Tag Archives: engagement

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momentum

The Incredible Power Of Momentum

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Jokes often center on New Year resolutions. We hear about the fitness program, the special diet, or the financial savings program. Correcting our bad habits, our vices, and even the worn out tradition will stand a better chance of success with momentum.

Incredible Power

One of the best metaphors for momentum is what I call the train story.

The story is a nickel placed on the track in front of the wheel of a train before it starts moving will make it very difficult to get started. However, a nickel placed on the rail long in advance of the on-coming train and the train will crush it as if it isn’t even there.

Momentum is powerful. Get things rolling and sometimes they are hard to stop.

Momentum does require some energy though, and often care. You have to care enough about the fitness program, the special diet, or financial savings.

On The Job

The same is true for the momentum of anything in our workplace. This is especially true for organizational development endeavors, things such as training programs, coaching, and other developmental activities.

Imagine if we exercised only once every two months, or imagine if we insisted that we were on a special diet but only followed it one day a week. What would our results look like? Simple right, the results would be less than desirable.

When people think about career development, it isn’t a one and done. Anyone progressive is always continuing to learn, practice, and grow. The same is true for employee development.

Momentum

Sure, we can send someone to the workshop or seminar where all the tips and techniques are carefully delivered by an expert. However, if the employee doesn’t practice, doesn’t follow up, or doesn’t commit to continuous improvement not much changes for the long-term.

So many people and organizations treat training and development as an information source. The idea is that we need the information, so tell us. This is often true, and results do occur. Often great results. The biggest struggle though is not the knowledge transfer, it is the continuation of the effort.

We should remember that the power of momentum is not so much about knowing, it is much more about doing.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Service Dance Appreciative Strategies

Customer Service Dance Might Work

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Have you ever asked someone, “Who is the customer?” Your best answer may be, “Everyone!” Is the customer service dance appropriate for your business?

It seems ironic or a good example of karma. If you forget about your customers, they’ll likely forget about you.

Dancing with your customers is not about fast moves, quick diversions, or peddling snake oil.

Just like with real dancing you won’t go far with two left feet. You’ll have to get out there and make something happen. Even if you feel the rhythm but your body just moves weirdly.

Customer Service Dance

The best customer service of all might happen when you allow dancing. The customer service dance might be the ultimate form of feedback. The best of the best in the customer experience. It all happens because you’re doing it together.

Businesses that get this right have customer engagement like few others. They’re inviting customers to participate. Customers try product, test examples, work with prototypes, debug software, and co-create everything that happens. In the end, the customer wins.

This model of customer service doesn’t promise perfect, it promises an on-going effort to improve. Information is free flowing and engagement means loyalty. This valued customer couldn’t possibly do better elsewhere because they’re building it along with you.

When more people join in the experience it doesn’t get worse, it gets even better. No one needs a special invitation and it catches on. It’s a viral experience. It’s a club, a membership, or an entire culture.

Forgotten Customers

Most businesses would tell you that they are doing this, but few actually do. It’s not so much that they lack effort or desire. It’s mostly because they’ve forgotten who the customer is.

They’re either dancing alone or standing on the side watching others have all the fun.

Best Dancers

Who are the best dancers?

Harley Davidson, Dollar Shave Club, and Amazon, your secret is out.

Thanks for the dance.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workforce engagement appreciative strategies

Give and Get of Workforce Engagement

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You’ve heard it before, “Attitudes are contagious.” Yes, most workforce professionals would likely agree, but does attitude condition workforce engagement?

Sometimes when I’m speaking or presenting to groups I will try to throw out a little bit of humor. I’m certainly not a humorist speaker, but most people like to have a little fun. Occasionally, I’ll throw out a zinger and only one or two persons will laugh. I’ll follow that with, “Thank you. Now could you move around and act like a crowd.”

It is all intended for some fun. Usually it works. More people join in the laughter.

Following the Crowd

Unfortunately the opposite is also true. People who oppose circumstances or situations can also develop a following. At times they may not completely understand what they are for, or against, but they’re following the crowd.

