Archive for July, 2009

It has been found that it is impossible to keep a foundation of loyal customers without a foundation of loyal employees

It has been found that it is impossible to keep a foundation of loyal customers without a foundation of loyal employees.  The best employees prefer to work for companies that provide the type of exceptional value that creates customer loyalty, thus, creating loyalty has become the toughest test for leadership.

Improving customer service has become the non-ending milestone for many companies, and they are right, because a company’s profitability is intimately related to its customer loyalty.  It has been measured that a happy customer gives 2.6 times more profit than a ‘neutral’ customer.

This is why customer service training programs are “in vogue”, with companies spending a lot of money and time on educating their employees on how to treat and ‘deal’ with customers.  What these companies and managers don’t get is that these trainings do not reach the core of the issue.  True change will come when they start giving their employees the same caring treatment they want to give their customers.

It is very common to see situations where employees are sent to congeniality courses to learn to be amiable and to deal with difficult clients, while they themselves are faced with situations at work that lower their self-esteem and that are not taken seriously by their managers.  Too often, employees are asked to smile and be nice while they are working extra hours due to a reduced payroll, with equipment that doesn’t work right, and supporting a product that is far from optimal.

There is a saying in Spanish that goes, ‘You can dress a monkey in silk, but it will still be a monkey’.  Instead of dealing with the real issue, managers more often than desired, try to disguise the ugly truth.  In the end, the monkey not only stays a monkey, but also now is really upset for having been messed with.

Great customer service depends on the people providing that service. They have to be willing to serve well. They have to be inspired to go beyond what is their responsibility, in other words, they have to be treated well.  When people work in a positive environment, where they feel cared for, where they feel important, where they feel the enthusiasm, they will correspond with loyalty and dedication.  No manager can force his team to be committed; this is something that is born out of pride for being a part of something good.

Employees’ commitment is so important that it can even save lives.  There was a study developed in several hospital cardiac care units.  It was demonstrated that in the units where the nurses suffered from depression, the patients died four times more than in the other units.

A company will have strong customer service if it has strong leadership, and the commitment that this leadership conveys.  A great brand has to be earned, it can’t be bought; in the end, the customers build it.

John Hersey is a successful business owner, published author and motivational leadership speaker. John writes one of the most recognized leadership blogs in the business world: http://www.JohnHersey.com/blog

What is happiness

What is happiness?

In many ways happiness is very subjective and judged differently by each person. My observation is that people are most happy when they feel in control of their life. Much of one’s life occurs at work thus happiness at work is an important factor to consider. Many factors can contribute to happiness at work. As a manager it is important to be aware of these factors. Most important is to make sure that each person is aligning challenging work and high skills to perform their duties. Is a person skilled but not using these skills in their work? Is a person challenged at work, but lacks the tools to be successful? The last two examples lead to boredom and anxiety at work. Neither of these two states is healthy for the organization. When people feel apathy at work, their creativity is low and their wiliness to contribute new ideas goes down. This can be death for an organization which needs a constant flow of new ideas and contributions to thrive. When people feel challenged to the extent that they don’t know what to do or lack the necessary skills and or tools this also is a warning sign to pay attention to. These workers will be prone to mistakes and errors at work, their relationships will be strained with co-workers and overall they will also pull back afraid to make mistakes. Managers should enable their people to always find the right balance for challenging work and having all necessary tools and skills. When this occurs, activity is high, motivation is higher and productivity soars.

Why is it important to be happy at work?

People look for work as a major source of self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and as people age a place to make a difference in their lives. While money is a primary reason for working it is not the only reason. When people are happy at work, the organization as a system works better. Projects get done on time, there is better communications with customers and people pay more attention to details. This is a result of people taking pride in what they do which is a result of being happy.

Happiness is rarely discussed at work as if this was some type of taboo. The BEST manager always measures the level of happiness in the organization and looks for warning signs. For example, when people tend to be late for work, have unhealthy relationships with their peers and offer little contribution or new ideas, this can be a symptom of unhappiness at work. The BEST manager actually asks employees on a regular basis, are you happy in your work? If the answer is no, the BEST manager asks people what they do want in their work that would increase their level of satisfaction. Especially as people age, coherence is an important factor in the degree of unhappiness a person experiences at work. If the reason a person does a job is NOT clear, this can lead to unhappiness. If work doesn’t provide significance or some level of fulfillment, again it can lead to unhappiness. Is this the responsibility of the BEST manager? No, this is each person’s responsibility to search for and find these attributes at work. The BEST manager however can be a great facilitator of this search.

