Stop Scamming Your Staff With an Employee of the Month Award

...it's really nothing more than a show of favoritism, right?

One of today’s typical “employee motivational ploys” is the employee of the month award. What a scam this is – at least it is for most of the business world! Here’s why…

Stop Scamming Your Staff With an Employee of the Month Award

We treat our employees like sheep; herd them in, give them slop to eat and expect the sweat off their brow (or their wool in this case) then we toss them aside when they’re no longer needed.

Add to this substandard working conditions, low wages, out-of-touch management and unrealistic expectations and we wonder why morale is at an all-time low.

Years ago someone had the bright idea to single out an employee each month in recognition of their stellar performance and bestow an award labeled the “Employee of the Month”. Sounds great, I applaud this.

But as time passed and “political correctness” reared its ugly head, the meaning behind this effort has become watered-down to say the least.

Employee of the Month SpongeBob 2In the truest sense of the word, whoever is the best employee for a specific month should win, regardless if he/she has already won the award last month or 2-3 months in a row. If the award is for performance and if the same person is repeatedly the best, he should be awarded each month – just like SpongeBob Squarepants!

But this doesn’t happen. We “must” (more…)

Do You Need to be Assertive to Provide Great Customer Service?

…here’s 7 ways to get you started

You still haven’t learned how to speak up, huh? Maybe you’re just afraid of confrontation? I know, you don’t want to offend anyone, right? Don’t want to come across as too assertive or even aggressive; what’s the difference anyway?

Do You Need to be Assertive to Provide Great Customer Service

The service you provide has always lacked because of your fear of “taking charge” and not wanting to offend your customers. There was always that little hesitation, that delay, that pause, that prevented you from reaching the level of your peers. You’re tired of always missing out on the recognition bestowed on others.

But why does this happen? Maybe you’re not cut out for this…

Here are some common thoughts about business;

  • You have to be ruthless to get ahead – but that’s not your style
  • You won’t be successful if you let others walk all over you – but you can’t help it, it just happens…

You’re told “be a tiger and go out there – be assertive”. But how?

Customer service employees must walk a fine line between satisfying the needs of their customers and ensuring they uphold the standards and expectations of their company. They are individuals who give of themselves and ensure the customer experience is second to none. They create memories.

But what about the memories of those entrusted to provide the actual service?

We must feel good about the service we provide AND we must feel good about ourselves. That’s not possible if we fear being assertive, straightforward, frank, clear-cut or any other descriptive word you wish to use.

We need to have the mindset of (more…)

This is Why Your Success Habits Will Make You Better Than The Rest

...your conscious actions will lead to bigger things

Rod Stewart famously sang “Some guys have all the luck” and that may be true for “some”. But has YOUR success been because of luck or your varied personal habits that have, unknowingly, made you who you are and ultimately led to your success?

Success Habits

Most likely it was your personal habits; I call them “success habits“. Let me explain…

Each day there are a series of steps, actions and patterns that you take as part of your routine. You don’t consciously think about them, they just happen. Example: reading before bed, being a good listener or never being late.

These “habits” do more for you than you realize…

  • You like to read before you go to sleep; this probably helps your communication skills.
  • You always have been a good listener; hasn’t this helped your ability to analyze and evaluate conflicting points of view and come up with the effective call to action?
  • You hate being late to the movies; now think back on how many times you have been early to events and the positive actions that came because of it: Maybe you found the best seats, got the last available tickets or had a chance to speak one-on-one with the presenter and received some “insider tips”.

Directly from the pages of the acclaimed book, Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, is this widely used phrase:

It usually requires a minimum of about 21 days to effect any perceptible change in a mental image.

In other words, it takes 21 days to break a habit and conversely, 21 days to start a new habit.

Looking back on their careers, many believe that “being in the right place at the right time” has been the catalyst for their success.

I believe otherwise and (more…)

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He is an 8 year Army Airborne veteran with 145 jumps and received 4 promotions. Immediately after being discharged he started his modest culinary career learning multiple cooking styles, trained other cooks and now currently works manning an action station in the middle of the dining room taking orders directly from the customers.

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He’s a team player, customer focused and willing to help others. Just the kind of person any company should want to hire.

I’ve had a long standing relationship with a culinary school in New York City as an adjunct instructor for their hospitality program. Spending time with these students is extremely rewarding, especially when they share their hopes and dreams of why they wish to enter the challenging hospitality industry.

Recently I taught a 4 day program of professional development for this class with the topics of resume building, cover letters, building a 30 second elevator pitch, job searching and interviewing skills, all in the hopes of helping them to land their first/next job.

Due to various reasons, on one of these days, only 1 student arrived for class. Frankly, my first reaction was frustration;

“How am I expected to teach only 1 student?”

I thought this was going to be a waste of time but boy was I wrong!

As I sat down with this Army veteran to plot out a series of steps in the hopes of turning his resume into an “action-packed” and powerful representation of his skills and experience I realized (more…)

This is Why You Should Never Thank Your Audience

...a public speaking tip

After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:

You Should Never Thank Your Audience

“Never thank your audience”.

