Eastbound on our 2021 Cross Country Adventure: on Rt. 374 toward Green River, WY we began to see Little America billboards. In 1929, when Little America first opened, they used billboards to advertise their 15-cent ice cream cone. Little America survived The Great Depression and is still prospering today. The first billboard we saw was at least one hundred miles from the Green River's Little America Hotel & Travel Center.
One of the things l noticed about their billboards is how neat, clean, and new they all look. Very few words, large, bold, easy to read print. Billboards feature their 75-cent ice cream cone, talk about inflation! Some boast of a family-friendly atmosphere, others highlight their complete, fully equipped truck stop, and still another touts fourteen marble shower facilities for truckers. There must have been a dozen Little America billboards before we got to Green River.
It's obvious that Little America puts great thought and care into what they advertise and the quality of their billboards. Billboards like these in a low population market cost $750 - $2000 per month. On the low side that would be $9,000 per year for each billboard.
So, when I saw the billboard that said, "Thank you Mary (with her picture) for your 35 years of loyal service," I knew careful consideration had gone into choosing the message and her picture for their billboard.
Of course, it's true, their sign honors Mary and her 35 years of loyal service. You couldn't say otherwise. Just as certainly, the sign is there for Little America's current employees encouraging them to remain loyal, and infers that Little America values their service just as highly. The billboard implies to prospective employees, "we value all of our employees come and join our team." And finally, it says to passers-by, "we have a wholesome, healthy, atmosphere, loyal employees who know what they are doing. You will enjoy your stop at Little America."
Great questions for you to consider are: "How are you honoring/celebrating the longevity of your loyal employees?" "How are you distinguishing yourself to potential employees as the employer of choice?"
The action I call you to take is to get your leadership team together. Tell them this story. List everything you are doing to honor loyal employees. Honestly brainstorm what more you could do to honor loyal employees. You don't have to use all or any of the ideas, you are brainstorming. I bet you will hear one or two that you will want to implement right away.
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems