2003 Spring Volume No. 1

Developing and Keeping Good People

by Mike Adams
Managing Director, PolyJohn Enterprises Corporation

How can you turn a smelly job that people shy away from, into a job your employees are proud to be doing?

Portable restroom operators don't have the worst jobs ... they are independent and spend most of their days working in the sunshine. I can imagine plenty of jobs that are worse. Imagine slinging cold, heavy, dead fish around all day in a dark warehouse.

At the PSAI Convention & Trade Show last fall, we
sponsored a workshop lead by Kelly Newcomb of Can Do! Success Building Programs. This Earn More, Sell More, Service Better Workshop focused on how to find, develop and keep good people while creating a positive, productive work environment.

With over 50 operators, owners and support personnel participating, we introduced the famous FISH Philosophy from Charthouse Learning. The philosophy was developed from experiences at the World-Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.

Years ago, the dreariness of long hours, smelly fish and cold lockers was reflected in the workers' negative attitudes. Yet, simply by changing their perspectives, the fishmongers at Pike Place created a totally new philosophy of work.

Today, Pike Place is one of the most exciting places to see in Seattle. It attracts workers on lunch breaks and tourists who come just to watch the fish being juggled in the exciting circus-like atmosphere. Job turnover is low and productivity is high because the fishmongers have a wonderful experience and take pride in their expertise.

Your company, like any other service company, will thrive on the spirit and enthusiasm of your employees. The energy, attitude, problem-solving ability and reliability of your people is the difference between success and failure. High morale is essential if you want them to go the extra mile for you and your customers.

According to the FISH philosophy, the first thing you need to create high morale is to manage your own attitude. If you have a positive, confident, high-energy approach to your job, this enthusiasm will be contagious. Employees will like working with you and they will mirror your attitude when dealing with other employees and customers.

There are four ingredients to a highly productive workplace: 1. Choosing Your Attitude. 2. Play, because no job needs to be boring or too serious. 3. Make Their Day, because good deeds are rewarded through loyalty and job satisfaction. And, 4. Be There, because employees and customers need to know you are committed to being there for them.

Here are a few more tips to help you manage
people better while keeping good employees
happy and dedicated:

• Make employees feel appreciated.

• Consult employees and value their opinions.

• Provide a sense of job security by providing a reasonable and steady income, savings plans, retirement plans and insurance.

• Make an effort to be fair and hold all employees equally accountable.

• Have a clear plan to promote from within.

• Encourage social activities, such as summer picnics and holiday parties.

• Show employees respect and follow all state and federal safety, harassment and equality laws.

• Provide vacation and sick time.

• Train employees and review training as needed.

• Create a professional atmosphere by requiring appropriate dress or uniforms.


Remember, your employees are only human, they will make mistakes, they will need time off, and they may never care about your business as much as you do, but the more reasons you give them to enjoy their jobs and to care, the better employees you'll have.

Industry Info

Click here for a listing of companies offering Trucks & Accessories, Decals, Financing, Restroom Trailers, Trade Publications, Marketing, Restroom Manufacturing/Sales, Billing/Routing Systems and Insurance.

PJ University

Click here for more information on effectively marketing your business to special event coordinators, and construction and agricultural businesses.

Area Business Managers

Click here to find the PolyJohn Area Business Manager in your area.

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