Tag Archives: employees

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scaling side effects

Scaling Side Effects and Cultural Impact

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Scaling works both ways. Organizations scale up, or they can scale down. It happens with leadership changes too. Sometimes they are mutually inclusive. Are you aware of the scaling side effects?

Changing Organizations

Recently, I spoke with a middle management employee of a rather large software firm. He was in touch with me because he was looking to make a career move.

When I asked why, his short version answer was connected to problems arising from a recent merger. His firm was bought by a larger firm and now scaling was threatening his otherwise long-term position.

I’m not sure if this gentleman is a star, or below par extra weight, either way his time is being spent on an exit strategy.

In another case, I’ve had communication with an organization that has been forced to scale down. Prior leadership is gone. Temporary leadership is installed, and many employees have, as we often say, “jumped ship.”

This organization prepared to make some cuts, but they didn’t appropriately prepare for the attrition that would result from a mismanaged scale up that then resulted in a mismanaged scale down.

Scaling Side Effects

One scaling side effect is losing people. Sometimes good people.

Boards of directors and organizational leadership often like to believe that in times of turmoil, the worst will go. Unfortunately, this depends largely on the leadership.

My experiences across several decades leads me to believe that often good employees go while the weaker and less effective employees stay. Leadership sells this as a culture of loyalty. In reality, it is often a sign of the side effects of mismanaged scaling down.

In contrast, when scaling up, if the leadership assumes that all the good and well needed talent is external, then they too have a problem.

Bad scaling up choices lead to bad scaling down consequences.

Your best employees have the most choices. They have more options and are very marketable. Certainly, some will hang on for a long time because they are committed, others will hang on because they lack choice.

On either side of the scale, up or down, culture will play a significant role.

The Other Premise

There is one other premise. The organization that is stable, not scaling.

I’ve met a few of these self-proclaimed stable organizations. Often the culture felt in the trenches is different from the culture described by leadership. The trenches culture is more representative of employees who have given up trying to make things better.

Scaling may be a plan, but how will you manage the side effects?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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scowl face

Scowl Face Won’t Create The Change You Seek

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People unconsciously become convinced that moods get results. Act out, act up, be unwilling to compromise or meet halfway, these are the tactics of children. Are you wearing a scowl face in an attempt to create change?

Sometimes children get their way with the scowl, arms crossed, and foot stomping. In the workplace, this still brings people to action, sometimes. If it is the boss, there may be a good chance.

Scowl face sometimes feels appropriate, but it likely never is. The impression created from childhood that this is the way for change is not so realistic in the grown-up world.

Change Adverse

Largely, people are change adverse by nature. Change makes them feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid.

It isn’t the way it was always done, it’s not the tried and true method. Change has failed before, the thought is, it will continue.

When we understand that people don’t like change, we can also understand that the change being sought may not be personal.

Changing the process, doesn’t mean it is a personal attack. A change to better connect with customers, it isn’t personal. Rearranging teams, employees, and altering policies, it probably isn’t personal.

Scowl Face

If we are leading change, or are a part of the change, or both, we’re not going to get very far with a scowl face. It may send a message, but it is the wrong message. It may create short-term action, but the long-term consequences are undesirable.

In the workplace, for the employees, for the groups, departments, and teams, don’t try scowl face.

If you’re going to create the kind of change you need, you’re going to need everyone on board.

Creating action is sometimes the biggest illusion that you are creating the change you need.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Employees that care

Employees That Care Change The Customer Experience

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Rules, policies, and procedures are often in place to ensure the customer experience is delivered consistent with the brand promise. Have you considered that having employees that care is really what changes the customer experience?

Organizations can set policy and have rules, but often the values and beliefs of the employee will be the biggest factor for outcomes. Demonstrating caring starts with the employees believing that the organization they work for values both the employees and customers.

Bounds of Rules and Policies

Employees will make decisions both within the bounds of rules and policies and outside of those parameters too. What they decide will really depend on what they value. Culture, driven by leadership often shapes value perceptions.

A gallon of milk has a drip, but put it on the shelf anyway. I hope that someone grabs it soon.

There is an empty coach seat on the unfilled airplane but the three biggest people on the plane are required to sit in the same row.

The roofer drops some nails in your yard, but oh well, perhaps no one will notice.

At the automobile repair shop, the mechanic steps in grease, gets it on your floor mats, but ignores what he sees because it isn’t his problem.

Food for table four sits and grows cold since the waiter is more preoccupied with his friends seated at table eight.

Chances are great that all of these circumstances, as well as thousands of others are against the rules. They break the fundamental policies, procedures, and what the organization leadership claims as the brand promise.

Caring Starts Inside

Caring starts on the inside. It starts with the organization philosophy that is carried out every day. Not the rule in written in the manual, the one that the employee feels based on the cultural environment.

The dairy department manager is measured in part by loss due to spoilage or out of date merchandise.

Airline personnel aren’t sure that comfort is one of their problems. Security is what really matters. Stay in your ticketed seat. Passengers should be more weight conscious.

The boss wants the roofer on the next job, they already lost a day because of rain. Picking up a few nails is a waste of time.

Grease, what grease? I work in grease every day and I can’t afford that car. Deal with it, it didn’t come from my boot.

Why do people eat burgers and fries anyway? They should be vegans. Who cares if their food sits. Reminiscing about high school is much more fun.

Employees That Care

Chances are great that rules, policies, and procedures won’t matter that much. It is the integrity and ethics of the employees that will make the difference. They’ll decide. They likely make those decisions hundreds of times per day.

However, they aren’t the only ones to blame. Guiding their choices are the behaviors of the leadership agenda.

Time is money and waste is problematic are two leadership punishments that employees divert to the customer. They’ve learned it from the inside and they’re sharing it on the outside.

Do you want to change the customer experience? Employees that care are important. Leadership measurement should consider metrics of caring. Caring is never cheap, but not caring is the most expensive of 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 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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trusted not cheap

Why Your Brand Should Be Trusted Not Cheap

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We live in an era where price is often the first question. Driving down costs is an important consideration, but to the manufacturer, distributor, or web sales kingpin is price what matters? Should your brand be trusted not cheap?

People often take pride in working hard for the lowest price. Drive to the cheapest gas station, shop at the store with the best coupons, and insist on free shipping. Society seems to like cheap and convenient, there are even bragging rights for those who achieve the lowest price.

We can argue about smart, but what about the business who offers cheap?

Owners, Managers, Employees

If you own a business, manage a business, a department, or team, or even if you place high value on your job or career you may want to consider the cost of cheap.

Businesses offer sales pricing, issue coupons, and even promote what they often call loss leaders. Does this work? Sure, sometimes it does. Is this how you want to build your brand?

Buyers respond, often in big numbers, the thought is that it is working, but for how long? How long will it be until there is a lower cost replacement? How long will it be until the buying opportunity for the customer is closer or on-line with free shipping?

At your job or in your career how long until the work that you do can be performed with a lower cost solution? Are any of these situations trusted?

Be Trusted Not Cheap

Many people and businesses push for the lowest price when with the lowest price often comes low trust.

Easy come, easy go, may be the best way to describe these actions. When there is no investment in the customer, there will probably be little investment in the employee, and when there is no investment in either of these the lowest price will win—until it doesn’t. Then everything changes.

The next time you’re shopping for lowest price, when you find it, ask yourself, “Do I trust this product, service, and the people?”

Trust your answer.

– 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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internal customer service

Have You Forgotten About Internal Customer Service?

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Ask nearly anyone in business, “Who is your customer?” You’re likely to receive an answer that is connected with the external customer. Absolutely the external customer is important, but don’t forget about internal customer service.

Taken for Granted

People tend to take a lot for granted. Family, friends, and relationships of any kind are often assumed to be both willing and able to withstand disappointments, setbacks, and forgiveness.

Sure, some relationships can withstand nearly anything. Can workplace relationships endure it? Are some organizations missing their mark with internal customer service?

I doubt I’m alone when I suggest that they are. How we treat each other, even those that we’ve worked around for years is reflective of the vibe we deliver externally.

Sometimes at first thought it is difficult for people to connect the dots with co-workers being customers, but it is important. Direct report to boss, peer-to-peer, or many other combinations exist both up and down the organizational ladder. Does your organization recognize this?

Internal Customer Service

Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself about your delivery of internal customer service:

  1. How do I greet my co-workers? Greetings set the stage for everything that happens next. It doesn’t matter if it is Monday, Friday, or any day in-between. If you’re dragging yourself around and commenting about how terrible it is to be at work good luck with having an exceptional customer service culture.
  2. What are the needs of other employees? It is not always about reporting relationships. Just because someone is not your boss doesn’t mean that you don’t go the extra mile to help. Instead of saying, “It’s not my job.” consider how you can pitch in. Offer to help.
  3. Do I give as much as possible to help support their needs? It might seem easier to let it be someone else’s responsibility, and it is true that it might be. It is also true that sometimes it is important for everyone to do their own part. However, when you think about their needs you might find there is more room to give.
  4. Do I leave the door open? Do you offer your assistance? I hope that you do. Always be sure to close the communication in nearly the same way you might have opened it. Offer to always be there to lend a hand. Leave the door open for them to get your willing assistance in the future.

Always Remember

If you’re culture supports being rude, uncommitted, and lackadaisical in the approach to helping each other internally, what do you think will be reflected externally?

Have you forgotten about internal customer service?

Who is your customer?

– DEG

Improving your internal and external customer service is why I wrote this book:

customer service book

Buy on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Originally posted on May 30, 2017, last updated on November 10, 2018.


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change bad habits

Helping Employees Change Bad Habits

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The articulate manager wants to help convert bad habits to good. They wish to be viewed as a mentor, a leader, and a role model. How do you help employees change bad habits?

There are a couple of fundamental guidelines when you are hoping to make a difference as a good manager, mentor, or coach.

The first is that you can’t tell people what to do, and the second is that fear is only a temporary fix.

Fear Doesn’t Stick

Driving or leading with fear doesn’t stick for many reasons. One reason is that the consequences often don’t really matter to the employee. If they did, you probably wouldn’t be recognizing a need for change. They would already have changed the bad habit on their own.

If an employee is chronically late for work, doesn’t achieve reasonable goals, or creates a lot of drama in the workplace fear probably won’t change much.

positive change

That is because fear or concern is not the root cause. The root of the problem is that they are not connected with their job. In a nutshell, they don’t care enough.

So the work of the manager is not so much about informing the employee of wrongdoing or threatening their existence within the organization. Those things might heighten the awareness and serve as a temporary patch. It’s not the fix.

Contributions Matter

Helping employees change bad habits likely begins by connecting them with why their work and contribution matters. It isn’t always about why their contribution matters to the organization. That is a good start and makes a big difference. Ultimately though, why does it matter to them?

People who don’t like dogs and cats probably aren’t going to connect much with volunteering at the animal shelter. They might do it for pay, but they still don’t care much.

This is fundamentally true for any person in any organization. You have a lot of people doing things for money, but they still are not engaged. Being late, short on goals, or causing other problems and the associated consequences just don’t matter enough.

Change Bad Habits

So our work as a manager, mentor, or coach might not be about the education of right, wrong, or consequences.

Our work is about the education of purpose and why things matter. It’s an emotional connection. It’s about values and beliefs.

Everything else is just a rule.

– DEG

Are you interested to change bad habits? This book may help, it is why I wrote it:

pivot accelerate

Buy on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

This article was originally posted on May 11, 2017, last updated on November 10, 2018.


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Both Ways

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In many ways it seems like the rules for work are changing, at least for those organizations that are serious about their success. Rules for work once included following the crowd, personal sacrifice, and doing what the boss says not what the boss does.

Give_Way_Both_Ways_-_geograph_org_uk_-_263709

Even when unemployment is high, the best organizations report challenges in finding and hiring the right talent for their team. Potential employees and employers are searching for each other, but despite their shouts for a connection, they often miss.

It is hard for employees to commit to organizations. After all, they’ve learned that when the going gets tough, they get going, but not to the executive suite, to the street.

Fear isn’t an effective motivator long term. Employees who are worth it want to work with organizations who are far sighted and encouraging, financially sound and progressive, and perhaps most of all, loyal and committed.

If you’re not where you want to be, or lack a feeling of belonging, it may not be your effort, knowledge, or skills, it may be that you haven’t found the right one, or perhaps one of the right ones, found a wrong one.

It works—both ways.

– DEG

Photo Credit: Iain Thompson


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