. DORK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
(delaying your offer rejection questionnaire until
the honeymoon with the new employer is over)
18. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
(using airplane banners or skywriters to get
your message to the right people)
VI CONTENTS
19. Monica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
(making interns want to come back full-time
and giving them incentives to do so)
20. Are You Talking to Me? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
(tailoring your ads to suit your audience)
21. Bird Dog Biscuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
(offering bonuses for referring new employees)
22. Bait the Hook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
(paying hiring bonuses)
PA R T 3 WEIRD IDEAS FOR THE CARE AND FEEDING
OF TODAY’S TALENT (aka Retention)
23. Gimme Three Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
(asking employees to describe the company
and its culture in three words and compiling
the results)
24. Come on Down! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
(opening meetings to all employees)
25. Mirandas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
(developing anti-policies that set people free)
26. Heard It through the Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
(creating your own grapevine by using voicemail
to give employees the latest company information
on current issues, challenges, and trends)
27. Mind Your Own Business! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
(instituting open book management to make
everyone a business partner)
28. Family Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
(holding a company or department open house
so that significant others can see what your
company does)
29. Trinkets and Trash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
(offering logo paraphernalia, both free and for
sale)
30. Personal Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
(allowing/empowering people to personalize
their work space)
31. 1 + 1 = 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
(developing strategic alliances to offer your
employees and customers additional products
or services)
CONTENTS VII
32. Rock Me, Baby! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
(capitalizing on the music young workers like
as an attraction)
33. Show Me How to Keep the Money . . . . . . . . . 80
(providing all employees with financial planning)
34. Will Work for Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
(offering junk food at work)
35. Brainpower Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
(taking a survey of employees’ skills and
finding ways to use those skills)
36. Cards for Everyone! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
(giving all employees business cards)
37. Wish List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
(posting a list of projects that you would love
to see accomplished but that won’t be done
unless people volunteer)
38. Firefighter’s Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
(fitting the same number of hours into fewer
days, allowing more days off)
39. Galloping Gourmets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
(providing take-home gourmet dinners for
employees and their families)
40. Food for Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
(scheduling learning programs over a provided
lunch)
41. Learning, Not Leaving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
(creating an education “bank account” that
increases in value while the employee stays)
42. Lose the Legalese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
(lightening up the language in your internal
communications)
43. Special Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
(providing services your employees need [dry
cleaning, haircuts, shoeshines, manicures, car
wash/repair] on your premises)
44. Free Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
(asking new employees or customers for feedback
about their experience with your company)
VIII CONTENTS
PA R T 4 WEIRD IDEAS FOR CHANGING YOUR COMPANY
CULTURE (aka Fun & Games with a Purpose & a Profit)
45. Are We Having Fun Yet? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
(establishing a fun committee)
46. Chain Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
(institutionalizing the sharing of useful or
interesting information)
47. Dating Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
(organizing a singles/dating book)
48. Graffiti for Good . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
(providing a room where people can write on
the walls for a fee, with the money going to a
good cause)
49. Hello, My Name Is…and I’m…. . . . . . . . . . . . 110
(encouraging in-house support groups or
clubs, or allowing outside groups in)
50. Humor Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
(giving people a place to play with fun and
funny trinkets and trash)
51. Camp MED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
(providing a meditation room with private tents)
52. It’s My Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
(organizing unexpected activities to create
changes of conversation and break up cliques
at parties)
53. Let’s Play Dress-Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
(abandoning conventional dress on occasion
by encouraging employees to wear costumes
and theme attire)
54. Now We’re Cookin’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
(having management cook, serve, and clean
up after a meal)
55. Oh, Baby! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
(getting people to bring in baby pictures)
56. Show ’n’ Tell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
(asking employees to share personal treasures)
57. Talent Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
(finding and showcasing employees’ hidden
talents)
CONTENTS IX
58. That’s Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
(inviting outside performers to your organization)
59. Work Smells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
(changing the way the workplace smells)
60. You Can Call Me Ray! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
(letting people create their own job titles)
61. You’re a Winner! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
