Chris Hurley, TKO Graphix VP of Administration, wanted to focus her customer service team on reducing, if not eliminating, negative talk. It wasn’t that the team was overly negative. She wanted them to be better. She bought a jar, and then she put a black feather in it. She was ready to reduce negatives in the workplace. Here’s her plan for reducing negatives in the workplace.

Name in the Jar

Every day that a team member goes without a negative comment about a co-worker, client, or vendor that teammate gets to put their name in the jar. Once a month, a name is drawn and the winner receives a prize. A teammate recognized as the biggest offender gets a special task. They get to take the jar around to all of their team members at the end of the day.

The Jar Carrier

Anyone who has gossiped about co-workers, become angry with another department, or been disruptive with a teammate isn’t allowed to put their name in the jar. The jar carrier has the job of asking each and every teammate if they’ve earned the right to put their name in the jar, while continuously being reminded why they’re the jar carrier.

Moving in the Right Direction

Overall the jar has been a success. Has the jar eliminated negatives 100 percent? No, because the customer service team, although fine human beings, are people. What the jar has done is focus the team on improvement and made it fun while doing so. Chris learned it also had an impact on the jar carrier when she received this letter from CSR Briana Wilson. It’s sincere and funny—just like Bri.

The Jar

“What does the jar mean to me? The jar means friendship, community, good days, and helping each other through the not so good days. The jar means, “I adulted today! “I made it through the day without being negative to or about another human being. The jar symbolizes respect. That clear cylinder with the black feather is so much more than a clear cylinder with a black feather. Although my negative choice of words gave me the responsibility of being the official jar carrier/name collector (A life sentence in some offices), I have learned so much from the jar.”

“I’ve met new friends, explored different areas of our office, and found the feather can be much more than just a decoration for the jar but also a beautiful hair accessory making me both adorable and mysterious at the same time. The jar allows me to have responsibility making sure names are regulation size and properly folded. Only the honest may put their name in my jar and only one name at a time.”

Reducing Negatives can be a Challenge

If you’ve ever worked in Customer Service, you understand Customer Service Reps are faced with challenges that would test most people’s mettle. Demands come from every direction, customers, staff, and vendors. It’s a stressful position. Most people that interact with CSR’s are cordial, but not all are polite. The jar has helped this team focus on Being the change, being the team that takes negatives and turns them to positives. If you’d to learn more about how Chris has used the jar for reducing negatives, reach out to her. She’d be happy to share.