I asked why… (more…)

Here Are 3 Steps You Need to Increase Employee Engagement

Today’s guest post is from Annabelle Rigby. She discusses 3 simple and easy-to-implement steps to increase the engagement of your workforce.

Employee engagement is essential to any successful business, allowing for a better exchange between employees and supervisors. Studies show that employees who feel engaged are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.

Increase Employee Engagement

Here are 3 steps you can take in your company to help keep employees motivated, and improve the efficiency and success of your business.

1. Let Them Know They Have a Voice

Regardless of whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or even in the grocery store, everyone wants to feel like they have a voice and that their opinions are valued by others. You can foster employee engagement by creating an environment within your business that encourages your employees to speak up and let you know what they think.

Listening to their concerns about everything from the work environment, to certain procedures and policies, and even customer feedback will allow you to paint a better picture of your business, and determine what works and what doesn’t. It will also affirm to your employees that they are valued members of the team and that they are capable of positively impacting their workplace.

Your employees are the face of your business - listen to them. Click To Tweet

It’s likely you’ll gain inspiration and receive some helpful advice if you encourage them to share their opinions and voice their concerns. (more…)

Social Media Won’t Make You Smarter, So Why Do It?

...the Kardashians of the world never put food on YOUR table

We read statements like these all the time – connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page…blah, blah, blah. Seems like people use social media more to boost their ego than to get to know those they connect with. So why bother?

Social Media Won't Make You Smarter

“How many Instagram followers do you have”? “Did you see my latest Snapchat?” “I just posted another of my videos to YouTube, you gotta check it out”. Does it really matter?

When we “connect” or “follow” someone are we more interested in learning something new or to have easy access to the latest gossip? Our desire to attract “likes” perpetuates a false reality when thinking a bigger “circle of influence” makes you more important.

It reminds me of what Bette Midler said in the movie Beaches: “Enough about me, what do YOU think about me?”

Now, I must admit that, since I am relatively new to social media I did spend more time initially “building my network” than paying attention to who I connected with. I thought I “needed” to have a large following or connect with everyone who asked? But what did that get me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Over the past few months I’ve taken a different approach: (more…)

13 Powerful Job Interview Tips You Need to Know Now

The dreaded job interview, everyone hates them.  But here’s the key to having a great interview – you must show how, based on your past proven experience, you (over anyone else) can bring value to the company.  Here’s some information your next boss will want to know:

Job Interview Tips

1. Is this someone we want to work with for years to come?

2. Is this someone who can fix the problems we are having in this department?

  • If so, how?  You must explain specific situations where your experience/skills have overcome situations that have cost your previous company money, or provided poor customer service

3. Can he/she bring the same success he has shown in the past to our company?

  • Does he have an action plan that is easy to replicate?  Can he do it here?

4. What measurable benefits have you brought to your past employers? (more…)

He’s So Darn Good The Competition Wants to Steal Him

...take that as a badge of honor!

The moment I entered the door he looked at me and smiled. “Good morning, welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts. Are you looking for a great cup of coffee today?” the attendant said.  He already had me smiling.  “Yes please” I answered.

The Competition Wants to Steal Him

This is not a promotion for Duncan Donuts.  It’s just to acknowledge a great employee that works at one of its many stores.  It’s a privilege to have great employees.  When your competition tries to lure them away from you, take that as a badge of honor.  You know they’re good. Your competition knows they’re good. And best of all your customers know they’re good. That’s why they keep coming back for more.

Unless you sell such a unique product or service that you cannot find anywhere else: Your customers come back to your business for one reason - they enjoy doing business with you. Click To Tweet

Maybe your store is an architectural gem or has the latest technology. Maybe it’s located in the trendiest part of town or owned by the hottest celebrity.  That’s great but that’s not enough. The employees are the lifeblood of any business.

Hire the best and pay them well. Train them until their skills are second to none. Click To Tweet

(more…)

I’m a Waiter, Not a Salesman!

Customers appreciate your positive attitude. They prefer to buy from those they like and those that have their best interest at heart. Here’s a post adapted from my book that shows it works in the restaurant industry.

Assume the sale. This is one of those phrases that is drilled into the head of any good salesperson. “They will love our product, I know they will. Just keep listing all the benefits of our product, and they will have to buy it. So, just assume that you will make the sale and ask them for their order,” says the hungry sales manager boss.

I'm a waiter, not a salesman

Well, I don’t want you to be a hungry sales guy, at least not at this point. But I do want you to assume the sale. Here’s what I mean.

Those well-spoken-of and restaurant industry standard “two minutes or two bites” has quickly passed as you make your way to table #22. As you reach there, you scan the plates to see if the four guests are enjoying their meal.

You say something like this:

  • “Is everything okay”?
  • “I hope you are enjoying the salmon”

No, no, man, that’s all wrong. It’s the worst way to check on a guest. Don’t you know that everything is okay? Were you paying attention? Why would you “hope” they like their salmon? This leaves doubt in the mind of the customer.

If you really were paying attention you would have (more…)