I love the sound of a sincere “thank you for sharing that with me” or “thank you for not disregarding my point of view.” There’s something magical about it: there’s trust there, a connection made!
Our workforce is composed of a million different experiences from individual to individual. These experiences create biases in the workforce. I suppose this is at the root of my fascination with workforce development, systems, and processes coming together as a functional operating force.
Ultimately, these three areas build a sustainable platform on which to perform, discern, and exceed expectations.
I have yet to see an organization succeed that does not have these three areas dialed in or makes them a priority.
This is where the get it done and get it done right, meets the road in leadership roles. It is a sweet, sweet balance.
Workforce dynamic and synergy does not take place through brute force. It is grown and nurtured like a garden would be. It requires patience, strategy, and clarity.
How well an organizations’ leader understands leadership, process, systems, and people ultimately shows in the long term sustainability of any organization. Balance has to be there.
The following symptoms are the end result of the absence of understanding as to how leadership, process, and systems come together:
So how do we, in the workforce, remedy this ailment? How do we nurture organizations back to health?
Well, we start by listening to the workforce and understanding these areas intimately and ultimately acknowledging:
In the next few months, I will be preparing my newest online course in these three areas. If you’d like to follow along with my training, check it out here!
Have you ever been a team member in the workforce and wondered: How did that team member ever become a Manager or a Lead here?
I know I have! I have also heard it in the echoing feedback from the team members directly working with these team members. In my 18 years of experience in Management roles, I've witnessed quite a bit.
The workforce is composed of dynamic and sophisticated personalities. As businesses grow, they become more complex and require a dedicated strategy and training to develop and scale correctly.
Oddly enough, while this is true and proven, some workforce environments are not handled in this way. They are thrown together through need, panic, and, worst of all, greed.
I have witnessed and consulted for organizations whose team members get promoted due to many of these WRONG reasons:
I understand, that the day to day operations of a business are not always ideal and the way we would strategically wish it to be, but the reality is that when you don't take the time to strategize these areas, you end up with people who are directly detrimental to your business.
Often these promotions leave you with Managers who lack training and knowledge of the essential Management 101 principles they need to succeed.
This decision-making process leaves organizations with an inadequate infrastructure that causes more harm than good.
The reality is that even when you are forced to make a rushed promotion, you can still do it responsibly by providing them with training on core fundamentals.
This single thought out strategy will save you grief in the areas of team conflict, employer loyalty, and will allow you to grow and develop your teams.
It's never too late to start improving on poor or impulsive decisions!
If you'd like to learn more about how to train these Managers, feel free to check out my online courses on How to Become a Manager and tune in to my upcoming podcast: The Management Science Channel! We will be featuring all taboo and dysfunctional Management topics experienced today in the real world.
Customer Service is one of my favorite areas to manage, aside from Operations.
I have an appreciation for it because it heavily relies on interaction and is entirely people focused.
This makes it behavioral and dynamic in nature, but also measurable, tangible, and manageable.
So, what is the secret to having great customer service in your organization?
In my opinion it is training.
What I mean by that is, training ALL your teams to understand customer service through content, performance, and relatability. This is the secret weapon.
In my experience, often times training has not been heavily invested in, however the expectation of what Customer Service should be has been aggressively demanded from team members. It seems like an oxymoron right?
But, it is true.
If the expectation for your teams, is that they perform highly, shouldn’t they be setup to succeed by reinforcing what they do know and adding to the areas they are not well versed in?
The answer is: YES! Proven time and time again from organization to organization.
A great example of maximizing the magic of effective Customer Service training is: Chick-fil-A. This company is currently being recognized for the simple, but genuine way they train their employees to connect with their customer through their classic Customer Service phrases:
“How can I help you today.”
It’s mind blowing, but these phrases open the door to the practice of very necessary soft skills. These words work as cues through training that customers respond positively to. It’s brilliant!
Think about how much time you have spent measuring your teams Please and Thank You’s and you’ll get to where I’m headed.
When was the last time you put together a training about Please and Thank you and the whole cycle of communication that takes place when those cues are used in your environment?
