A Cut Above the Rest: Barber Incentivizing Children to Read During Haircuts

3 min read

It's that time of year again: Pencils are being sharpened, backpacks are being filled, and all across the country families  are getting their back to school shopping done. If you're a huge nerd like me, it's the time of the year you get nostalgic for the days when late August meant fresh highlighters and crisp new planners; but I digress. The back to school hustle and bustle can be challenging for some parents who struggle to pay all the costs that come with another school year starting. One clever barber, Courtney Holmes,  decided to take it upon himself to encourage children to practice their reading skills while incentivizing them with a free haircut at his community's annual back to school fair. "The kids would come in, and I would say, "Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can't read it, I'll help you understand and we can read it together," Holmes, of Dubuque, Iowa, told USA TODAY Network. While the haircuts were complimentary anyway, Holmes made the new hairdos contingent upon the children reading him a book. This simple idea translates to the business world, and the way in which you can help employees reach performance goals. With an automated performance management system it's easy to let employees know if they do "A" they will get "B". For elementary school children, having a new haircut for the first day of school is an incentive to sharpen their reading skills, and while a fresh fade isn't enough of a bonus to get an employee hitting their goals, this anecdote shows that it's all about knowing your audience. Holmes clearly understands timing and motivation- two things that any company can stand to pay attention to if it wants to up its employee pay-for-performance game. At Xactly, quarterly goals and bonuses help staff stay on track and focused on the most important company objectives.