It’s an honor for a Business Unit to have a Finalist qualify for the ROAD-EO National Championship. But for a Business Unit to have three Finalists qualify, is quite unusual – and very exciting! We sat down with General Managers Doug R. (BU 311 – Crown Point, IN) and Jenni H. (BU 367 – Wabash, IN) to learn how their BUs are celebrating their multiple Finalists and how the ROAD-EO contributes to employee engagement.
Q. What does it mean to your Business Unit to have three Finalists qualify for the 2023 ROAD-EO National Championship?
Doug: It’s hard enough to have one employee qualify for the National Championship let alone three out of one Business Unit! Each Area sends only eight Finalists, and for our BU to represent three of the eight is a great honor.
Jenni: I couldn’t be prouder of our BU’s three employees competing in this year’s ROAD-EO. It is an honor for any GM to send one employee; but three is amazing.
Q. How did your BU celebrate when your Finalists were announced?
Doug: We recognized our three Finalists in front of their peers in the GM driver meetings. Everyone thought it was great that our BU had three of the eight Area Finalists. We also have a group text thread with the three Finalists to give any updates and we’ve started a 30-day countdown to the ROAD-EO National Championship on February 21.
Jenni: We surprised the Finalists with plaques and made the announcement with all their team members around to celebrate with them.
Q. How does the BU ROAD-EO contribute to employee engagement at your BU?
Doug: Our local BU ROAD-EO is a family event, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family members outside of work. Seeing everyone’s family and kids to me is the best part of the local ROAD-EO. Announcing the local winners each year is a lot of fun just watching everyone who competed and how they respond when their name gets called.
Jenni: The ROAD-EO is one of the top employee engagement events we have and an amazing opportunity to get to know our employees’ friends and families. We had a large turn out this year.
Q. How do you keep your team excited about participating in your BU ROAD-EO?
Doug: Honestly, the best thing that can happen is to have an employee make it to Nationals. Once they get back and share their experience, that generates more excitement for the next ROAD-EO more than anything I or my team can say. It means more hearing it from an employee who actually experienced it. Our BU was fortunate to have a Finalist in the 1st National ROAD-EO and the 2nd National ROAD-EO. Once those employees came back from the competition and talked about their experience, our local BU ROAD-EO gets more competitors each year.
Jenni: We promote the event all year long. This year we started the promotions early. We also let our new hires practice/not compete to generate excitement for the following year. We let all of the competitors pick a theme song and promote with fliers, videos and mailed invitation to their homes. It is also important for the supervisors and managers to hype it up with their teams. For me, a top highlight of this year’s BU ROAD-EO was actually driving the course in front of the entire team. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be and the employees enjoyed seeing me compete as well.
Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking of participating in a BU ROAD-EO?
Doug: What do you have to lose? Bring the family, have some fun, and give it a shot. You may be surprised on how hard the course is, but you may also be surprised on how well you do.
Jenni: You can’t win if you don’t try. You will never regret competing; but you might regret not competing. I actually had this conversation with our driver who won this year when he was debating whether or not to compete.
Q. Do you have any special message to send to your Finalists prior to the big day?
Doug: Sure do, Tim, Kevin and Keith – no pressure, but the BU still does not have a National Champion! Besides that, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the experience! Looking forward to spending time with you and your significant others at Nationals!
Jenni: Don’t be nervous. You do this every day. The Central Indiana team is proud of you no matter the end result.
A big thank you to Doug and Jenni for spending time with us!
Good luck to your Finalists!