Archive for the ‘Employees’ Category

Communicating with Employees

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

In order for companies to be successful, they need to work like well-oiled machines. One of the steps toward making this happen is a building a positive relationship between you and your employees.

A simple step in the right direction could be physically visiting the employee with instructions instead of hiding behind an email message. By actually seeing you, employees can get a lot more information simply from how you speak with them. They can see your optimism or your excitement. Email has a way of stripping emotion from the message.

Talking with an employee face-to-face can also open a path for discussion and questions.  This may eliminate the need to email back and forth.

Hectic Holidays

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

This is an insane time of year. What most of us would like to be doing is settling down for a long winters nap but with the holidays fast approaching, who has time? Market Viewpoint would like to recommend that you take the time to ask your employees what you can do for them to make their jobs easier during this period of peak activity.

Even if this is not your “busy season”, meet with your employees or survey them to determine the things they need to do a great job for you. Publish this list and try to act on all the suggestions you can for this year. Make sure you take the time to communicate the things you are doing so they know you are supporting them.

 

Courtesy of Market Viewpoint

Don’t Forget Your Front Line

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Delivering exceptional customer service is necessary in today’s competitive marketplace. In addition to your customers, don’t forget to treat your employees well. Many businesses drop the ball in this area. Especially with the current rate of unemployment, many business owners think their workers should be happy to have a job. While this may partially be true, remember, while you are trying so hard to create the best experience for your customers, it only takes one contact with an unhappy, disengaged or disgruntled employee to change a customer’s perception of the service you provide.

Be sure to add employee satisfaction to your marketing plan. This does not always mean you will need to add to your budget. Very often employee morale can be improved or maintained through open communication. Incorporating employee surveys or a suggestion box are easy ways to get feedback. Opening a dialogue with employees and engaging them in the company’s strategy goes a long way. Adding these types of improvements will often help reduce staff turnover and the costs involved in recruiting, hiring and training new employees.

Social Media Policy for Employees

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

You need to protect your brand, your business, yourself and your employees by implementing a social media policy. Through the Internet, the public can access a great deal of information about a person or organization, including information that, in the past, people would have only shared with close friends or family.

Have you implemented a social media policy for your employees?  If you haven’t, start drafting your policy today!  Check out this list of social media policies from Social Media Governance to help begin your policy.

Your employees are involved in social media and you need to be aware of this presence. What are your employees sharing about themselves online? What are they saying about you online? Implement a social media policy today to protect your business tomorrow!

Employee Focus – Talent and Expectations

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

In order to maintain your customers and gain new customers, you have to attract and retain quality team members. It’s not magic, retaining the right people takes hard work and dedication. Be committed to work with your administrative team and make employee retention a priority.

Recruiting The Right People

  • Plan ahead: Identify the skills, abilities or talents needed to accomplish the work.
  • Develop a recruitment strategy: Determine which recruitment efforts work for you.
  • Provide orientation and training: Give your employees the tools and information necessary to do their jobs well. Provide new employees with mentors, training videos, etc.
  • Recognize employee contributions, talents and skills: Communicate each employee’s value to him or her orally or in writing. Show appreciation in formal and informal ways.
  • Celebrate and evaluate: Celebrate success! Incorporate an on-going review process to identify how you could improve processes incorporating everyone’s feedback.

    Management Expectations

    According to Andrew Rondeau’s article, Management Expectations, “Twenty-five percent of all staff members don’t know what their boss expects of them.” As a manager, you should communicate the behaviors you expect of your employees if you want to see an improvement in your team’s work effort. Communicate your management expectations and coach/mentor employees to help them become the best employees possible.

