What do you see?
I pedal my bike by it all the time. Thought it was an old abandoned building. Then I heard it was a bakery. That only opens on Sunday.
A bakery? Looks like a dump. Looks like the Board of Health should be there boarding it up.
More and more people started talking about this place. I was driving by Sunday afternoon. The open sign was on.
Inside was a sign….Eddie’s Bakery. I made a purchase. Let’s see what the rage is all about.
OMG, the best Rye Bread I ever had. And a testament to good food can be cheap.
Whether it’s a building or a person, the outside never tells the story. Get to know it/them.
P.S. Look hard at the wood. I guess it was there all along.
We’ve all heard it…………. The Customer Service Representative who says “I’m sorry” for your trouble Mr. DiGirolamo (insert your name where mine is).
No they’re not; we all know it. They’re told to say that. They’re not REALLY sorry.
Wouldn’t it be great if they said things like:
Like yesterday, I walked into my bank to close an account. I was asked why. My response was “there will be a $35 fee for me to give you that reason. Please close my account.” The woman in the bank was not amused. Don’t like when the shoe is on the other foot, do ya?
I believe employees want to help customers and have a great employee experience. I believe employees want to make right when customers are not happy. But truthfully, I think this “I’m sorry” nonsense has got to go.
Humor will always prevail over platitudes. Always.
Next time your front line people gather for a team meeting or training session, why not spend some time laughing at the repeated complaints that they here from customers and devise some humorous responses. Even if you only use them for yourself, you’ll create a great employee experience. If you share them with the customer it’ll be a double bonus.
And if you need help with this I’m always available for hire?
Witnessed Very Recently:
Coincidentally the rest of the staff want nothing to do with him, talk about him, do what they can to avoid him and sadly he sits alone and ignored when his team is in a social setting
Message to leaders and managers: You’re not always right. And even if you are, (which you’re not), you’re disengaging people with the above behavior.
Her job was to coordinate the employee satisfaction survey with the outside 3rd party. Yes it says “was.” Read on. It doesn’t have a happy ending.
So what is the purpose of the employee satisfaction survey?
So when the results came back all information was compiled by department and not by entire company. Verbatim words came through on the results; making it clear who said what. If you were a department leader or manager you knew whose words you were reading.
She brought this to the attention of her boss when she clearly recognized her own feedback – which by the way was nothing but positive. But still, she pointed out a “potential” flaw in the system.
And here’s how it went from here……..
This is why employees are afraid to say what is on their mind. This is why employees become disengaged. And this might be classified as a clear case of retaliation; which is just plain wrong.
But it ultimately comes down to a few basic points that have been around forever:
There’s a difference between wanting to be better and hearing the hard words that will make you better. When I work with my clients I asked them what they are going to do after I leave to reinforce the time I spent with their group. If they cannot answer me with some sort of a plan I ask them to rethink why they’re bringing me in.
So shame on you big CT Annuity Company. And if any of you are in need of a great internal comunications person let me know.
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.
The Customer Experience is miserable. Plain and simple.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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
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.