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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Find Meaningful Ways to Reward and Recognize Employees

Cindy had a jeweler design a golden chowder bowl. When an employee reaches her 10-year anniversary she receive the gold charm on a necklace.

Key Question:


Find ways to reward them.  At Mo's after 10 years an employee is given a gold chowder bowl charm that is worn on a gold chain. Employees wear the necklace and are proud to be part of a select group. It is not about how much a gift costs, it is about the symbolism behind the gift which creates the value. This may sound like a tiny reward for years of service but that is because you don't work at Mo's. Cindy has created a symbol that is priceless.

How does a business owner best recognize and reward the valued employees of the business?

  Time after time, studies have shown us that we are all motivated by more than money. Sure, compensation and benefits are important, but the recognition and reward initiatives that a company undertakes also have a significant effect on employee morale and loyalty. These initiatives do not have to be costly and generally are not. They do, however, have to be public. Bringing an employee into your office and telling him or her how much you appreciate them just does not have the same effect as a public demonstration. We see these public demonstrations in a lot of small businesses. The plaques on the wall with the engraved plates for each “Employee of the Month” and the parking space reserved for the special employee are two common examples. Highlighting employees in the company newsletter or website is another effective way of recognition.

Think about it

What reward and recognition programs do you have in your business? How do you publicly acknowledge the value your employees bring to your business?

Clip from: Mos Chowder

Newport, Oregon: Cindy McEntee came to our attention because she was the state of Oregon's Small Business Person of the Year. Then, when we looked further, we found many more awards and citations. To be selected as the study for a show, a business must come up on everyone's list as being " ... loved by their community and respected within their industry."

In this episode of the show, we continue our walk down the Main Streets of America to see how one person with a vision has transformed the town where she was born and where she has chosen to stay. Life here is so rich with the intangibles that even her children have returned to this little seaport town and are helping to build the business and family legacy.

From a little joint on a narrow little street to the big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, we discover how a fisherman's hangout becomes a national treasure.

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Mo's Chowder

Mo's Chowder, A family

622 SW Bay Blvd.
Newport, OR 97365

Visit our web site:

Office: 541-265-2979

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1951

Find Meaningful Ways to Reward and Recognize Employees

CINDY: When I was a waitress, our menu was on the wall back here, up on a blackboard. My grandmother had a little preface before you get to the menu. "Hi, crowd right in. Join whoever at any empty seat in here. You will be sitting with people from all over. The service is lousy, but the food is great."

I took offense to that, because I worked my buns off in here, you know. Taking care of people and doing everything --- that their slightest whim – they would get whatever they needed. But, my focus was giving our customers the best service that we could possibly give them. And that all took education, there is constant training. There's all sorts – a lot of attitude adjustments for some people that might come in here new. How do you deal with certain customers? I have given them the reign. I know that they will take care of that customer the same way I would.

HATTIE: How did you get the idea for the necklace?

CINDY: We had one gal who – she worked here for 26 years. She decided that she just was tired of waitressing. I thought – gosh, I've got to do something for Rene – I really have to do something. That is when the bowl idea came up.

So I designed this little bowl and I called a jeweler up the beach and this is the first -- this is the prototype. And he put a diamond in mine because I had been here for 30 years. And I put a diamond in hers as well because she had been here as long as I had. So that was kind of the beginning, we had the first two.

Then I started looking at dates. I hadn't meant for it to be a 10 year anniversary, but it ended up being that way. Because, I looked at how many people had worked here and devoted themselves to this place and loved it. So it was like, "Hey, I've got to give them something." So on the tenth anniversary of everybody's employment here they get one of these bowls.

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