The company had a great year so decided to thank all of its
employees with a turkey to take home for the Christmas
holiday. Each employee was given the turkey along with a
congratulatory note as they left work for the holiday.
As employees were walking to their cars they realized that
some of the turkeys were smaller than those of their
coworkers. After the holiday complaints were directed at the
human resources department and several executives by the
employees that had received smaller than average turkeys.
They were concerned that they were being punished for
The following Christmas management decided they would
once again give away turkeys. In an effort to avert the
complaints from the prior year they contacted the supplier
and mandated that all turkeys had to be exactly the same
weight. The supplier quickly rebutted that unfortunately
turkeys come in varying weights and it would be impossible
to produce a large number with the same weight.
Faced with the reality that turkeys would have different
weights human resources decided to include a statement
with every turkey: “The weight of your turkey does not
necessarily reflect your performance over the last year.”
The note did not settle the issue for those receiving the
Employees were asked how to improve the program and
they commented that people should have the choice
between a turkey, ham, fruit basket or some other item. This
made the annual giveaway so intensive that someone had
to be hired just to manage the program.
Despite these efforts resentment and hostility continued due
to the varying values of what was perceived to be a
program providing an equal benefit to all employees.
Still a company continued the program until managers
learned there was a sinister practice that could lead to the
destruction of the company.
What activity were some of the employees doing and
eventually killed the holiday reward?
Click here to find out.
As Aesop established hundreds of years ago with his
timeless fables we remember words best when we
become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an
anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments. Click here to see more.
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