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This summer the island of Nantucket wants visitors to have a really memorable experience of their island hospitality. Recognizing excellent customer service is a key factor in a visitor’s experience, the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce initiated a program for employees to be rewarded for going the extra mile and performing acts of kindness that will make visitors feel appreciated and special. The word ACK is the name of the Nantucket airport code; and they cleverly tied it into the name of the initiative.
Visitors who stop by the Chamber will be given brochures of the island, their questions will be answered, and then they will be given a few of the ACKS of Kindness cards to give to any employee they feel does something extra special for them. Managers of the various restaurants, shops, and other businesses have also been given the cards so they too can reward their employees when they observe an act of kindness has been exhibited.
At the end of the summer, employees are asked to bring all the cards they have received to the Chamber where they will be totaled. The top three employees who have received the most cards will be given a basket with all kinds of special gifts inside. While the chance to win the basket will be an incentive to some employees, I bet the recognition of being given a card by a visitor or manager will be a “feel good” moment for the employee in itself. I also bet that even after the formal program ends after Labor Day, that acts of kindness will continue on their own, as they have just become a habit for employees to do as part of the culture of the island.
And isn’t that what we all want – a culture of habitual acts of kindness!

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