Meet Rich DiGirolamo | Speaker, Consultant Motivational Speaker | Rich DiGirolamo Book Motivational Speaker, New England, New York | Rich DiGirolamo Products | Motivational Speaker, New England Blog | Rich DiGirolamo Fun Products | Rich DiGirolamo Newsletter | Rich DiGirolamo Contact Motivational Speaker | Rich DiGirolamo

"Why Choose Between Fun and Content When You Can Have Both"

Miserable Employee Experience = Miserable Customer Experience. Or No Customers.

I’m not going there. I hate going there. I’m not going there. I hate going there.

There’s a local pet supply house nearby. And by now you know I hate going there. And lately I’ve been finding myself driving 15 minutes further to avoid this place.

Why?

The Customer Experience is miserable. Plain and simple. 

  • Employees don’t smile.
  • Employees grunt hello.
  • They promise to order things for you; don’t; and then blame it on others.
  • At times three employees will be sitting behind the counter staring down – at their phones. No interaction with customers.
  • They don’t know their products. So when you ask questions you get answers that may or may not be correct. I’m leaning towards not most of the time.

Do I need to continue the list?

So where’s the business owner? What is he or she doing or not doing to create such a lousy employee experience? What is he/she doing to get the employees excited about their products, their services and what they have to offer? For starters, let them bring their dogs to work. It might liven up the place.

Product knowledge is critical to a great employee experience. Spend some time regularly engaging your staff in product knowledge; letting them play, touch, feel and maybe even fetch one or two.

Suggestion: Get a toy box. Fill it with some of your products. Let people play with them at work or take them home.

Result: Watch your sales, registrations, enrollments or whatever you’re offering soar!

Get your employees out more. Give them a different type of employee experience.

Over the last few months I’ve been to several conferences as an attendee. One was marketing. One was technology. One was creativity. (As a quick aside, you should ask your outside consultants what they’re reading right now; where they get their continuing education. If they can’t respond quickly…..move on to the next person.)

One of the big observations I made while at all three of these events was that most people were entrepreneurs. Very few were employees of a company. And if they were, they were there at their own expense; on their own time.

To create a great employee experience, employees need to be recharged. Recharging an employee often happens outside their usual environment; away from the typical organization thinking. Employees need a break (a RECESS) from the usual thinking to allow for new ideas; ideas that may come as a result of conversations with others. It’s one of the reasons my clients hire me. I’m an outsider who offers ideas from other industries that have application in their industry.

One of these events was $20; and it was probably on the Top 5 of educational events I attended this year. $20! Another was $50. The other cost me close to $500.

I know budgets have been slashed. I know you think you don’t have the time to develop your talent. I don’t believe it. And you know what……………

I know deep down inside you don’t either.

Find a cheap/free event and send an employee or two (one of your worker bees/front line staff) – even if it is on a Tuesday morning at 10:00; even if it requires you go into your own pocket.  Show them you want them engaged, that they matter and that you’re interested in providing them with a great employee experience.

It’s no surpise that lazy employees are usually not engaged and not team players

What do you do when one team member takes the attitude of “that’s not my job” and “well he/she gets paid for doing that.”

  1. Do you show them the door?
  2. Do you ignore them and let them do the minimal amount of work they were hired to do?
  3. Do you act as a role model picking up loose ends and helping out in other areas in hopes that they will take your lead and follow?
  4. Do you retaliate by not offering to help them in their time of need?
  5. Do you talk to them about teamwork, being a team player, about not appearing lazy, how the day goes by much faster when you’re busy, and how advancement opportunities will not be abundant?

I’ve had the experience recently of watching a team at work. And while the Super-Duper-Engaged employee is not liked by everyone, he is always there to go the extra mile; to pick up a loose end. And the lazy one….he’s usually on his phone texting his ex-girlfriend.

And the business owners………they make believe nothing is wrong. Avoiding conflict and confrontation is their management style.

RECESSitate your organization! DIY Training & Development. No Consultant Needed

It’s Coming………..

Any day now……..

With a great offer for you!

So if your training budget has been the victim of those Finance People, we’ve got a solution to make them happy. It will also teach them and the rest of your organization how to be more creative, use people’s talents in new ways, and make your existing products and services even better.