Training is the gift that keeps on giving, it helps create a culture of satisfaction where team members embody great Customer Service and understand it beyond command or instruction. It is a powerful strategy!
So here are a few tips for you if you're missing the secret sauce to great Customer Service:
In my next online training course I will be training on How to Measure Customer Service. You can click here to check out this and other related courses.
Every organization or business in the world is in operation to be profitable and successful. There is no argument about that. However, how an organization creates, nurtures, or neglects their culture invites plenty of challenges.
Ironically enough, how we manage culture impacts this shared goal of being successful and profitable, I guess that concept can get lost in translation in day to day tasks and responsibilities when managers and leaders don't know how to gauge the opportunity entirely.
As someone who has personally and physically labored entry, mid-level, and senior-level roles, I can tell you that a toxic workplace is the #1 reason why businesses don't scale.
The toxicity in a workforce environment spreads from person to person until it becomes "the way we do things." Nothing can embody failure, more than this!
I can recall several examples of toxicity in the workplace in my long experience:
You name it, I've seen it!
Outside of my own experiences, many studies have proven toxic environments to be counterproductive to the bottom line, yet the toxicity out in the workforce continues, nonetheless.
Why does it continue?
Well, it continues for several reasons:
As you can see, it can be complicated, but not impossible to overcome. We have answers.
According to an empirical study by Amna Anjum entitled combating a toxic workplace (2017), it was "demonstrated that the dimensions of toxic workplace environment have a significant negative relationship with job productivity, while job stress was proved as a statistically significant mediator between dimensions of the toxic work environment and job productivity. Finally, we conclude that organizations need to combat/cleanse the roots of toxic work environments to ensure their prosperity and success."
The subject of a toxic workplace is a significant one, no matter what concerns you: profit, culture, or long term sustainability.
As a manager, your role is incredibly important, and you can make a significant difference in a toxic environment, however, keep in mind that to change, the problem needs to be addressed at the root like the study notes.
You can make a difference by doing the following:
Go out and be the change you want to see in the world. Where you invest your time is your choice; make it count.
How you decide to structure your organization from the very beginning makes a huge difference in terms of how well the communication, processes, and overall operations will flow through the business from day to day from that day forward.
Something as simple as a job title might seem like a meaningless thing to some, however the reality is that the workforce derives direction, value, and succession from it.
In other words, this is what helps people in your environment navigate and understand where they stand and what is expected of them.
They will derive purpose from the titles you utilize. Hence, they should be strategic.
Have you ever worked in an environment in which job titles did not match the function or role of an individual or were expressed by management as being meaningless?
I have! I've worked within environments where this was true and consulted for them as well. My findings were the following:
The reality is this, while we should all go above and beyond and not rely on a title to step up and do our best; we need a clear objective and starting point. Job titles do that for people!
They are necessary and should have meaning and provide direction. They should accurately describe the role and function of an employee to help them know where on the road to success they are currently located. It is also a great way to hold team members accountable and get them excited about opportunities that lay ahead of them.
Job titles have to be designed with your complete organizational structure in mind, from entry level all the way up to the CEO. This is true of businesses of all sizes!
Misalignment of job titles is a direct distraction in your work environment and it contributes to inneficiencies and miscommunication daily.
To learn more about how to put together an implementation plan for this challenge, book a consultation and find your solution today!
See you on the solutions side of business!!!
Hello! Welcome to the Management Corner Blog.
This blog is being designed to assist all of those professionals navigating the business world and trying to understand their business and operational environments further from a management perspective.
In the active globalized economy, it can be challenging to understand and be aware of where we stand and what direction we are headed in.
Through this journey of enlightment we will answer questions that pertain to complex and dynamic operational settings, as well as the impact on their most valuable resource: people.
How we handle aspects of communication, management, and leadership in operation drives sustainability or severs it.
This is a very real concern out there for employees, employers and entire organizations at large.
As the Author of this blog, I will share with you over 10 years of applied experience and over 15 years of education and training.
Ready? Let's dive in!