Archive for the ‘Improving Morale’ Category

Share Your Limits

Monday, October 10th, 2016

There’s always more work to be done….am I right? But one of the most productive things anyone can do is set definite limits on the work you bring home. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and that’s fine. But when it becomes a norm to work through the evening, you are sapping your energy and reducing your productivity. And nobody wins that game.

Want some help keeping those limits in place? Share them with those around you.

If you’ve decided not to work after 7 pm, tell your wife or husband and the kids. They’ll hold you to it, believe me! And both your work life AND your home life, will be better for it.

Get Serious About Getting Away

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Back in the old days, a vacation was really a vacation. Nobody stayed in touch with the office because you couldn’t.

Now it’s easy to stay in touch—which also means it’s hard NOT to. Your office follows you everywhere. A glance at your phone or a click on your laptop puts you right back in your office chair.

Worst of all, the folks back in the office know this, so the emails and texts and calls keep coming.

The research on this is conclusive: The failure to truly get away from work is killing your productivity AND your health.

So it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Before you leave for your next vacation, make it clear that you are gone, gone, gone. Designate someone to answer all questions for you, and if possible, forward your email so it doesn’t pile up. Leave your laptop at home and tell your wife or husband to be a pest whenever you look at your cell phone. If you MUST check in, let them know the limited time that will be and what are the only topics that get covered at that time.

When you get back, your productivity and your mental and physical health will thank you.

Build customer loyalty when things go wrong

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Customer loyalty is the golden goose of any business. Yet too many think that loyalty begins and ends with great products and services. You’ve got to look beyond the product to your reputation in the community.

And that has everything to do with how you treat the customer – especially when things go wrong.

It’s easy to handle customers with simple questions or needs. Do it well, do it with a smile—but know that that moment isn’t where your reputation is made. It’s in the thornier, more emotional moments, the times you are solving sticky problems for the customer, that your reputation in the community is made or lost.

When a customer comes to you with a problem, DROP EVERYTHING. Nothing matters more in that moment. Own the problem immediately, empathize with their frustration, and make it clear that you will not stop until it’s resolved to their full satisfaction.

There is no better feeling as a customer than knowing your frustration is coming to an end.

A perfect product or service is good. But solve a problem quickly and well, and customer loyalty is yours to keep.

Mean Girls

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Did you ever see the movie “Mean Girls?” If you haven’t, you probably don’t need or want to for that matter—it’s not exactly a classic.

That said, it packs some great lessons. When our daughter was a teenager, I took it as a moment to bond and joined her in watching it.

It was about what I expected. They gossiped. They eye-rolled. They manipulated. They did every awful thing in the book, and they recruited others into the “mean girl” group by making it obvious that if you weren’t one of them, you would be on the receiving end of their venom.

Then the heroine showed some character and put her foot down and made it clear that she wouldn’t participate any more.

Despite being a bit formulaic, there was a pretty powerful and relevant message in that, one that applies to the workplace.

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve discovered that “mean girls” come in all genders and ages—people who put others down and hurt them while making it unsafe to stand up to them.

It takes character to stand up to them because you know you’ll be the next target. The problem is, it’s just a matter of time, and you’ll be the target regardless.

IF you want a safe workplace, you have to take a stand and disallow the hurtful behaviors that are normalized in most workplaces. Most workplaces are dysfunctional. Most workplaces are unsafe. All it takes is one person to take a stand and stop the pattern of
“mean girl” behaviors.

Build Community

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

With family, something is unique. You hurt when they hurt. You laugh when they laugh. You feel what they feel.

But elsewhere, it’s hard to find this same genuine support, this feeling of real community.

Your son’s hockey team wins the championship – a game winner scored by the team captain with 10 seconds remaining. It’s great that they won, of course, but you and your boy both wish that time could go back, so HE could score the game-winning goal.

Tim, your buddy in the cubicle down the hall, pretty much just won the lottery. He closed a monstrous deal with a customer who would’ve bought anything from anyone. You’re mature enough to congratulate him, but dang, you begin to think that he doesn’t deserve this kind of luck. YOU deserve this kind of luck! Right?

We’ve all been there. And it isn’t good. More than anything, this ME, ME, ME mentality gets in the way of establishing a sense of community, a sense of family, in the workplace.

Imagine just for a second what things would look like if everyone had each other’s best interests at heart.

When Jim closes the deal, you’re so excited for him that it may as well have been you.

When Marcia gets sick, she’s on your mind.

When Sally gets promoted, you’re thrilled.

When Tom struggles with his project, you assist him as if it were your own. When the business thrives, YOU feel fantastic!

A sense of family and community at work—now wouldn’t that be something? So why not make it that way?