Take a Recess. Acknowledge pain & allow for a better employee experience

She usually wore black. She often wore a black cape to match. She wasn’t very nice to most people. And when she walked across the parking lot we all yelled “there’s the Wicked Witch of White Plains.” Her name was Pam; and people feared her wrath.

The office announced a Halloween Costume Contest. With my friend Patty, we designed the ugliest witch costume we could. I wore it.

The stakes were high – 2 free airline tickets to Europe on American Airlines. The day of the contest a parade through the office was organized. My costume was fair compared to some of the others. Oh well, no Europe.

As I was lining up to march I turned to Patty and said “Quick, get me a name tag and a marker.”

I wrote the following, slapped it on my costume and draped my wig over it:

 

As I walked by every person I moved my hair over to reveal the name tag. The office was in a roar. Up ahead was Pam. I walked right by her and smiled without moving my hair. Roaring was louder; Pam had no idea.

So what’s your point Rich?

I was willing to say what everyone was thinking. I was willing to acknowledge the pain in the office and bring some laughter to it. But that costume did something bigger. It created an employee experience that was talked about for a long time and had people working harder and smarter; had them working together. It got departments engaged with one another. Pam had a way of brooming into the office, creating turmoil and leaving. Yet, all of a sudden it didn’t matter anymore because we ALL had something in common – helping one another work through THE WRATH OF THE WICKED WITCH OF WHITE PLAINS!

It’s okay to laugh and make fun of what is upsetting others in your organization. It builds trust, helps with collaboration and engages people. It might even be helpful to the bottom line. Acknowledging the pain and laughing about it is so much better than ignoring it.

Oh, and Brussels and Amsterdam are great cities to visit!

Meetings should not be recycled air conversations

This past Saturday I attended PodCamp; a social media and technology unconference. It was a day of learning and sharing information. There were people there from all walks of life; students, teachers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, employees, CEO’s, media personalities and tech geeks.

It was clearly in the Top 5 Learning experiences for me this year; and for one reason. It wasn’t recycled air.

Most of the conferences I attend are as a presenter to a group of similar people. It might be the Association of Widget Sellers; but they’re all widget sellers. And while I offer them ideas or ways to keep their employees engaged in the widget selling business they usually have one thing on their mind….the business of widget selling; and how they currently engage in that business. It becomes a challenge to move people out of that space; to get them from “Wow that is a cool idea” to “We’re going to start implementing that tomorrow!” So instead, the same recycled air conversations occur year after year.

I also attend conferences with my peers. Other speakers, trainers, etc. I have great conversations but basically most people are doing business the same way. It’s recycled air. I don’t want to engage clients or prospects by doing things the same way. I want to engage them with something they haven’t seen. Your customers are expecting that from you; your employees as well. 

So this past weekend I went to PodCamp and this coming weekend I am going to a Creativity Workshop. I owe this to myself and my clients. I do my best not to be recycled air; but to RECESSitate organizations with new ideas. We can only do that by looking for fresh air, fresh thoughts and fresh ways of doing things.

The same conversations over and over rarely keep people engaged and move organizations forward. What you can do to eliminate recycled air in your life

  • Invite unusual suspects to meetings you are holding; i.e. invite a maintenance person to your next strategy meeting; or maybe one of your customers?
  • Attend meetings and events where your peers don’t hang out; you’d be surprised what a room full of health care professionals might be able to teach you about your business (assuming you’re not a sports therapist)
  • Let meetings happen on their own versus having an agenda; learn about Open Space Technology and how it might change your next meeting

 

Recycled air kills people and organizations. It drives down productivity, employee engagement, morale and ultimately profits. Fresh air really isn’t that far away; if you’re willing to let it in.

Engaged employees are allowed to explore!

Given the chance to walk around that fence and go exploring or stay in the yard; the yard that provides safety, security and food; which would you do? Stay or explore?

I’d like to think that most people would like to explore. And that is exactly what my little four-legged guy did yesterday. Went on a little adventure when I wasn’t looking.

The lake gets lowered every fall so we can do work on our docks, walls etc. Yesterday I was so busy talking business with a friend that I forgot the dogs were outside and the lake was lowered.

