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'Fish!' author tells Oklahoma ethics group to play, be present and make customers' days

More than 400 people attended OKEthics' 10th anniversary event and listened to Harry Paul, co-author of ‘Fish!' A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results.'
by Paula Burkes Published: November 17, 2012

“Employee of the Month awards don't work, they're too political,” Paul said. Instead, he recommends immediately recognizing “employees of the moment,” and creating gratitude trails by sending thank-you notes to workers, their bosses and their bosses' bosses.

Kirk Purnell, general manager of Ben E. Keith food distributors in Edmond, brought several of his customers to Thursday's event, which doubled as the 10th anniversary of OKEthics' founding. Purnell said he visited the Seattle market on a business trip 12 years ago.

“It was easy to see that having fun was good for business, and that happy employees take better care of customers,” he said.

Ideal Homes of Norman so believes in “Fish!” that the company uses its training video and handouts at all new hire orientations, human resources coordinator Linda Streun said.

“One of our core values is relationships — through respect, empathy, courtesy and responsiveness, so new hires are able to relate this core value when we begin our discussions on how they could make people's day, choose their attitudes and have fun at work,” she said.

Ideal Homes throughout the year plans several company functions, focused on employees having fun, Streun said. The builder just hosted chili cook-off and dessert contests earlier this month.

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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