Sometimes we might call it atmosphere, others might suggest it is the environment, and yet others might label it as the organizational culture.

Many people believe that what you give is what you get.

If you are looking for a way to inappropriately challenge the process you’ll find it. When you listen only to respond, others will do the same. If you fold your arms, scowl, and send the message that you don’t want to be there, others will follow.

Workforce Engagement

Be careful about what you give.  If you give the message of, “I don’t care about you.” chances are good you’ll get that back.

This is often how the pay check only employees develop. You know the ones. They care very little about anything other than their pay check. Typically this develops when they feel disrespected or devalued. It’s reactionary and sometimes becomes a crowd.

You might only get what you give.

It’s true for management and it’s true for the front line.

Do you want workforce engagement?

Give out what you want to get back.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Needs, Understand Them or Wish That You Had

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Knowing exactly what they want might be better stated as, “I think I know exactly what they want.” Fast, friendly, and courteous are all things that are synonymous with exceptional customer service. Understanding customer needs might not always be so simple.

Customer needs

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who insists on finishing your sentences? I know I have, and I know I’ve been the one finishing the sentence for others from time-to-time.

Usually it isn’t so much that we believe we know it all, it is probably more about demonstrating we are on the same page. At least, that might be what we tell ourselves.

Ride a bike, lift some weights, run, jog, or walk, exercise takes energy. The same is true for being a great listener, having extreme concentration, and even for reading a book.

Do you work hard to understand your customer’s needs?

Customer Needs

If you’re going to understand your customer, you’re going to have to listen, and therefore you’re going to have work hard to understand. Finishing a sentence might signal you’re on the same page or it might signal that you don’t have time to listen.

If you’re going to understand what the customer wants or needs you should consider doing more of this:

  1. Make time. Being hurried seldom helps. Signal that you have the time or will make the time.
  2. Arrive. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you are first or last, what will matter the most is that you arrive. Mentally and sometimes physically.
  3. Be patient. Not everyone wears their emotions or thoughts on their sleeves. Allow for expressions of pain points. Practice patience.
  4. Assume nothing. Thinking you know the immediate answer to their problem sometimes works, it also sometimes doesn’t. Assume less often.
  5. No anger. Anger never helps. Passion is good but getting emotional probably isn’t going to help you learn more about their needs.

Engage with your customers, do the math, get on the same page. Use your energy because understanding customer needs isn’t always about a race, nor is it necessarily about being first. In addition, it’s almost never about being rushed or hurried.

Sometimes trying to be first just might make you last, or in the eyes of the customer, to not exist at all.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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A Bad Mood Ruins Everything, Lose It!

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Do you notice when someone is in a bad mood? Do you notice when people appear to be in a good mood?

bad mood good

You’ve probably heard it before, “Attitudes are contagious!” The same might be true for people who are in a bad mood.

People often find what they are looking for. Are you looking for an argument, you’ll probably find one. Are you looking for others just as angry as you are, you’ll probably find some. Stop.

A bad mood ruins everything.

In my profession, I hear about people with bad moods often. If you want to stifle workplace energy and motivation throw someone with a bad mood into the mix.

Can we change our mood? Absolutely, and it often begins with understanding a little about emotional intelligence. How we perceive our workplace environment, the culture, and other people will typically have a big impact on our mood.

Here are a few tips to help replace a bad mood, with a good one.

  1. Focus on tasks at hand. Bad moods often develop by reliving a negative experience. Stop dwelling on it and move forward. You’ve got work to do, stay focused.
  2. Recognize benefits. What are the benefits of being in a bad mood? I can’t think of any. What are the benefits of being in a good mood? More relaxed, less stress, helps others, and so many more!
  3. Stop comparing. Many people feel that someone else has it better. A better life, better relationships, and a better job. Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead compare yourself to your next goal.
  4. Realize that life is short. If you’re often in a bad mood at work or about work consider that as a person you only have so much time, why waste even a minute of it being in a bad mood. Be thankful for your job or find a new one.
  5. Look for good mood people. Have a sense of curiosity and appreciation for good mood people. They’re out there but you might have to change your own mood first. Next, find two or three of them and then act like a crowd.