(using contests to get people involved)
62. You’re Kidding! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
(opening your doors to employees’ children)
PA R T 5 WEIRD IDEAS FOR PERKS, PAY, AND PATS ON
THE BACK (aka Recognition & Incentives)
63. Ambassadors, Advocates, and Apostles . . . . . . . 124
(giving nonsalespeople incentives to sell your
products and services)
64. Wall of Fame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
(displaying your employees’ successes)
65. One-Minute Parades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
(organizing brief and creative celebrations)
66. Name That Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
(recognizing employees or customers by
naming rooms after them)
67. Public Résumés . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
(putting up signs that tell the world who your
people are—their skills, experience, and hobbies)
68. No Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
(using reserved parking spaces as a means of
recognition)
69. I’ll Scratch Yours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
(giving employees vouchers that are valuable only
if given to someone else for a specified reason)
70. Peer Pats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
(creating ways for peers to acknowledge and
thank one another)
71. Bribe the Bride (or Groom or
Domestic Partner) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
(rewarding an employee’s significant other
for sacrificing her or his partner)
72. Cooperation Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
(having departments specify what they want
X CONTENTS
from each other and rate each other on how
well they provide these things)
73. Get the Point(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
(using points as rewards to produce incremental
behavior modification)
74. Gimme a Break!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
(giving employees discounts on products and
services, your own and others’)
75. Show Me the Money NOW! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
(offering immediate incentives for behavior
modification)
76. What Are My Options? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
(giving options tied to individual projects rather
than options on company stock)
PA R T 6 WEIRD IDEAS FOR EDUCATING TODAY’S TALENT
(aka Training & Development)
77. Do Your Workwork! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
(creating an orientation workbook that requires
internal networking to complete)
78. Collect the Dots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
(getting employees to be conscientious by
planting dots in hard-to-clean places and
rewarding the employees for finding them)
79. Mystery Mess. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
(offering prizes for picking up clutter)
80. Whaddaya Know? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
(organizing employee learning through puzzles,
quizzes, and games)
81. Reverse Mentoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
(arranging for new, entry-level employees to pass
on their fresh knowledge to older employees)
82. Training Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
(using skits to train employees in how to’s and
how not to’s)
83. Road Trip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
(taking employees to visit suppliers, customers,
vendors, or retailers to gain ideas and understanding)
84. Silo Destruction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
(sponsoring interdepartment open houses to
CONTENTS XI
break down barriers by showing employees
what others do)
85. Sales Tagalongs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
(taking nonsalespeople on sales calls)
86. Practice Makes Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
(taping customer calls so that trainees as a
group can practice handling them)
87. KISS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
(keeping themes or buttons simple)
88. Share the Wealth of Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . 155
(asking people to donate tapes, books, and
other resources to a common library)
89. Irreverence and Irrelevance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
(providing non-job-related training, seminars,
and lessons)
90. Read between the Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
(writing a note in the margin to find out
whether someone has read something you
have given him or her to read)
91. Getting to Know You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
(using exercises to get people to know more
about one another)
92. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! . . . . . 162
(instituting fines for misspeaking)
93. Wanted: Dead or Achieved! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
(posting each employee’s most important
to-do item)
PA R T 7 WEIRD IDEAS FOR ENHANCING YOUR COMPANY
IMAGE (aka Sales, Service, Public Relations, &
Personal Satisfaction )
94. Gorilla Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
(mystery shopping your own products or
services at retailers or resellers)
95. Customer Appreciation Days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
(honoring customers and creating a media
scene while doing so)
96. Customer Clinics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
(sponsoring special events to help customers
use or get value from your products or services)
97. Greeters and Minglers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
XII CONTENTS
(having people put customers or visitors at
ease and help them find their way around and
complete any necessary forms)
98. Let’s Get Personal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
(keeping track of personal information on
customers or employees in order to build
relationships)
99. Waste Not, Want Not . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
(donating leftovers to homeless shelters and
food banks)
100. Get a Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
(developing ways to engage all your interests)
PA RT 8 WHERE’S 101? (aka It’s All In Your Head!)
IDEA SUBMISSION FORM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF IDEAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS NOTED IN THE TEXT . . . . . . . . . 187
CONTENTS XIII


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