Recognition for customer service puts County employees in a ‘pickle’

21 COUNTY pickle

Sussex County EMS parademic Bonnie O’Bier and South Coastal Library employee Al Yoor were selected as quarterly winners in Sussex County’s Give’Em the Pickle program, which recognizes customer service. Over 120 employees received Pickle Awards. From left, County Council members Joan Deaver, George Cole and Sam Wilson, Mr. Yoor, County Councilman Michael Vincent, Ms. O’Bier, and County Councilman Rob Arlett.

GEORGETOWN – Pickle production used to be big business at the now dormant Vlasic processing plant in Millsboro.

Pickles still abound in Sussex County.

Two employees – Sussex EMS paramedic Bonnie O’Bier and Al Yoor of South Coastal Library – were the two lucky randomly chosen winners among more than 100 quarterly honorees in the County’s new employee recognition initiative.

They, along with others, were recognized during the Oct. 13 County Council meeting.

Starting in 2015, Sussex County embarked on the employee recognition campaign known as Give’Em the Pickle, a program developed by nationally recognized motivational speaker Bob Farrell.

“This is an employed-based, peer-to-peer recognition program whereby county employees who witness or experience other employees’ exceptional customer service can acknowledge the employee by filling out a form … describing the event which is then reviewed and approved by the employee’s manager,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson. “This is literally giving them the pickle!”

In addition, Mr. Lawson said when a county resident or customer provides kudos or thanks to an employee, the manager can use that experience and praise as another method to give the employee a pickle.

Through the first two quarters, over 120 County employees received Pickle Awards, which Mr. Lawson described as “quite remarkable.”

“We are very blessed to have great County employees,” said County Council president Michael Vincent, R-Seaford. “We have a lot of people in this County that are very dedicated to the County and to their job, and make us look good as the County government. “

As lucky quarterly winners, Ms. O’Bier and Mr. Yoor received trophies, plus a bonus vacation day.

“I think it is truly an honor, because 500 employees are not 500 employees. I like to refer the team if you would as ambassadors,” said County Councilman Rob Arlett, R-Frankford. “We are all ambassadors, who receive a paycheck if you would from the
County – from the residents as ambassadors of the people of Sussex County. I want to publicly commend and thank all of the ambassadors we have in this County.”

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