Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Use technology to improve employee engagement....

Most company handbooks have policies that seek to limit cell phones at work: ostensibly, to control inappropriate phone and camera usage. But, according to the latest statistics, there are an estimated 290 million active wireless subscriber connections in the United States: that’s a lot of phones to try to control. Maybe our policies and efforts should be about harnessing this technology to make employee communications and engagement easier and more effective. Companies might be better off obtaining employee cell phone numbers and texting information to them in ways that might improve two-way communications in the workplace: broadcasting pre-shift information, receiving absence-related texts, two-way texting in emergency situations, sending important management messages that contain You Tube attachments, conducting micro-training, and more, could all be accomplished using this technology. Then managers could follow up to confirm awareness in ways that promote face to face communications: that way everyone’s engaged. There’s no reason to have ineffective policies that few people follow, especially when there are creative ways to effectively use all of these smartphones at work. Try utilizing technology to improve employee communications and engagement today.

 Peter Roskam (b. 1961): U.S. Representative for Illinois's 6th congressional district

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Focus on giving great service....

Here’s a tale of two customer service experiences. My old kitchen tv needed replacing: I went to Best Buy and the staff there was attentive, knowledgeable, and engaged – I walked out with a new tv and feeling that they really cared and appreciated my business. Then, like many, I stumbled along trying to get it hooked up: it became apparent the cable box wasn’t working so I took it in to the Cox store for a replacement. It was a Saturday and, not surprisingly, the place was packed: but only 3 of their 8 service stations were open and the people working there appeared as disinterested as could be. There was a digital list of who would be next but the staff seemingly never referred to it, the music was too loud to hear the names they were calling, and they never once made eye contact or smiled. I finally got served but left feeling like they didn’t care about me or my business. Best Buy has lots of competition, Cox does not: end of story. Make sure your employees are engaged and focused on the customer experience today.

Timothy R. Clark: Executive coach and organizational consultant

Friday, November 9, 2018

Look in the mirror....

 Today’s unemployment rate is at an all-time low and there are more jobs available than people: so why are there people complaining they can’t find one? Sometimes they might have to move to get the best job and are unable or unwilling to do so: that’s unfortunate, but makes sense. Or they don’t have the right skills: there are lots of programs to help with that if they’re willing to expend the effort. And some can’t or don’t want to work: I get that. But those who can’t or won’t take responsibility for doing what it takes to get the right or best job may not have done all they can to find or be ready for it: they might have to get additional training, take a step back to then get ahead, or even consider something completely different. If someone asks you for career (or life) advice, remind them that the options today are greater than they’ve been in a long time if they’re willing to do what it takes to get what they want. There’s most likely no one to blame if you don’t take life and all its options in your own hands today.

Erica Jong (b. 1942): American novelist, satirist, and poe

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Be honest with yourself....

Being honest with yourself is one of life’s biggest challenges: some times people are not as good at that as they need to be. We rationalize more than we should, telling ourselves what we want to hear; we’re in denial more than is good, being more optimistic than realistic; and often we just ignore some facts, hoping that they don’t really matter.  But if your mother ever told you that ‘honesty is the best policy’, this is where it might matter most because fooling yourself about the important things in life doesn’t help in becoming all you can be.  Look at it this way: all the little mistakes and mis-steps help teach us how to really hone in on and improve the behaviors, skills, knowledge, and abilities we need to achieve our goals.  So maybe the first principle is not fooling yourself when it really matters: be brutally honest and learn from them; you’re the only one responsible to know when that matters. Don’t kid yourself about the really important stuff today.

Richard Feynman (1918 –1988): American theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner in physics

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Get engaged.....

Here’s my post-election day rant. People do things every day and feel like they’ve accomplished something. Fact is, too many people just put in their time and little else: they think nobody notices but, in reality, it shows. You see it at checkout counters where nobody smiles or makes eye contact, in stores where employees are talking to each other rather than looking for customers who are looking for service, and – here it is – in voter turnout statistics where, in some places, up to half the people don’t vote.  It’s about not being engaged, or, maybe more accurately, not caring. Listen up: it’s not the amount of time and effort you spend at something, it’s about what you put into whatever you’re doing. It seems the world is full of complainers: if you don’t like something, get involved and do something about it; change what you’re doing or change your attitude about it. The good news: it’s a new day and you get another chance to get it in gear and be engaged. It’s not about others, it’s about you: youare responsible for what you do today.

Eric Lindros (born 1973): Professional Hockey Player

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Go Vote!

It’s election day.  Forget all the hyperbole and partisanship: do your duty and vote. Whatever else you think, that’s democracy in action today.  

Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005): American management consultant, educator, and author, and he has been described as "the founder of modern management"

Monday, November 5, 2018

Choose your path ahead carefully....

Everybody wants to get ahead, but not everyone wants to do what it takes to get there. That’s why it’s so important for supervisors to be specific about opportunities and expectations, and open with real-time feedback: that’s the only way employees can have realistic hopes.  And employees have to know their own strengths and weaknesses and proceed accordingly. Sometimes it’s a good match – that’s when perseverance, training and coaching are warranted; sometimes it’s not: that’s when good advice and an open mind are critical. Ask if more training is required – sometimes you may need to go back to school. Or ask if a career change is better: look at internships and job-shadowing for more information. Good bosses are responsible to give support and honest feedback; good employees have to be responsible enough to know and understand what’s really possible. Take one step at a time to find your true calling today.

Joe Girard (b. 1928): American salesman recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the seller of the most cars in a year (1,425 in 1973)