Employee Engagement Tip: Strike the Gong With Good News

[tweetmeme]Another good tip from a CEO interviewed in The New York Times “Corner Office.”  It falls under the category of not just delivering the bad news – when something is going right in the company, be generous with praise for employees.

Omar Hamoui, founder and CEO of AdMob, a mobile advertising network, understands the value of making himself available to the people in his company.  Every six weeks or so he moves his desk to another part of the company that he has not heard much from recently.

Strike the Gong for Good News

In the company’s open office arrangement, he is plainly visible at his desk, and members of the staff feel comfortable stopping by and talking to him.  He learns a lot that way.

In building their company, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard famously created a management style called “management by walking around.”  Hamoui takes it a step further, “management by sitting around.”

He got feedback, for example, that “I needed to be more positive and praise people more when things are going well,” he said in the Times profile.  So he bought a giant gong and “it ended up becoming a pretty important part of the culture for anything good that was happening.”

When there is good news, a note goes out to the entire office and every one gathers in a room and “Bong!!!!”  It could be news about a new product or big sale.  “It became a really, really important part of our culture…a nice symbol of the things that were going well,” he said.

How simple.  Doesn’t cost a thing.  No bonuses, no extra time off.  Just the act of simple praise is such a motivator.  And the gong reinforces that management cares.  Good lesson for other CEOs.

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