Tag Archives: business

Caring for People: Everyone is Important

caring for people

 

Sometimes it’s just a great day, good things happen, stuff goes right, and you’re thinking—“This is magical! Really? Could days like this occur more often?” We are surprised because we are accustomed to dealing with difficulty, anticipating annoyances, and feeling stressed. But there are ways to witness “magic” more regularly. In leadership it’s all about the people with whom you interact.

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Your Best Workflow

workflowWorkflow is the way things get done. It happens daily, whether we design it or not. It consists of the steps from start to finish of any given process; it could be laundry, ironing and storing clothes as well as printing and assembling documents at work, or manufacturing something on a large scale. Getting things done takes shape in our personal and work environments as productive, nonproductive, or worse—a waste of time. Why not design workflow to get the results we want?  Three things make a successful workflow:  a plan, the resources, and the people. Most leaders would be pleased if these three components were in place every time they started a project. The reality is that the perfect combination of these factors rarely occurs on its own. Leaders must be creative, flexible, and resourceful to get the results they want through intentionally designing workflow.

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Customer Experience: Truth and Consequences

Customer_Experiences

According to customer intelligence consulting firm Walker, “By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience.” Customer experience is the differentiating factor when determining whether or not to do business with a provider or repeat a purchase. It’s always been on the radar of business leaders who want to get ahead. The well-known corporate cliché, “The customer is king” means that overall, the customers of a business will determine its success or failure. With abundant choices now at customers’ fingertips, customer experience is becoming more important than ever. Every business should evaluate its customer experience and aim to improve. Continue reading

Wasting Time and Money on Operations?

operationsOperations are all the actions that take place regularly to facilitate maintenance and progress in your business or organization. Operations are the human engagements of system design and processes. Customers are on the receiving end of operations. When these operations are carried out efficiently we say things are going well; but toward what end? Operations may go smoothly yet be ineffective, or they may not be the best investment of time or money. Think of it this way: operations must flow from a planning process that flows from accurate, wise and strategic thinking about where the business or organization has been, is now, and desires to be in the future. Concerning operations, leadership expert Mike Myatt says, “…the best leaders always start with why followed very closely by who. Then, and only then, do they work on the design of what and how.”

Why Update Operations?

Should businesses and organizations update operations regularly? The old cliché, “That’s the way we’ve always done it” comes to mind often when discussing operations. But don’t roll your eyes just yet; people may say this simply because it is a statement of fact, and not a hard line against change. Maybe they’ve not ever been encouraged to think about changing the way things are done in order to accommodate a fluctuating economy or business environment. So give them the benefit of the doubt and begin to introduce the real value and advantage of designing operations that work well. Eamonn Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Strategy & Operations Deloitte Consulting LLP, shares his insights into 9 global trends that affect how businesses and organizations must consider operations in the coming years: “The next wave of globalization will bring fresh challenges on many levels for businesses and the people who manage them.” Our world is more connected than ever before, with global issues influencing businesses of every size.

Do Good Operations Make a Difference to Customers?

When operations work, businesses and organizations produce the results that satisfy customers. Remarkable customer experience means more repeat business and positive word of mouth referrals. In short, consistently growing revenue. The cost of dissatisfied customers? According to recent research, $537,030,000,000 is lost in revenue to US business due to poor customer experience. Fifty-one percent of customers switched businesses due to dissatisfaction and 81% said the company could have prevented it.

How Not to Waste Time and Money on Operations

In order to improve operations there are some quick wins that you can achieve:

  • Ask your employees what systems and processes help them serve customers the best. Find ways to leverage this success within you company. Think about other areas of your business that might benefit from a similar approach and implement your successful processes and systems there.
  • Listen carefully for operations that draw the complaints of your customers and employees: fix, replace, or eliminate these operations.

In the long-term, identify specifically how each operational process or system helps your employees deliver a better experience to your customers or makes your company a better place to work for your employees. When operations do not clearly deliver customer or employee satisfaction: fix, replace or eliminate these operations. When seeking consistent revenue through remarkable customer experience delivered by enthusiastic employees, creating operations that work is worth the time and effort.

About the Author

ReneeDr. Renée N. Hale is Lead Consultant at WellSpirit Consulting Group, Inc. WellSpirit Management Consulting provides custom company/organizational management solutions, individual leadership coaching and stand alone workshops.  Located on the 84th floor of the Willis Tower, Chicago. Call (312) 283-8020 to schedule an appointment today. To join the Business Worth Living  community, use the sign-up form on this page to receive our weekly Business Worth Living newsletter.

 

Cash Flow: Cash or Crash

cashAh, the words sound positive, don’t they! The flow of cash. We all need cash flow in order to provide for our daily needs in business and personal matters. The principle is always the same: strategically manage the money coming in and going out. In business, this means considering customers who pay you and vendors you pay. The simplicity of the concept may tempt us to believe one of two fallacies: first, that lots of cash coming in means “big profit”; and second, that slow cash flow means our products are not profitable. Do the math? Yes, this is where we engage our basic mathematics and unlock the truth about sustainable cash flow. Everyone seems to want it; some understand how to strategically plan for it; and fewer exercise the consistent discipline to really make it work. As author Jim Collins points out in his book How the Mighty Fall, “Organizations don’t die from lack of earnings. They die from lack of cash” (2009).

