Create a great employee experience. Avoid Taxes! Spend.

A while back I found myself in a debate with a friend about poverty, the economy, and the tax increases which almost everyone is going to feel in one way or another. Whether it be at the pump, in the supermarket, for luxury items or an increased income tax we are all about to feel it in our pocket. My friend said he is willing to pay more in taxes. If he had to pay an extra $100 in taxes each month to keep our government running,  people employed, and social programs running he was willing to do that. I am not. Until the government can prove once and for all that they have a plan – that everyone agrees on – count me out. My response to him was wouldn’t that $100 be better off in hands other than the government. I encouraged him to take that $100 and donate more to charity; to …

You should hold a Customer Bathing Suit Contest!

This is one of the picturesI posted on Facebook yesterday. In 1989 I lost a bunch of weight after joining Weight Watchers. In 1993 they recruited me to lead motivational/informational weight loss meetings for them. I did that for many years; until I reached a philosophical difference about measurements of success; me measuring it by behavior change; pounds lost and kept off; they measuring it by getting people to spend more money. My approach was never conventional and my hand was slapped numerous times by those within the corporate structure who believed in convention. I never wanted people who showed up weekly to see some canned presentation; like 99% of the other staff members offered. Worse yet, I refused to turn into an infomercial for more products and services. The picture above was from the “Bathing Suit Contest” I held in June each year. In December I held the “Slutty …

Employees First. Customers Second. More Proof!

After an hour of listening to Usher, Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, and Jay-Z, I unplugged the MP3 Player and tuned to News Radio. 45 minutes later I learned that the Middle East continues to erupt in craziness, 90% of people with the last name Washington are African American/Black, and employees are the best thing about three companies in the NYC listening area. The last point excited me the most. I’m an advocate for the employee. I believe that a customer experience will be terrible unless you provide an employee experience like no other. I believe that ongoing training, professional development, mentoring, taking an interest in their work, providing interesting and challenging work, and open communication with employees will deliver you the happiest employees and customers. I also know that too many organizations forgot about these things over the last few years as the economy went into the crapper. But how odd was it that the three …

Rucki’s General Store; Helping figure out who your client is

I drive between my home in CT and my other home on Cape Cod regularly; usually rushing to get to either place; because that is what we do as a society…..rush. In Abington/Pomfret CT at the intersection of Rtes 97 & 44 is a run down looking building which houses Rucki’s General Store. For years I’ve been staring at this place as I whizzed by, telling myself that some day I’m going to stop in and see what’s inside. Curious I was. For years I drove by. After all what could that “dump” possibly have to offer. This past Thursday on the drive back to CT I was doing a little soul searching; pondering who really is the client I want to work with; those I enjoy working with most; those who actually implement the ideas that come about as a result of hiring me to work with them. I was looking for some inspiration. …

A better employee experience: Are your “regular” customers always worth the effort?

The other night I watched a drunk get verbally abusive to a customer and a staff member at a restaurant. The restaurant manager smoothed things out, calmed him down and removed the charge for a glass of wine; a glass of wine which the drunk had bought for a woman he was hoping to “get to know.” She refused his advances and the glass of wine. Things got a little loud as the manager let him know she was removing the glass of wine from the bill. He was complaining about the wine being bad. It wasn’t that the wine was bad; it was that he was rejected. How about removing the drunk from the restaurant were my thoughts. Apparently this man has outbursts like this and exhibits stupid behavior on a regular basis. And therein lies the problem. He is a “regular.” He comes into the restaurant often. So …