It’s not about how high you can jump. It’s about jumping in.

Remember this one…………….. When I say jump; you say “How high?” Wrong! When someone (especially the boss) says jump, you need to respond “Jump in!”   The last place I wanted to be at 3:30 in the afternoon was in a supermarket. But my uncle, who has a disability, needed my help. Apparently Stop & Shop in Yonkers, NY needed help too! Way too many customers in relation to the number of cashiers on duty. Not to mention the unhappy children who were probably picked up at school or the bus stop and were anxiously awaiting their promised after school treat “after mommy runs a quick errand.” So after what seemed like an eternity (it actually was three minutes) something happened. Something that made me smile………. There were three manager-type people walking around dealing with cashier issues. (The number one issue probably being lack of training.) Suddenly one of those manager-types came over …

Do your archaic policies irritate the employee and the customer?

These are my kids. Today is their birthday; 6 years old. That picture was taken at about 6 months old. Every year Big Brand PetStore sends them a coupon for a free birthday gift. YAY!!   Free stuff!! It used to be an actual birthday card in the mail; one for each dog. This year it came as an email. It used to also be a free gift of up to $7 or $8;  I don’t remember which. Now it is $4 off IF I spend $15. Rula and Cargo are still appreciative. So am I. And a good size bag of dog food is over $30 anyway. So every May we get $8. The store is more than happy to give me the $8 discount. They’re just not willing to do it in one transaction. Today the cashier had to ring up two transactions so I could get $4 individually ($8 total). I question the stupidity of these policies. …

You beat the crap out of the whiny employee; that’s what you do

So this morning I answered a question on LinkedIn about managing a whiny employee. I thought I would post that answer here. The person wanted to know how to manage a person who seems to whine over the most trivial things – like having to change their password regularly. My initial thought was clearly they are not the person who wrote Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth. So I crafted a response. And here it is:   Take him out back and beat the crap out of him OR……. What’s wrong with saying…… John, you seem to be bothered by so many trivial things. Why is that? or John, you’ve used your whining credits for this month or John, maybe this isn’t the place for you to work with all these policies and rules. or I could email you a picture of my cap that says “Are You Done …

Click your heels like Dorothy. You’ve always had the power to motivate employees

At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch, tells Dorothy she had the power all the time to get home. I get asked all the time by managers, employees, etc how to keep employees happy and motivated. I get asked by peers for my input on systems they are trying to develop/create to sell to clients seeking to increase employee motivation, Now until someone comes up with a “one-size-fits-all” system, let me make life simple and tell you to click your heels together and walk over to your nearest HR Department, your own file cabinet or search the device from which you are reading this post. Your employee records have your answers. Not some software. Not some metric. Your files. Go back to the very beginning and take a look at those notes you took during the interview process. What excited you about that employee? What opportunity did you see …

While it may make you feel good….Asking is not taking action

Several times over the last month I have been asked for advice, help, guidance, brainpower; whatever you want to call it. Of course I agreed. These are people I care about and want to see succeed. In a few cases I even blocked out/scheduled times to talk with people. They never called. The nonprofit I founded has internship openings. Yep, The Double D Diner: The World’s Only Virtual Diner Fighting Hunger is looking for college interns. 4 students reached out to me and sent their resume. I set appointments up with all 4 of these people to have a Skype conversation. I didn’t want to call it an interview and to be really honest I had no intention of reading their resume until after we talked. There were few enough people who responded and it offered me the luxury to really learn about them; not the glorification that resume folks and career counselors suggest …

Mad Magazine: The answer to customer relationships and thank you gifts

How do you thank a client? How do you develop customer relationships? Gift cards/certificates? Candy or fruit baskets? A gift for their child? Calendars? Candles?   Several years ago  I started thinking why clients hire me? And after long hard thought I started giving subscriptions to Mad Magazine as my thanks to clients for allowing me to work with their teams. Yes, I read Mad Magazine. It’s really much more exciting than Time. And it consistently offends people. Seriously folks, in Europe there have been boobs on magazine covers for 20 years. The only boobs we see on magazine covers here in the U.S. are celebrity and political messes. But here is what I have found out about that subscription to Mad: It’s like auto-pilot for relationship building/marketing. Every couple of months that magazine arrives and they think of me. I didn’t have to worry about staying in touch; putting something on my calendar; …

Shrieking customer who should be banished from air travel and bagel buying

How many employees do you know who are happy to be at work at 5:00 AM in the morning – on a Saturday no less? Not too many I am sure. But the three folks at the bakery in O’Hare Airport appear to know how to have a good time; even that early in the day. I had just deplaned from the first leg of the red-eye back to CT from the west coast. I needed coffee. I was also hungry. One of the three workers offered to take my order. He also read the “Are You Done Whining” embroidered on the front of my cap and remarked how he needed to get one for his wife. I chuckled. The woman working with him informed me she was his wife. The two of them then proceeded to go off on a back and forth banter. It was quite amusing. It was also …