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Attentive, Responsible Employees – Don’t Sabotage Them

image credit: bluesyemre.com

image credit: bluesyemre.com

Leaders who don’t nurture attentiveness and responsibility in their employees ultimately sabotage their own bottom lines. Are you an attentive, responsible employee? Or perhaps a business owner or organizational leader who would like to work with attentive, responsible employees? The words sound good, and it may seem like an ideal to pursue. After all, good employees mean better customer relations and more sales, right? The good news is, it’s an attainable reality for businesses and organizations to have attentive, responsible employees.

Attentive Employees

First, let’s look at “attentive”. Attentiveness is an intense mutual interest brought about through focused involvement with what the other party is saying and doing during the encounter. It’s the single most important dimension in managing customer dissatisfaction, having the largest effect on satisfaction and repurchase*. It’s transferable to management and employee relationships—any relationship. If you’re an employee, begin to practice attentive behavior with customers and your boss, too. You’ll be surprised how much your renewed interest in each person improves communication and end results. As the employer, begin modeling attentive behavior in the same way. You can explain to your employees what attentiveness is about as you show them the way. The synergy when both parties are attentive to one another is powerful.

Responsible Employees

Next, what is “responsible” when it comes to employees? It’s having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone. A responsible employee is able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected. How do employees become “responsible” in these ways? It starts with you, the leader: if you value your people, they will reflect that in their wellbeing. And they will work better. Who you are leading today produces profits for tomorrow. Leadership advisor Mike Myatt says, “You simply cannot be a leader if you don’t care about those you lead. The real test of any leader is whether or not those they lead are better off for being led by them.”

Value Attentive, Responsible Employees

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2 million Americans are voluntarily leaving their jobs every month. Why? Author Alan Hall reports that Grow America compiled research from several sources, and “…in truth, the majority of people, quitting or not, are currently unhappy in their jobs.” A recent study by Accenture reports these reasons: 1) They don’t like their boss (31%), 2) A lack of empowerment (31%), 3) Internal politics (35%) and 4) Lack of recognition (43%). Even in the current less than robust economy, people are willing to quit in order to find another job where they feel valued.

The Equation for Attentive, Responsible Employees

Employees who don’t make the effort to be attentive and responsible may forfeit promotions or other benefits, and ultimately live a less satisfying work experience. Considering that it is possible to develop these qualities, why wouldn’t we all try? The people who represent you, your company or your organization are your greatest assets. They build your success. Employees, you are those valuable people. It takes both owners/managers and employees—two sides of the equation—to make attentiveness and responsibility a reality at work.

 

*Tickle-Degnen, L and Rosenthal, R. (1990). The nature of rapport and its nonverbal correlates,” Psychological Inquiry, 1 (4), 285-93.

About the Author

ReneeDr. Renée N. Hale is Lead Consultant at WellSpirit Consulting Group, Inc. WellSpirit Management Consulting provides custom company/organizational management solutions, individual leadership coaching and stand alone workshops.  Located on the 84th floor of the Willis Tower, Chicago. Call (312) 283-8020 to schedule an appointment today. To join the Business Worth Living  community, use the sign-up form on this page to receive our weekly Business Worth Living newsletter.

 

Grow Business by the Law

Grow Business by the LawGood leaders see what’s ahead, intuitively approach the future, and empower others along the way. John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership  presents observable and tested principles practiced by leaders across the globe, related in part by real stories that ring true. In this post, I consider three of these leadership laws that guide businesses or organizations a growth transition to the next level in size, scope and revenue.

Grow Business by the Law of Navigation

The Law of Navigation says, “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.” As a leader you must take the long view, seeing and planning for what lies ahead to grow business. Using past experience as a teacher, listening to expert counsel, counting the cost, having faith that you can lead followers to the destination, and still having a grasp on the reality of obstacles along the way makes you the navigator that can chart an effective course of growth. The key is planning ahead. Will the number of personnel change to meet the growth? How will programs or services change? How will revenue increase? Balance your optimism for success with realism concerning what it will take to make needed changes and implement new strategies.

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Step Up Your Game!

Step up your game

According to WordPress, 78% of companies that blog DAILY have acquired a customer from their blog.  If you blog multiple times per day, that number climbs to close to 100%. Well, I (Jeff) didn’t know that until I read Secret To Daily Blogging With The Power Post by Nuclear Chowder Marketing (gotta love that name!). Here at WellSpirit Consulting, we’ve been blogging weekly. Challenged by the stats and tips in the article mentioned above, we decided to up our game. That’s right, weekly blogging is out – and daily blogging (or at least almost daily) blogging is in.

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