Articles Tagged ‘Employees’

“Undercover Boss” Uncovers Bad Leadership

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

After watching season after season of “Undercover Boss” I’m thinking we need a show called “Undercover Employees.” They could find out what their bosses are doing.

“Undercover Boss” is an American reality television series, based on the British series of the same name and producted by Studio Lambert in both countries. Just as the title suggests, the boss goes undercover to see what his entry-level employees are doing.

Two things that seem glaring; there is little customer service training and “bosses” don’t know what’s going on in their businesses. In fact, most of the bosses are amazed at what’s going on!

I was watching the “Undercover Boss” last week and was disturbed by the boss’s decisions. He was very generous with the employees he worked with, giving them large sums of money. The problem, as I see it, is that people were getting money to help with their “troubled lives” but weren’t asked to “better themselves” or attend schools, so they could obtain leadership positions.

My hunch is the people will spend their money, have great vacations or new toys but what will they have learned? I believe that people will be more apt to change if there are some conditions to these generous gifts. In fact, I feel so strongly about it, I sent a letter to the “Undercover Boss” and sent some customer service books. I don’t know if I’ll get an answer, but maybe the letter with my suggestions will get read! My biggest gripe, where in the business world do people get free handouts with no “strings attached?” And what’s the point if the gift isn’t connected with your business?

One great thing about the program is that bosses get to understand their employee struggles and help them grow. One of the best ways to help them grow is to provide opportunities for them to advance within the organization. Promoting good employees is essential to their learning.

In order for a business to perform adequately the “boss” must be able to communicate with his employees.

There must be a way for the boss to know what their employees are doing without spying on them. This reminds me of mystery shopping; another task that I think is ridiculous. If you think your employees are not acting appropriately they probably aren’t. This problem usually starts when a company doesn’t have a suitable training and accountability program. Teaching and training is one thing, if you don’t hold people accountable for what’s expected to don’t waste the training program. CEO’s must create a business model that is in line with the customer’s and employee’s needs.

Everything goes back to customer service and how customers are being treated. Front line employees are the ones who need the training and usually get the least amount. Because they’re not seen as the ones who “bring in the money,” they typically don’t get best training.

So far, 100% of the companies have leaders who have no idea of what’s going on in their businesses. How sad.

Many of the problems could be avoided if the leader spent time reading employee evaluations and staying in touch with their businesses. No matter what business you have, the only thing that makes it work is the customers. The first customer of any business is the employees.

Lisbeth Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher & Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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Looking to Build Loyalty into your Customer Service? Try Rewarding your Customers

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

When I was a kid my mom would motivate me by giving me an incentive when I did a good job. Of course I worked harder to get the goodies. In her own way, mom was a psychologist; she understood motivation. Incentives work for both employees and customers. Incentives should be viewed as added value for your business or a form of customer service. Any business has both internal and external customers;those that deliver the products and services and those that buy them.

There are many ways to incentivize adults so I decided to give expert, Jason McCallum, Director of Business Development for United Incentives in Philadelphia, P.A. a call and discuss the idea of incentives with him. One of the big questions is, what works the best and where should a business spend their money?

How did you get in the “promotions business?”

I got into this business because of my overall interest in influencing human behavior through marketing. When I was in the film industry I was responsible for managing marketing campaigns for film launches. I took the same strategies and moved to United Incentives, which has a great reputation in the incentive and loyalty industry. I felt it would be a great place to use my previous experience to create strategic marketing programs for brands and corporations.

Many business use some type of incentives but the question always arises, cash or gifts? What’s your take on it?

Many times cash alone isn’t enough to motivate people. Cash can be easily lumped into expected compensation and sustains little if any association with achievements. Non-cash rewards have lasting trophy value and linkage towards achievement, they can motivate specific behavior, establish a unique competitive advantage and increase ROI and profitability. Besides cash has no shelf life; it comes and goes.

Funny you should say that; even people who win the lottery talk about what the money will buy not how much they won. Everyone likes getting gifts.

For companies there’s a difference in the cost of cash and merchandise. For every dollar of cash, the income tax liability for a company is higher. For merchandise the income tax liability is only for the”net tangible value” (NTV) of the merchandise. If an item is valued at $100.00 the actual tax liability is on the NTV, which is around $80.00. The NTV is the value of the redemption less fulfillment, handling and shipping costs. In most incentive programs this runs about 20%.

Points in a merchandise program offer instant gratification. Cash or checks easily lose their gratification value.

If you have an online points program or a group travel program, they become constant motivators. People can continue to peruse the online merchandise catalog and dream about what they will be getting or how they can earn a trip for a vacation experience.This is something they would not readily experience on their own. Think about all the online programs such as those with American Express and Diners Club; people save their frequent flyer miles and rarely turn them in for cash; they turn them in for what the points can purchase.

There seems to be alot of scientific data out there about merchandise incentive awards vs cash.
read full article »

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The One Definitive Reason You Didn’t Get Hired

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Oh, it was a good job, a really good job, and you wanted it badly! You made it through the screenings. You made it through round one of interviews. Your qualifications shined in the second and final round with several key stakeholders. You were qualified, all right. And so were all the candidates at your level. Why didn’t you get the job? Here’s the definitive answer: It’s not a good “cultural fit”.
Make sure your approach next time is calm and comfortable while you’re giving intelligent answers during the interview. And when the time is right, ask 7 quality questions which help them to see that you are as interested in a good cultural fit as they are.
Start a conversation about what constitutes “culture” and “success” at this company. Try questions such as:
• What personalities, behavioral styles, and work traits are a good cultural fit here?
• What would the spouses of key people in this company (or department) say about the culture of this company? (Note a red flag if the person hesitates to answer or gives a snide comment)
• How can I, if chosen, contribute significantly to the company’s (or department’s) main goals – short term and long term?
• What makes a good employee a “great” employee in this company (or department)?
• Tell me about a super project that has been underway recently – how did the company (or department) manage to get favorable results?
• How many people contributed to that success and in what ways?
• How would you have expected me to contribute to that success?
By learning about the company’s culture – and allowing the company representative to tell you all about it – you’ll be better prepared to make your decision. And the company will get to know you better as a person who cares enough about its success to ask the right questions; a trait every company wants.

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business
ellen@accentonbusiness.net

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