How management contributes to employee happiness

While these suggestions may sound simple, they are not done enough at work. The BEST manager seeks open communications with each employee and always measures the level of satisfaction with their work. The BEST manager knows the connection between happiness and work productivity is clear and helps to enable people to reach this state. Having empathy towards people and looking for the good side of people can help the BEST manager to be effective. The BEST manager gives clear goals and directions and provides autonomy for getting work done. The BEST manager knows allowing people to work the way they know best leads to better quality work. The most important questions the BEST manager can ask is: Am I enabling happiness at work? Am I constantly seeking to align a person’s abilities and interests together in a way which fits with the entire team? Do I view the individual as a commodity or a person with similar dreams, hopes and plans just like others?

The BEST manager coaches and always teaches. The BEST manager role models consistent personal integrity and aligns work to organizational mission, values and expected behaviors. The BEST manager knows that happiness counts towards the bottom line.

The bottom line of happiness at work

People want to be at work when they are happy. They don’t spend their time looking elsewhere for work. They are engaged with the business always seeking new ways, new ideas and contributions. People who are happy with their work have a positive impact on their peers. Customers enjoy working with happy employees and as a result stays longer as a customer. I would argue the most important role of the BEST manager is to ensure the possibility of happiness at work for each person they manage. This is the fastest route to a positive bottom line.

How to enable happiness at work

Don’t assume because people are paid well, have large offices and holidays they will be happy. Much research has been done in this area and suggests that at some level once a person acquires a decent boss, office, salary level, and job, they will then seek greater meaning and happiness in their work. Over time if this deeper meaning around work is not found they will be off to greener pastures. When a person leaves the organization, their position is typically hired back within 6-12 months at twice the cost or more. The BEST manager knows that investing in people and their happiness at work is the most important thing to do. Matched with clear business objectives, the organization will thrive.

Other benefits of happiness at work

People get along better with each other at work. This is important since each person drags their history of past and presents personal baggage to work hoping at some level to get help. When a person perceives their work culture as a threat to personal development all incentives to make a difference to the organization goes away and the person takes on survival mode behavior. This is not healthy for the organization or the person.

Does the organization have a responsibility for employee happiness?

For sure, yes. I am not expecting all organizations to model the country of Bhutan which decided that the most important gross national product was happiness but it would be nice!

I think it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure happiness at work even to a stronger degree than profit. When people are happy the organization benefits in three major ways. The organization will tend to be around longer, attract similar high performing people and keep customers coming back.

A happy organization leads to profit. A profitable organization doesn’t necessarily lead to happy employees.

The impact to society when those at work are happy

There is less conflict, hate, and stress among people. There is also less competition and more collaboration. People see themselves more as a part of a larger community and less as a victim or survivor. People start to work better together in society forming more partnerships, creating more support models in the community and working to solve problems together.

Happiness while subjective is also something that at some level all people seek. The BEST manager knows this and makes this a priority to pay attention to at work. As a result the organization benefits, the person benefits and society benefits.

Craig Nathanson

Your mind is a crowded room free your mind

Your mind is a crowded room

Free your mind!

Every day you are bombarded with an overflow of external and internal activators. Memories of familiar smells, tastes, sights, emotions and that irritating new song from the black eyed peas;”Tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

A familiar face, a special place, a distinctive smell – familiar touchstones like these bring order to the chaos and us of who we are and why we do the things we do.

Such sensory images are like old friends; each encounter with one of them brings our self-image more sharply into focus.

Advertising is like an intruder banging on the door of the customers mind. The subconscious mind answers the door and asks, “Who do you know in this house? Name the people you know.”

A good ad associates itself with a familiar touchstone and gains entrance into the mind. The ad that only speaks about itself is quickly shown the door. “Go away,” says the subconscious. “It’s too crowded in here for you.”

New and unknown ads are more easily excepted when they are related to the known and familiar. Do your ads touch the familiar in your customers’ mind? Do people relate to the things you say? Or are you just going on about Whom, What, Where and When, while failing to answer the most important question: Why?

