There is one word in the world that sounds sweeter than any other thing we can speak, and it’s different for every person. Any guess on what it is? Give up? The sweetest word in the world is a person’s name! Remembering someone’s name is the biggest compliment you could ever bestow on someone, and yet it always seems like we have a new excuse on why we can’t remember our employees’ names! In a workplace where it seems like there can be a new face every day this may be one of the most simple, and yet hardest, things we can remember to do.
Andrew Carnegie, King of Steel, happened to stumble upon how important this was at a young age. Carnegie was 10 when he caught 2 rabbits as pets, the rabbits did what rabbits do and suddenly he had tons of baby rabbits he couldn’t feed. Young Andrew had an idea though; he told all the kids in his neighborhood that if they went and picked enough dandelion and clover leaf to feed one of the baby rabbits he would name them in their honor. The plan work flawlessly and Carnegie never forgot this.
Later on in his life Carnegie’s company and another steel company were in a savage battle for the Pennsylvania Railroad Contract. Thinking back to the rabbits he proposed that the two companies join together on the contract and create a joint company to supply the Pennsylvania Railroad with steel. Mr. Pullman, the owner of the other company, was extremely hesitant about this approach until he heard the name Andrew proposed for the company; ‘Pullman Palace Car Company’.
If steel giants can be persuaded to cooperate with huge competitors due to that one simple word imagine how sweet and important it is to our employees that we remember, and call them by name? Let’s make sure we know our employees name, and be sure to use it, after all it is the sweetest word in the world.