I had the job today! Ehrhardt, Keef, Steiner & Hottman PC hired me to be part of the quarterly employee appreciation meeting in Denver, Colorado just yesterday. They asked me to be a funny motivational speaker… entertain the troops with laugh – out – loud comedy while at the same time giving them a motivational program with a message they could take back to work with them.

My topic was (roughly) humor in the workplace. But in the minutes leading up to my speech, as they celebrated their success, introduced new employees (you know the drill) It occurred to me that they didn’t need me… they already had plenty of humor in their workplace. Need proof? EKS & H has been honored as a Best Place to Work for a large-sized company.

So… what do they do right? Tons of thins. But here are some of the things that I saw that help create and maintain a positive culture and fun culture.
First, he leadership thanked their people (and let them know that they meant it.) The CEO, Bob Hottman in his remarks must have thanked his people a dozen times. But what struck me was that he meant it… he really meant it. I’ve been to dozens of similar events where the WORDS thank you come out of the leaders’ mouths, but somehow we know that it isn’t from their heart. This “thank you” came from his heart… and his people knew he meant it.

Second, the partners are very generous to their people. Flexible schedules, awesome benefits, and amazing training lead the list. But they also give gift certificates, bring in three meals a day (yes! I said three meals a day) during their peak times, subsidized health clubs, and killer snacks. But this morning, they did it one better… they gave EVERYONE in their company (about 250 people!) a new 60 gigabyte iPod. (That was a cool moment… when they announced this awesome gift it was like an Oprah show! “Everybody gets an iPod… Bring ’em out! “:) )

Finally, they have a track record of caring about their employees. A long track record. They didn’t start today creating a culture of appreciation. They’ve been doing it for years. They totally support and appreciate their people all of the time… so appreciate “events” are the frosting on the cake…. not the cake. By now, their people trust and admire them. And (from what I heard from those employees) those employees are willing to work hard and perform for the company.

What’s the bottom line? EKS & H is doing great. (Record breaking great… it was amazing to hear.) What’s the lesson? Humor in the workplace… creating a culture of positive beliefs and support pays. And pays big. Can you laugh your way to the bank? You bet. Just ask Denver, Colorado’s Ehrhardt, Keef, Steiner & Hottman.

Brad Montgomery
Humor in the Workplace Expert, Funny Motivational Humorist Speaker, Fan of EKS&H

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