Enough with the thinking. Implement already. Please.

A friend of mine is thinking about contacting someone he knows about an opening at the company where that person works. A healthcare client of mine is thinking about pulling his team together to talk about how they can grow the business. He’s been thinking about doing this since March. A neighbor of mine is thinking about a new business idea and the first steps to take. He’s thinking about the right time to do it. A marketing client of mine is sitting on a marketing campaign that we developed three months ago. He is thinking about the right time to release the campaign. The conversation I have basically had with all these people is that making the contact, gathering the team, taking a first step and releasing the campaign MIGHT leave them exactly where they are; but doing nothing assures it will leave them exactly where they are. And …

When employees work alone customers learn way too much about them

Yikes! That’s all I could say when I walked out of the lab this morning. Doctor wanted to do annual cholesterol and what-not check so I went early in the day. Not eating for 12 hours (cuz let’s face it we all know what hunger is) coupled with starting the day off without coffee is just not a good thing for some of us. So imagine how excited I was when I walked in and there was no wait. Hooray! This will be over quickly and I get a treat – a big ole latte for being stabbed. The facility was staffed by one person. In the 10 minutes I was in the room with Vampira I learned: Her drinking habits She just came back from visiting a friend she met in Lamaze class an eternity ago She travels with a vibrator She hates her computer They keep changing the …

What if THIS was the company policy manual?

Companies have policies. Companies have rules. But what if company policy manuals and handbooks were a little less formal? A little less restrictive? What do you think would happen to the employee experience? Do you think customers would notice a difference? Be treated differently? Do you think employees would look as forward to Monday as they do to Friday? What if risk really reaped rewards and not hand slapping? These are just some of the ideas being tested and implemented by companies across the globe. Perhaps it is time to change the look and feel of the employee handbook? An excerpt from Diary of The Happiest Employee on Earth: Week #39 Dear Diary, I forwarded this policy manual to HR, C.E. Ohhh, and my boss on Wednesday. Given 39 weeks here and observing so much I thought why not.  The Only Employee Policy Manual You’ll Ever Need: The company promises …

Way to go Comcast! Now that’s Customer Service!

Yesterday I posted my letter to UPS and Comcast about having to play delivery boy for them.(See previous post) I shared it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkIn land. Within minutes the Twitter patrol at both companies responded. But that’s where the similarity stopped. The folks at Comcast were genuinely interested in my experience. Mark Casem aka, The Comcast Twitter Dude @comcastbill, was determined to get my thoughts and comments to the right person/people. He reached out to me  and within a few hours I heard from Roger Falis at Comcast who was apologetic for what I had experienced, acknowledged that their processes needed to be reviewed, and THANKED ME for playing delivery boy. He remarked that I didn’t have to do that, but was very appreciative. I’m even getting a little prize. And the folks at UPS?……………. Well I got a response on twitter and then some platitude-ridden-canned-email response about …

Hey UPS & Comcast, you owe me a thank you and a cup of coffee!

Dear UPS and Comcast, If customers and employees really do matter to you, you will take the time to read this letter. Imagine expecting to arrive home from work to your new Comcast television cable equipment. Your weekend plans might include that special movie, pay event, or child’s party favorite. Imagine pulling into your driveway and not seeing the package you were promised. You know the disappointing feeling. On Friday morning one of you dropped a Next Day Air package off at my house. I’ll let you guess who. The package was not for me. Right house number but wrong street. Trying to be helpful I called you. I pressed 1, 2, 3, 4 or whatever other sequence was required to reach a real person; where I was informed by an irritating computer generated voice to please hold. Ten minutes later a human finally took my call. I shared with …

Create a great workplace with these 7 questions

Q: What’s on the minds of your employees? A: Getting better at what they do and being allowed to contribute to the greater good of the organization. Really, that’s all that is on their minds. Go ahead and ask them. Okay, well maybe updating their Facebook status is also on their minds. Tweeting that they are in the bathroom. Texting their significant other about the romantic weekend that is being planned. So how do you get as much productivity and interest as Facebook, tweeting and texting? It’s easy. Ask questions. So much could be learned about employees if we asked them some questions versus jumping to conclusions (or thinking you know it all). Employee morale would improve. Employee engagement might increase. Productivity just might soar. You might have happy employees. But you don’t want truthful answers in order to get those results, right? Below is a partial entry from Diary of …

Who are the Unusual Suspects in your company? Do you know their value?

Q: Marketing holds a meeting. Who do they invite? A: The Marketing people Q: Finance holds a meeting. Who do they invite? A: The Finance people. Q: Client Service Team holds a meeting. Who do they invite? A: I’ll give you one guess. What if Marketing invited Finance? Or extended an invitation to the IT folks? How would a Customer Service meeting benefit if people from Finance, Maintenance, or even your company receptionist were asked to sit in and contribute? Or let’s get even bolder……what if you invited someone from outside your company; that person you say good morning to every day while waiting for the elevator? Why do we continue to look for answers from the usual suspects? Why don’t we turn to unusual suspects? Fresh new ideas are staring us in the face in hallways, elevators, and lunchrooms of companies around the globe. The person you least suspect might …

What do you look for when you walk in to a business?

You walk into a store, restaurant, doctor’s office or perhaps that new client location. What do you look for when you walk into that business? Decor? Merchandise availability? Clutter? Lighting? Cleanliness? The bathroom? I look at the employees. Are they smiling? Do they look happy? Do they look stressed? Do they look frazzled? Do they look afraid? Are they nervous due to lack of training? Are they laughing with one another? Do they appear to be plotting the demise of current leadership? Observing people tells me so much about an organization. And whether I’m walking into a place of business as a customer or as that guy hired to RECESSitate the organization and improve the employee experience first impressions can tell me so much about a culture. If I walked into your place of business today what would it be telling me? And is that a good thing? Are you …

Dear Employee, the answer is “I don’t know, let me find out for you.”

You walk into a big box retailer. You ask an employee a question. He or she responds with some version of “I don’t know” (I’m not sure / I couldn’t tell you / I’m not from this department) and then stands there. Or worse…..the employee walks away. Responses like that surely do not make a customer feel appreciated. It makes people not want to spend their money. Perhaps you feel that the company does not invest in training and development of its people? Or the employee has no pride in the company for which he or she represents? And even if the question was of minor importance or just curiosity don’t you still want/deserve an answer? Recently while visiting a big box retailer I asked an employee a question about a particular line of available products. I got one of those “I don’t know” answers. Isn’t the answer…………”I don’t know. …

Now that’s not fun! My Peer Coaching experience.

A little over a month ago my good friend lost his job. Ten years with the company and he received a two week severance package. Woo-Hoo!! (Sarcasm) Trying to be of help I shared with him something I had been wanting to try…………Peer Coaching. I learned about it while reading some of Marshall Goldsmith’s work. I thought it would help as he moves forward to his next job adventure. Here is basically the way it works: At the end of each day (Mon-Fri) we get on the phone and ask each other 20 questions. We record one another’s answers. It’s a quick phone call. No judgments. Positive affirmations. A little bit of encouragement and support. At the end of the week we each receive a summary of those responses. I designed my own 20 questions (they have been tweaked and changed in the last month); he designed his. Some are …