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Falconry And Employee Behavior

While on the road last week, I heard a story on NPR about how a French theme park is sending an interesting behavioral message. Puy du Fou theme park is known for a variety of eye-opening attractions, such as Viking attacks, and Roman chariot races. Now, the park has tapped the trainer from the park’s popular falconry show to teach crows how to pick up trash.

That’s right: an army of six crows now polices the theme park, picking up cigarette butts and trashing them in return for food. In an article from NPR, the park president said the park team wants to call attention to the issue, and have park attendees think that “if a bird can clean up after me, I can clean up after myself.”

Crows are wicked smart and use higher reasoning to solve complex problems. For example, this crow adds stones to a glass of water to raise the water level and bring a floating treat within reach.

What caught my ear on the audio interview was that the park president says that the crows work only four days a week. “This is to avoid burnout and to continue to think this is a fun game.”

Consider that you are the falcon trainer. Your employees are your crows. You are responsible for setting the rules that protect your employees from burnout. Part of your role is making sure that your employees stay challenged, enjoy their work, and continue to think that accomplishing your mission is a fun game. Many leaders don’t allocate time for this, and they should. The results are powerful. A happy crow can make the world a better place by reminding people to dispose of their trash. Imagine the huge potential impact on the world if your team was even just a tiny bit happier and more satisfied in their role.

This week’s mission:

Employee satisfaction and happiness is often relegated to HR, or worst, not considered at all. You likely have many employment rules in place. This week, I want you to take a long lunch and consider what rules you can put in place, or expand, that help your employees to be happier, have a greater sense of satisfaction, or challenge them in a new way. What’s one new idea you can implement that will keep your crows happy? If you need some inspiration, hit reply and we can discuss.




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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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