What Boosts Your Troops?

I just returned from the Normandy beaches in Northern France. My father, who fought in WWII, was wounded in area combat on July 25, 1944. Dad was one of the lucky ones – he made it home.

But many did not. At the American Cemetery at Colleville, I walked along the perfect rows of marble crosses (9,387 in all) which marked the graves of young, brave Americans who paid the ultimate price for my liberty. I then wandered out to the edge of the cemetery overlooking the Channel, and found myself drawn to Kansas native Jim Gablemann, as he aptly taught some war history to the small group of eager listeners who encircled him. “Keeping troop morale high was a top concern,” Jim explained. “What lifted a weary soldier’s spirits? For starters, hot coffee and fresh bread. That’s why the U.S. Army shipped make-shift bakeries into the Normandy area as soon as possible,” he shared.

As I stood listening, Jim’s words immediately ignited this mental picture: a dog-tired, war-weary soldier, covered with grime, devouring some thick slices of fresh bread chased down by hot coffee. A soldier’s short, simple pleasure in an anything-but-simple time.

Loyalty lesson: Delivering an exceptional customer experience, day in and day out, requires staff fortitude. What simple pleasures help keep your frontline morale high? What’s something new you can do to show staff you care? The U.S. military shipped bakeries! What’s your plan?

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