Articles by Danny OMalia

EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES… OR ELSE!!!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

DannyOmalia

The late Joe O’Malia was a master at empowering the employees of his companies to make decisions based on the best interests of THE CUSTOMER. Not many companies today trust their employees to make decisions. Those that do will offer the best service.

In order to be able to empower your people on the level of, oh, say a Nordstrom or a Chick-Fil-A, you must first be VERY CAREFUL whom you hire. You must hire only those who are capable of fitting into your company’s culture. This takes a great deal of thought and effort. There are companies that can help you screen potential employees but whatever you do, be careful to hire the right person.

You must then take the time to properly TRAIN the employee in the skills of the job but also to help them understand that culture and help them desire to add to the culture rather than to detract from it. My experience is that in tough times companies cut back on things like proper hiring procedures and training. That’s the worst thing a company can do.

When asked why she’d been such a successful business woman, the late Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay Cosmetics) answered, “I tried to hire really nice people and then I tried to let them be as nice as they could be.”

And that means EMPOWERED EMPLOYEES. Employees who feel free to break a rule or two if it’s in the best interest of the customer. Which reminds me of a great Nordstrom story!

A harried businessman rushed into a Nordstrom store in a mall at 5:00 PM and hurried to the perfume counter. He asked the SERVICE person if they carried a certain brand of perfume, explaining that this was his anniversary and he had to meet his wife for dinner in one hour and he had done NO planning. The clerk told him the store didn’t carry that brand but said she might be able to help, asking him how long he’d be at the mall.

The customer, obviously quite nervous, told her he had stops to make at the florist and candy store in the mall. She told him to come back in a half hour and she’d have THE perfume for him. He trusted her. IT WAS NORDSTROM.

As he left, the SERVICE person hailed her fellow employee and asked her to watch both counters while she took care of a customer. That employee was glad to help. So she left the store, went to Macy’s at the other end of the mall (which she knew carried THE perfume), bought the perfume, returned and wrapped it, and when the customer showed up with candy and flowers, THE perfume was waiting and wrapped.

Several things here:

• The husband went to NORDSTROM—no place else—with his problem.
• Both SERVICE LADIES broke rules by leaving their posts.
• The first SERVICE LADY no doubt broke a rule by going to Macy’s, buying the product there and selling it at Nordstrom (or maybe not—Nordstrom has very few rules for employees when it comes to SERVICE).
• How was that for TEAMWORK?

Nordstrom obviously hired two good people. They TRAINED and EMPOWERED them to rescue the beleaguered customer. That’s why he went there!

If giving service like Nordstrom were easy, every company would do it. It’s not. But it CAN be done!

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

PAM, LARRY, CULTURE and UNITED WAY Or ONE PERSON MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE

Monday, February 4th, 2013

DannyOmalia

Among other things, I always emphasize the importance of CORPORATE CULTURE, as well as the POWER OF ONE during my Customer Service Training programs or Keynote speeches. Here’s an illustration of these two concepts from my former grocery career.

Back in “the day” at O’Malia’s, we were proud supporters of United Way and had an award-winning program for the high level of participation of our employees, as well as for their generosity.

Last week, I visited my friend Larry Schultz, manager of the Lockerbie O’Malia/Marsh store. He was very excited to tell me that his store finished # 1 in the entire Marsh chain for the 10th straight year in total dollars raised through its United Way campaign ($7661). No surprise there. The Lockerbie crew has always been generous during the campaign.

But what made Larry even prouder was the success his longtime former Service Manager, Pam Breedlove, brought to her new store at 62nd & Keystone since her transfer there. Last year that store finished # 88 in total dollars—not very impressive for such a large store. But, with Pam in charge of the program since being sent there 6 months ago, the Keystone store pledged $4120 for 2013, approximately a 1000 % increase over last year and GOOD FOR 4th PLACE IN THE ENTIRE CHAIN!

Even though I haven’t been involved with this company for 6 ½ years, I’m still proud of the former O’Malia people. Especially Larry Schultz and Pam Breedlove. WAY TO GO GUYS!

The CULTURE of your company makes a difference. So can EACH INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE. Never forget that!

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

BRICKBATS TO THE GANNETT STAR!!

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

DannyOmalia

Several years ago my wife and I decided to discontinue our subscription to The “”Gannett” Star, formerly The Indianapolis Star. Our reasons were myriad. Poor writing. Misspelled words, even in headlines. Loss of local flavor was a big one.

I understand the need to cut costs. I’ve been a “cut cost” myself, as my grocery career was ended when Sun Capital bought Marsh. But that’s another matter.

This is about The Gannett Star.

If I wanted the USA TODAY’S version of reporting on Major League Baseball games the prior day, I’d buy USA TODAY!

But yesterday (Thursday) I was reminded of how low The Star has sunk. You see, I LOVE newspapers, so my wife and I decided to retain our subscription to the Sunday Star. That means we get the Thursday Star, since that’s the day The Star sells all those ads and they know if they had to show the advertisers the number of true daily subscribers and potential advertisers, well, you know…

Anyway, yesterday I opened up the paper hoping to get the story/ box score from the Pacers’ overtime win over the Hornets Wednesday night. What did I get? A note that the Pacers game was “LATE.” Mind you. This was a HOME game that, even with OT, ended at 9:30 or thereabouts.

So much for “caring” about the readers! So much for caring about the Pacers. So much for the moniker “INDIANAPOLIS STAR”!

Get with it guys and gals! Or just go totally on line and put us Indy natives out of our misery!

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

Why Don’t Companies EMPOWER Their Employees?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

DannyOmalia

I’ve heard—and written—often—about what I and others see as the failure of corporate America to EMPOWER their employees. It makes one wonder why more companies don’t take the lead of the late Mary Kay Ash on this issue.

When asked why she’d been so successful, Ms. Ash answered, “I tried to hire really nice people and then let them be as nice as they could be.” Shades of Joe O’Malia himself!

So why do so many companies I’ve written about (Chase Bank, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Starbuck’s to name a few) fail at such a seemingly simple task?

The answer—it’s REALLY HARD to do!

First, you have to be very picky about whom you hire. This takes work, patience and commitment. You have to hire “really nice” and competent people who are TRAINABLE and who are TEAM PLAYERS. Parents, schools and society at large aren’t producing enough of those folks.

Once you hire the few good folks out there, you must get them to BUY in to your culture. This takes total commitment from the CEO on down the chain to the new hire’s fellow employees.

Then you have to PROPERLY TRAIN the employees to take care of the customers. This is also a difficult and never ending task.

You then have to KEEP CUSTOMER SERVICE—and TEAMWORK—front and center— constantly and forever. In your newsletters, in meetings, on your bulletin board, person-to-person. Everything your company does must be done with customer service in mind.

Finally– management must think LONG TERM instead of SHORT TERM in all its decisions. Don’t just think how cutting staff will put money on the bottom line this quarter. Think how running off customers will negatively impact that bottom line long term. And so forth.

Offering great service and a great environment in which to provide it isn’t easy. That’s why only the best companies do it. That simple!

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement