The city of Fort Dodge recently brought in a professional speaker to talk with city employees who deal with the public in service positions, and they laughed at him. That’s okay with Gavin Jerome of Ankeny, who’s made a career of teaching people how to look at the lighter side of everything from customer service to healthcare.
He’s “worked the circuit” all over the U.S. but started in stand-up comedy in the Cedar Falls – Waterloo area and says he’s a U-N-I Panther. From stand-up, Jerome says it wasn’t a big jump to doing humor programs for companies, and today he’s known as the Morale Mechanic. “I facilitate fun and manage morale in the modern marketplace,” Jerome says.
Companies and associations bring him in to speak to people who are “under loads of stress,” and he teaches them skills like how to reduce workplace stress, how to communicate more effectively with humor, and make the workplace more enjoyable and thereby being able to provide better customer service. He’s done this professionally for about twenty years, and says word-of-mouth advertising gets him all the business he can handle.
At his recent presentation in Fort Dodge, he says he began by celebrating the hard work his audience does every workday. He worked on building better teamwork and rapport, explaining that while they’re all part of the same team — Fort Dodge city employees, sometimes people forget they’re all the same group. He did it with a lot of humor and interaction and says “It went well.” He says he does about 200 of his humorous seminars a year.
“If you’re enjoying your job, the people around you will have more fun, it’ll spill over into providing great customer service and everybody wins. Because people people like to do business with people who like doing business.” One of his most quotable sayings to help people see the lighter side of the workplace is: “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh. So why wait?”