Self-Managers Wanted: Here’s What to Look For

Self-Managers Wanted: Here’s What to Look For The “perfect” employee isn’t one who does whatever you say, but someone who knows what to do without having to be told. It’s someone who performs the job without constant prodding, someone who can manage himself or herself with a minimum of interference from you. Here’s what to look for in a self-managing employee:  Goals. Look for people who set their own objectives and push themselves to achieve them. Instead of accomplishing the bare minimum, they stretch to do a little bit more, or a little bit better, without anyone else telling them
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10 Questions to Help You Elicit the Best from Your Workforce

10 Questions to Help You Elicit the Best from Your Workforce Your success as a leader—and your organization’s success, as well—depend on your ability to get the best from your employees. You can’t expect it to come automatically, though. You have to search carefully for each person’s exceptional talents. For every person you lead, see how thoroughly you can answer the questions below: How well do you really know the employee? What can you quickly recall of the employee’s family, personal goals, hobbies, or other outside interests? What do you know specifically about his or her career goals, both short
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Seize Opportunities to Review and Retrain

Seize Opportunities to Review and Retrain Why ask why? How do you respond when a team member makes a mistake? Do you know what will happen if your immediate response is to scold an employee or punish them in some way? Next time they make a mistake instead of coming clean they might just opt to cover it up.  Don’t beat up your team members when they make an error. Instead, use the situation as an opportunity to review and even retrain. Take time to examine the system you have in place. There just might be room for improvement. There
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Encourage Peer Recognition

Encourage Peer Recognition Peer recognition brings team members together and reinforces the principles of great customer service. Have you considered awarding “Atta Boys” and “Atta Girls” to team members based on nominations from their colleagues? Zappos has several ways of honoring standout performers who best epitomize the company’s culture and spirit of customer service. Their peer rewards programs give team members the opportunity to recognize and encourage one another. An example is the “Zollars” program where team members can award one another “Zappos dollars” by filling out a form describing why their colleague is deserving of recognition. Zollars can be
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Ask “What Can I Do To Make You Happy?”

Ask “What Can I Do To Make You Happy?” Customer service is really put to the test when something goes wrong. What makes an exceptional business better than the rest is the ability to recover from these setbacks.  In the past I made an online purchase and received a package with missing parts. I immediately emailed the company’s customer service department. I got an email response from a customer service representative within the hour. “Please just let us know what you would like us to do and we will happily be of service,” the representative wrote. In other words: “What
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Give Team Members Something to Remember

“Three to Remember” I’m a strong believer in the KISS Rule: Keep It Simple Silly. It is easier for our team members to remember our priorities for Out-Of-This-World Customer Service if we keep our expectations simple and clear. I developed our “Three to Remember” to reinforce the most important principles for serving our clients. We share these often with our team members. Team members learn our “Three to Remember” their first day on the job and will see the “Three to Remember” time and time again in internal emails, company newsletters and repeated in our team meetings.  Our “Three to
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Get Your Point Across Quickly in Emails

Get Your Point Across Quickly in Emails Email is virtually inescapable, especially in the professional world. In many organizations, it’s essential. Ideally, you should keep yours as concise as possible. Here are some tips for getting your message across efficiently and effectively: Start with a salutation. When beginning a message chain, especially in the morning, a little “hello” or “TGIF” goes a long way. Choose one topic and stick to it. For example, the central topic here is Paul’s vacation; the offshoots are the delegated responsibilities: Hi, all. Reminder that I will be on vacation next week. In my absence:
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Build Team Spirit in Your Workforce

Let’s Build Your Team Spirit! Employees don’t work in isolation, whatever their jobs are. They’re part of a team, large or small, and your efforts to motivate them should be team-based. Emphasize the connections among individual employees and between employees’ home and work lives. Here are three ways to accomplish this:   Build high opinions of one another’s skills and strengths. Encourage your staff to praise their colleagues at meetings with questions like, “Who helped you out this week?” Public praise from peers redirects focus away from the boss/worker relationship and extends accountability to the entire team, which in turn
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Greet Clients by Name

Something so simple goes a long way. It’s one of the first words we hear and one of our favorite sounding words: Our own name! When you greet a client by name — and continue using it throughout your conversation — it puts them at ease and sends the message that you care about them both personally and professionally. Be careful, though, of being too familiar too quickly. It is generally safe to call clients Mr. Jones or Ms. Smith but it may seem rude to refer to them as just John or Mary. Be especially aware if you are
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