Panic!

He’s not in the yard. Not answering my calls. “Want a cookie?” is not getting his attention. “Wanna go in the car?” not working either.  

Fast forward: He was next door. Doing what male dogs do to claim their turf. I’m sure Joel’s plants got a complete watering.

When I celebrated his return it got me thinking about workplaces; and how we need to let employees explore. Explore new ways of doing things. Explore new opportunities. Explore the work of other people, departments and divisions. People want to know what is going on outside their team, department or division. They want to know what is happening on the other side of the fence.

Keeping employees engaged in their work requires us to let them do some exploring of what is going on outside their little piece of the business. Give them an opportunity to explore  – regularly. Your business will benefit. Your employees will benefit. Your customers will benefit.

For every customer experience action, an employee experience action!

Almost every organization is talking about, worried about and doing something about the customer experience. Great. Marvelous. You should. But what about employees? Don’t you think they deserve a great experience too? Don’t you want them excited about coming to work every day? So with that in mind, let’s take a RECESS from the way you normally operate and give these points some thought:

  • If you can roll out a red carpet for your customers you can roll out a red carpet for your employees. Or make it purple in my honor.
  • If you can hold a customer appreciation day for customers with food and beverage I am certain you can find a few bucks to do the exact same thing for your employees.
  • If you can let a customer berate you and your employees because “the customer is always right” you can certainly allow employees to speak freely and without fear of retaliation
  • If you can give your customers SWAG you can certainly give some to your employees. It might even get them more engaged with the company and their work. 
  • If you can write a thank you note/email to a client you certainly can write a few extra words to an employee while the pen is still in your hand or the fingers are whizzing across a keyboard.
  • If you can surprise a customer by personalizing or customizing a product to match their likes you could certainly pick up a little memento for an employee to let him or her know that you have an interest in them too!
  • If you can apologize to a customer you can apologize (and mean it) to an employee. The employee will respect you more than the customer anyway.
  • If you can give your customers some publicity you can certainly publicly praise an employee within your group, team, department or company.

My hope and challenge for you: Stop thinking only about the customer experience and start thinking about the employee experience as well. As you can see from above it’s not that difficult to do simultaneously. And while front line employees may not be the ones who design your customer experience they sure as heck are the ones delivering it. That in itself should provide impetus for you to do something.

The definition of Recess is a break from the norm. Let’s break from it only being about the customer. Here’s to your NEXT GREAT EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE!

It’s not difficult to make your employees feel great; but it is necessary. Talk to your management team about this. Or get in touch with me and let’s schedule some a Recess

Some discussion points on what the Chilean mine worker story can teach you and your employees

A lot of employees are probably gathered around computers and televisions watching the Chilean Mine Worker Rescue today. While you’re gathered there in amazement and awe (or while you’re periodically crying as I am) here are some good points to discuss and think about as a group. They just might help strengthen your organization and get rid of some of the BS that goes on.

So much is going to be learned from these workers. Why not start now?

  • The true sense of teamwork
  • That those who have differences were able to put them aside
  • That people looked out for one another
  • What was the role of communication from above and within the mine?
  • Everyone clearly had one common purpose
  • What type of conflict arose? How do you think it was handled?
  • What happened to the chain of command? 
  • Who was chosen first and why?
  • Who chose to go last?
  • What position would you have chosen to be removed? And why?

These are just a few points/questions to get some conversation going. I’m sure you can come up with your own. Just make sure you do the important thing………….draw the parallels to your organization with your answers.

Thank you for reading this!

One of my newsletter subscribers replied to what I sent out this morning. I replied back to her. She thanked me for taking the time to reply.

Thanking me?????

When a fan/follower/friend replies to a post/tweet/email we OWE it to EVERY ONE of them to get in touch. EVERY ONE. (Okay, maybe we can ignore some of the people who just hit “like”).

When a customer gets in touch with you about your service or how an employee made their experience a great one, you need to get in touch; let the employee get in touch. 

Now I’m not perfect; I can get better. We can all get better. But I know an awful lot of people who put things out there and watch the buzz rather than stay engaged. All that does is disengage me.

How about you?

Page 1 of 212