Most ads are written under the assumption that the customer is asking, “Who are you? What are you selling? When are you open? What is your address?” Unfortunately the only thing on your customers’ mind is, “Why Should I care?”

Your customer wants to hear a story with them in it. Don’t tell them a story about you. Tell them how your product can save them time, make them money, and allow them more time with their kids. If not, leave them alone. You’re wasting their time.

Most ads are about companies and their products, and these ads yield disappointing results. The best ads are the ones that speak about the customer and how the product will change their lives.

What kind of ads are you writing?

-Martin

Free your mind!

In 2006, has been ranked the world’s multinational companies 54 bosch group in china’s water heater production base in shunde, guangdong, quietly closed, meaning that the bosch water heater fade out the chinese market

In 2006, has been ranked the world’s multinational companies 54 Bosch Group in China’s water heater production base in Shunde, Guangdong, quietly closed, meaning that the Bosch water heater fade out the Chinese market. Bosch water heaters, water heaters, a joint venture in 1995 and Divine, became China’s largest water heater manufacturers. To fade out in China in 2006, Bosch has been operating in China up to 10 a year, but has been unprofitable.

Into 2007, Panasonic also from China, water heaters,

Gas stoves kitchen appliances market exit.

Although the Bosch Group, said the water heater production base to move to a joint venture between Shanghai and forests, while the Panasonic PR China headquarters said the company before the end of March this year, a worldwide cessation of gas stoves and gas water heaters in the production and sale of a strategic shift.

These two technologies has been the market leader in China’s water heater multinational brands to withdraw from the Chinese market, China’s water heater from the two brands in the market performance, they are helpless in the long term sustainability of China’s water heater industry price war and not do not quit, water heater brands in China as a “beat foreign brands” and cheering, we can not see the lack of water heater industry in China International Capital’s investment value. Yuhuan production out of China in 1979 the first gas water heater, 1984, China produced the first Divine secure (with flame failure protection) of the gas water heater, then Macro, 10000, and the rise of China to gas water heater industry, once thriving, the most flourishing and more than 500 companies in Western and Asian multinationals such as Germany and Bosch, AO Smith, United States, Japan, the rate of energy, Matsushita also have to invest.

Multinational investment not only for the water heater industry in China a huge capital injection of more rigorous quality management is to bring awareness, higher value-added products technology, and rational philosophy. A water heater industry in China about the current high-water heater, you must mention the rate of energy in Japan, Matsushita and forest.

However, gas water heater industry in China has been obsessed market-oriented business model, the gas water heater main businesses are the “price war” for the market-driven (driver download) means of marketing, while production and sales of products Number of units rapid rise, but subject to the restrictions and low sales prices on the market impact of soaring raw material continuously, the domestic gas water heater is still a mainstream product in recent years low-tech, high safety factor is not the main water heater flue. According to statistics, China’s market share of sales of water heater flue gas water heaters accounted for 66.8% of total sales. Flue type water heaters are 60 to 70 of the last century’s products, even if the Chinese market leading products at present strong emission water heaters, water heaters, the Divine is the late 80 century, the products can say that China’s technology content and gas water heater sales contribution rate not high.

Domestic gas water heater market, because prices have been falling, the industry profit margins in the industry have been declining rapidly. Most of the current water heater business profit margins less than 5%, or even become negative. The investment profit international financial indicators, at least 20%, the water heater market in China for many years been seen as “areas of low investment value.” While in Germany in 1995, the Bosch Group, one of ten consortia with the Shenzhou joint venture, a comprehensive investment in China Gas Water Heater, but due to low domestic Gas water heater market and sustained loss of profit fade.

Foreign brands, and they had a higher delisting price of products, Chinese consumers spent only several hundred dollars to select water heater brands in China, from the national consumer sentiment is a happy thing, but Chinese consumption difficult for consumer products of high quality level, it is not a blessing.

China gas water heater in the field to enter a long-term lack of new capital, in particular, the consortium of international capital to enter, no new access to international capital, the traditional industrial structure adjustment is difficult with large, industry’s overall technological level is low, and the industry Structural adjustment and cross-reference business competition is not based on high technology products and value-driven business, stay in the price war that only low-level of competition, technological level of domestic water heater technology in a closed circle of self can not raise long-term .

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