    Getting Employees Involved in Word of Mouth

    Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

    Originally published by GasPedal
    July 26, 2011

    The people on your payroll can be a powerful word of mouth force if you equip them with the training, the tools, and the motivation to do it right. How to get started:

    1.   Give them guidelines
     
    2.   Give them tools
     
    3.   Give them status

    Give them Guidelines

    Create simple rules and guidelines for your employees on how to engage with fans and customers. It’s not about creating restrictions, it’s about straightforward education on how they can participate in conversations about you honestly and ethically — and most employees are happy to be shown the boundaries. And when you do, start by teaching these 10 magic words: “I work for _____ and this is my personal opinion.”

    Give them Tools

    To help your talkers tell friends about you, you need to put tools in their hands — and your employees are no different. Try giving them coupons, friends and family discount codes, leaked information, beta tests, or product samples. And when you find something that really gets your employees sharing, there’s a good chance it’ll work for your external fans too.

    Give them Status

    Want your internal experts to get more involved in online forums or industry groups? Declare them your company’s subject matter experts on the topics they know best and help them get involved in blogging, online communities, events, or local groups. Or on a larger scale, try creating an ambassador program that gives employees the product expertise (and the VIP status) to go out and engage customers on behalf of your brand.

    Delivering ‘Above and Beyond’ Service:

    1. Be a hero! Superb service doesn’t take much more effort than lousy service; it’s simply an attitude adjustment.

    2. Never settle for less than the best. Your work is a direct reflection of you.  Make it shine!

    3. Search for models of great service. Look around your organization and find the people who are stars at work.  Study them – learn what makes them tick.  See if you can do what they do.

    4. Follow through on your actions. Make sure the actions you take have the desired effect – not just when you do them, but a week, a month, or a year later.

    5. Encourage others to take your lead. Your refusal to compromise your standards of quality and service will motivate others to do the same.

     

    Source: 1001 Ways To Take Initiative At Work by Bob Nelson

    • Building A Team: Don’t just hire an employee to fill a position. Employ a person to be part of a team to build your business.

    • Saying ‘Thank You’ – OFTEN: Let your employees, customers and vendors know how much you appreciate them. Tell them, jot a note or send an email.

    • Smiling: Customers are obviously interested in quality and price when making a purchase decision, but ultimately they are buying your optimistic attitude!

    As a small business owner, you may find yourself struggling to manage your expectations with the reality of meeting your goals.  Actually implementing your ideas and strategies can be a particularly difficult aspect of owning your own business.  There are, however, a few simple tools that can be helpful in closing the gap between expectations and reality.

    • Clearly Define your Expectations:  If you do not clearly define your end goal, others may not understand when you delegate tasks to them.  Defining your end-goal can ensure that other people contribute to the task in a meaningful way.
    • Explain the Effect of Each Person’s Contribution:  Communicating the importance of employee contributions to the end-goal can transform seemingly mundane tasks.  Rather than feeling isolated, employees will feel part of the team, actively engaged in accomplishing a goal.
    • Remain Aware of your Shortcomings:  Assess your own contributions honestly.  Acknowledging that you do not have the knowledge or skills necessary to complete a task is the only way to ensure that someone else in the company does.  Hiring a highly qualified team can help bridge weak spots in implementing your goals.
    • Monitor Progress: Remain aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your plan from beginning to end, rather than at the beginning and at the end.  Similarly, encourage your employees by celebrating incremental achievements along the way.  Your employees will not only know that you are monitoring their progress, but also that their efforts are not going unnoticed.
    • Share Credit for Success:  Failure to give credit where credit is due can cause resentment among employees, and a lack of motivation to execute your vision to perfection.
    • Be Flexible:  Projects often need to be adjusted along the way.  Sometimes they are simply not worth continuing.  Remain flexible by making changes along the way and realize when a goal is no longer worth pursuing.

    Tenets of Respect

    Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
    • Encourage employees to express opinions and ideas.
    • Never insult people, name call, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
    • Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, may constitute bullying.
    • Implement policies and procedures consistently so people feel that they are treated fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute harassment or a hostile work environment.
    • Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.

    Resources: “More Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover” and “How to Demonstrate Respect at Work,” By Susan M. Heathfield, About.com