Maybe you saw this viral story about an Iowa couple who went out for their anniversary only to receive horrible service.

The Story

This young couple went out to dinner for their sixth anniversary and the service was horrible. It took 20 minutes just to get their drinks. There was grumbling about the service throughout the restaurant and they were frustrated . . . then they had a change of attitude. They sat back, relaxed and took the service as it came.

Then . . .

When the bill came they handed over their credit card and when the $66 charge slip came back for signature they signed the check and added a $100 tip with the this note:

“We’ve both been in your shoes.  Paying it forward.” She then added a little smiley face.

You can read the whole story here.

What If . . .

This story got me to thinking and wondering what it would be like if every senior living community took a look at their most horrible, ill behaved, unpleasant, ineffective team member and treated them like this couple treated their waiter?

We don’t know the rest of the story or if there was a rest of the story . . . and perhaps that is the most important point. There is no way to know what will happen if you take your “worst nightmare” team member and treat them as if they were employee of the year.

Why It Could Be Transformative

This could be transformative for everyone:

  • Your terrible employee might get a new attitude.
  • If you terrible employee doesn’t get a new attitude you will have definitive proof you need to make a radical change.
  • It will make your day to know that you have done this wonderful generous thing for someone who has serious issues . . . and yes, they always have serious issues or they would not be a nightmare team member.
  • Your team members will see you as a second chance kind of leader. They will like you and respect you more. They will feel safer about coming to you with problems.
  • You and your community will be seen as a great place to work which means you will more easily attract higher quality team members.
  • The loyalty that acts like this engender will mean lower turnover.

So . . .  now my big question:  Have you tried turning the world upside down for your worst team member and how did it work out?