Testing the staff on the company’s mission statement: Is there a fun way to do it? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Testing the staff on the company’s mission statement: Is there a fun way to do it?

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Question: “I am in charge of rewarding up to 150 employees at our Appreciation Day BBQ. To receive an award, employees must know the organization’s Core Values (similar to a mission statement). Any suggestions on how to test the employees’ knowledge and reward those who know the three Core Values? How can I bring up the subject in a casual environment, yet stress the importance of the topic?” — Deb


It might be too late for this year, but over a year-long period, you can ask people at random intervals (ask 12 people one day, three weeks later ask 15 more, two months later ask 20 more, etc) what the Core Values are. Keep track of who knew and who did not. At the Appreciation Day, announce the names of everyone who was able to correctly state the Core Values when asked. We have a much smaller staff (14) than you, so we will occasionally offer $50 or $100 to anyone who can recite our mission statement word-for-word. But we only do this every one or two years. In the ten years or so we have been doing this, only one person ever recited it correctly even though everyone knows that memorizing it might earn them $50 or $100.

I work in the hospitality industry in a 24/7, 365 day establishment. We have a high level of guest services which need to maintained at all times. Bearing that in mind, we have a committee that goes around to each person randomly and asks them to recite our guest service standards. If they can do it, they will receive a small prize. The prizes are often sweet treats, small marketing items, etc. It makes the person feel good to be rewarded and it continues the policy of knowing and giving excellent guest service. I see no reason why this couldn't be done with your mission statement. It's important that everyone in the company know the mission statement and where the company stands on those issues. Give it try - a bag of Tootsie Rolls isn't too big a price to pay!

I worked at a company where they did this exact project. First it was announced that there would be a contest in each department as to which department had the most employees who could recite the mission statement. A team went throughout the entire company on a set date and asked each person, the ones that could recite it it on the spot got a nice little gift (special pen or some type of freebee) and a pizza party for the best department. You'd be amazed at how cooperative people are when you give them a chance to compete and feel good about themselves. It's a Team builder as well.

When I joined the comopany I'm with now, one of the things they did was circulate the business plan to all employees. We played Business Plan Jeopardy. We would get into teams (sometimes in a meeting or simply through our e-mail system). The CEO would launch the "answer" to all employees. The first person who "questioned" correctly won points for their respective team. After about a week, points were tallied and the winning team was announced. The prize? Lunch with the CEO anywhere you wanted to go. It was great!

Employee Appreciation is always a good time to play games. One year we played a corporate version of Family Feud. We had the employees who did not sign up to play the game answer the questions, and we added point value to each question depending on the number of answer, just like the original game. You can add an enormous amount of company information and subject matter as part of the game.

To help associates remember mission/vision statements, develop some crosswords, word searches, fill-in the blanks (I'm a puzzle person) or put some "tent cards" out around the office or in the lunch room with Q&A's regarding these statements. This is just one suggestion - I'm sure you'll get others.

We hold a scavenger hunt each week. We place different phrases from the mission statement in locations around the office. Then, on Monday morning, we sent out an email with a clue. The employee has to find the answer and submit it via email by the close of business on Friday. To ensure an employee didn't cheat (just reading the mission statmement or getting the answer from someone else), a number was placed on each clue.

For example, here's a sample question:
"What is the company policy regarding treatment of coworkers?"

A sample answer might be as follows:
"We believe the every employee brings value to our company, and promise an environment focused on respect and professionalism. 143".

The employee submits their answer as it appears with the number and is given a point. (If the answer is wrong, they get no points. Hey - we're giving them the answer; there's no reason they should get it wrong!)

To ensure employees don't share their answers, there is a pot of funds allocated based upon point ranges. For example, the employees who get every answer correct would share $500, those in second share $400, etc. The fewer people there are in a particular answer range, the higher the payout for the other employees. Believe it or not, there are some employees that only answer 1-2 questions and only get $5.

You have to be realistic in that some employees are not going to care. The money is an incentive to make them want to!

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