Chapter FiveCreating Loyalty

Figure depicting a pyramid, where the middle layer denoting 'Recognition' that creates loyalty.

Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard professor and author 1

In the last half of the 1990s, there was a popular TV series full of philosophical witticisms that became the talk of corporate lunchrooms, if not boardrooms. Young Boston attorney Ally McBeal, the anxious waif in a miniskirt, had a way of turning a phrase, such as “men are like gum; after you chew, they lose their flavor” or “we're women; we have a double standard to live up to.”

If you were a fan of the show, you may recall that Ally (played by Calista Flockhart) had a therapist (played by Tracey Ullman) who told her, “You need a theme song. Something you can play in your head to make you feel better.” So Ally and her therapist set about to finding the perfect theme song (with a Motown beat) to help Ally get through her days as a high-pressured attorney and her nights as a romantically challenged single gal. At Joie de Vivre, we figured, if it works for Ally, maybe it can work for us. We didn't create a theme song or some rah-rah cheer that we expected all employees to sing, but we did come up with a theme book that helps define our Joie de Vivre spirit. I've given away dozens and dozens of copies of the children's book The Little Engine That Could to our employees to show them my appreciation for their can-do attitude. This was prompted in part ...

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