Perhaps nothing will zap your energy, give you a headache, cause you harmful stress and burn you out faster than when you are in a bad mood.

Good moods mean everything.

You might consider that moods happen, but you’ll decide if you stay with it. One answer is to grow your levels of emotional intelligence allowing you to spot the negativity and replace it with positivity before it brings you or others down.

You might not be able to control what happens in your environment but you can control how you react to it.

Put yourself in a good mood.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Should Your Employee Satisfaction Survey Be Anonymous?

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The question to survey employees anonymously or with identifiers is an interesting one. Like many things in life there are probably some pros and cons, but an employee satisfaction survey should be focused on collecting data that will help improve satisfaction, but will it?

employee satisfaction survey

Some quick internet research shows some mixed points of view on this subject and so I would like to suggest you pause and ask yourself a few questions. Questions such as, what do you intend to do with the data? What are you striving for? What are the desired outcomes?

Why Satisfaction Survey

We have customer satisfaction surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, and many other forms of evaluations and surveys. Are evaluations and surveys the same thing?

Technically no, the term evaluation and survey are often used within our language interchangeably, but there are some differences. You might evaluate employee performance, a training program, or the success of a project, but surveys are typically used for data collection or to gather more information about a subject or topic.

So are you interested to know if your employees are satisfied or to know if their boss is doing a good job as a manager? There is a difference.

When we consider the concept behind an employee satisfaction survey we should be looking for data or input on what keeps employees energized, engaged, and bragging about the place where they work.

Yes, we may also have some interest in knowing more about what isn’t working and trouble spots, but if that is your primary interest you should stop reading this and look up something about employee dissatisfaction surveys.

Identifiers or Anonymous

Supporters of identifiers will argue that they can’t address or fix problems if they don’t know who said what, they won’t be able to understand the context of responses and best of all (sarcasm), they won’t know who to hold accountable.

Those who support the concept of anonymity will likely argue that people won’t be honest if they are required to identify themselves, that there will be harsh or negative repercussions for responses that aren’t favorable, and that the data will not be as valid and reliable if identifiers are required.

Perhaps in either case there are some assumptions being made, but most of the challenge arises from fear.

Common management or leadership fears:

  • Someone will point out my weaknesses
  • I don’t like being criticized
  • I’ll be “voted” out of my job
  • We’ll lose control

Common fears of respondents:

  • There will be repercussions if my responses aren’t favorable
  • It will ruin my relationship with my boss
  • What if my responses are very different from others
  • How will this come back to haunt me

There is not much room for doubt when you consider that fear is an obstacle with data collection on an employee satisfaction survey. Chances are great that the majority of respondents don’t want identifiers and in contrast chances are also great that some of the management or leadership team will strongly favor requiring personal identifiers.

Bottom Line

Let’s circle back to the idea of why you are doing this. You want the data, right? Your reason should be focused on improving employee satisfaction so you want to know more about what keeps employees satisfied. Your survey needs to be designed to focus on satisfaction characteristics and not on those that drive dissatisfaction.

You’ll want to know from employees:

  • What keeps you coming back day after day?
  • What do you like most about our culture?
  • What’s working and what should we do more of?

What you shouldn’t be focused on:

  • What are your biggest problems with working here?
  • What makes people feel unhappy?
  • What makes you feel like quitting?

Can you see the difference? You could probably argue that with a proper focus and a well-constructed survey instrument that it wouldn’t matter that much about identifiers or anonymity.

Certainly the data validity and reliability argument can go either way, but if you want your team to feel that their input is valued, respected, and trusted, you should probably make it anonymous.

How you follow up and what you do after the survey is also important, but I see no justification for requiring personal identifiers when you’re trying to improve the culture of your workplace.

Collect your data, learn to do more of what keeps people motivated and engaged, after all, it seems to me that your desired outcome is to improve satisfaction not create turmoil.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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