Author Archives: Paul LaRue

#ThursdayThought – No Time For Context

Tim for context

Have you every had to reiterate an email, voice mail, or even a text in order to convey what you stated in the original message?

It seems that more and more people do not take time to read or understand what we send them.

Which means we have to spend more time going over the message again.

And to make matters worse, we may tend to quote what we wrote before, which makes us sound petty or angry. Or feeling like a jerk.

It seems people don’t read emails past 1st line much anymore. Just like they don’t go through a Google search past the first page (if they scroll down the first search page).

If we each took time to understand the message and the context of what we receive, we could save so much wasted time, and avoid extra frustration.

Take time for context. Read to understand.

Careful reading – and thinking – about what was communicated to us will help break down those communication barriers we complain about.

(image: pixabay/canva)

 

 

Customer Service – Are You All In On Employee Training?

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Imagine if you will a hospital that spent more time and money training their C-suite than their direct-care staff of doctors and nurses. Or a large airlines spending most of their training budget on the executive staff and very little on the pilots, flight crew, or mechanics.

The resulting scenraiors wold prove to be short-sighted and troublesome. And yet it seems that the average company spends more on training for upper level versus line-level or front-line employees.

A survey of average company training budgets will reveal that a typical company will spend from 2-5% of annual revenues on training.

The Association for Talent Development in their annual state of the industry report from last year revealed that the average company spent $1273 per employee in 2017.

Couple that with Training Mag’s study of “per-learner training” from the same period and you’ll see that most of the $1000-plus spending per-learner was done on the C-suite level, then less for mid-level management and the least individual employees. The exception seemed to be for “high potential” employees.

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If you take these statistics and see the ongoing (10 + years) trend in worsening customer service experiences, one can draw a conclusion that more training needs to be invested on the front line staff in order to reverse this trend. And while some of this is related to the rapid education of the customer and the tight labor market, there is still one thing any company can do to provide a better customer experience.

Spend more time training your front line staff than you do anyone else.

About 15 years ago a restaurant chain claimed to spend more money than the industry on training was found to have actually shortchanged their line staff and spent more resources on opening more and more units. This eventually led to their bankruptcy just a few years later.

A couple of independent and different healthcare organizations were both afflicted with the same fate in the last few years. Instead of managing resources to the employees in the way of training, they diverted those monies to the top of the organization. As a result, patient care and satisfaction tanked, employees left, and both are facing various regulatory issues as they struggle to be in compliance.

While training and development of all levels of staff are essential, the expenses of major conferences at higher levels can tend to be very expensive without much ROI and direct customer impact. But a more focused training on front-line staff will reap higher returns and boost your levels of customer satisfaction. It’s a model that Chick-Fil-A uses to their advantage in their huge growth over the least decade. Same for Bonobos, whose goal is to help their workers become better employees and equip them with skills needed to do their jobs. CyberCoders and Paychex also have made committed goals to go all in on training their employees and their cultures and recruiting efforts reflect this quite positively.

What is being advocated here is the mindset to pour better and more focused resources – proportionately – into those employees who face your customers and have the most touchpoints with them. In a shifting economy and sliding landscape of digital and analaog business, being able to spend your resources on front-line training is essential for a company to stand out. In order to combat evolving business models, tight staffing, and increasing customer expectations, you need to up your game to invest in more training for your employees who most come in contact with your customers.

Determine today to build a better company and go all in on employee training.

The best companies know that the reasons to spend more on training are worth every cent.

(per-learner image: brandonhallgroup; main image: pixabay)

#ThursdayThought – Business Is People

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In our automated, tech, and email driven workplace, it’s hard to think that business is about people. But consider these thoughts:

  • You don’t conduct business (B2B or B2C) with companies, but with people you trust.
  • The very first business exchanges centuries ago, before technology and systems, revolved around people first.
  • In every transaction, there is at least two people that are affected.
  • In your efforts to move up and become wealthy, there are people that share in your success and depend on you to help them succeed as well.
  • Acquiring the world means nothing if people are not there to support you. Acquiring people to support you means everything even if you do not have the world at your disposal.
  • Don’t lose who you are as a person for things that are temporary.
  • Every industry has one common denominator – people. The systems, business models, technologies, and products or services differ company to company. 
  • Profits are temporary. People are permanent.

If we kept in mind that every action we conduct in our business has the opportunity to impact other people – for good or for ill – we could make a positive and transformative impact in our sphere of influence. So keep in mind

Business Is People

(image: canva/pixabay)

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