Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Giving compliments: easy and difficult

More and more research (positive psychology; happiness) indicates that giving a compliment is very important for the wellbeing, as well as the performance of employees. A compliment makes you feel good (yes, that is true for everyone!) and that will help you to more easily solve problems, be nicer to customers and/or come up with new ideas.

So, why are we not giving that many compliments then? The reason might be our culture , in which we are trained to focus on the weaknesses, mistakes and faults, rather than focusing on the strengths. We are afraid that people will become lazy when we give them compliments, or maybe that they will start asking for a raise.  Again, this is not true. In most cases, employees give a higher value to a positive and motivating environment than to just their salaries.

Therefor we need to practice to give compliments (at work and at home). And we also need to be careful if we criticize someone.  A decade of research on high and low performance teams by psychologist Marcial Losada shows the importance of compliments.  Through studying 100’s of corporate teams, the ratio of positive to negative interactions necessary to make a team successful, is 2.9 This means that it takes about three positive comments, interactions, experiences or expressions to fend off the languishing effects of one negative.
Dip below this level, known as the Losada Line, workplace performance quickly suffers.  Rise above it, and the results are predictably positive.

How many compliments did you give today?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A real, smile sells.

On a daily basis, we are bombarded with 1000’s of commercial messages. They are all fighting to be top of mind, your mind! Well, that is hardly working, as we become immune to this information overflow. Only when a campaign is very funny or controversial, it will draw our attention.

A very simple, yet profound way to attract customers is to have employees who are really smiling. These employees (either fact to face or online) are a real magnet for your business. So, this is easy, you might say. But it is not. I am talking about a real, a genuine smile here. And many employees are not happy in their work, as a matter of fact. So, if these unhappy employees do smile, then it will be artificial and that will not create the right vibrations to be attractive.

It takes quite a lot of work, especially from managers to enable their employees to be happy and engaged.  Employee Engagement should be  a critical activity in each manager’s toolbox.

Smiling is also not limited to employees. Managers have a huge and positive influence if they smile as well!

Are your employees smiling?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The numbers or the needs?

Well, this looks like the chicken or the egg problem. Isn’t it? Many supermarkets are checking the numbers, whether they should keep a product in their assortment.  If a product doesn’t meet a certain threshold (minimum numbers sold), then they will remove it from their assortment.
This means, that as a customer, you can no longer buy the product. This product might even be your favorite. So, what do you do as a customer? Will you buy a replacement, will you skip the product or…. will you go to another supermarket, which does have your product on sale?

If the customer leaves, then you have done a bad deal as a supermarket. You have lost all of the revenue from this customer, who will likely not return to your supermarket in the foreseeable future. What can you do as a supermarket? You can ask your customers and tell them that you intent to cancel a certain product and get their reactions. Or you can offer a replacement.

In any case, you have to communicate with your customers; otherwise your numbers will decline a lot more than expected.

How do you interact with your customers regarding your assortment?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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