Monthly Archives: January 2019

Inject some energy

employee productivitySo here we are at the end of the first full week back to normal after all the festivities. How good has employee productivity been so far?

As a business owner you’ve probably plans, hopes or dreams for the year ahead. But for some, being back at work in January doesn’t always have the same attraction.

Whether your team have been working flat out over the Christmas and New Year period, or they’ve taken time off to take a well earned break, either way it’s often tough getting back into the swing of things in the new year.

It’s time to inject some new energy. Give your team something to work towards so they’ve a sense of purpose and focus, which will in turn improve employee productivity.

Here are 6 actions you can take to get you going…

1. Thank You

Simply say thank you to show your appreciation for their input and contribution over the past year. A thank you and an acknowledgement of a job well done is far more sincere if you’re specific about what you’re recognising, so pick out some specifics.

 

2. Celebrate and share successes.

Remind your team of all your achievements over the past 12 months. What milestones have you achieved as a business and individually. What were the highlights, and what’s been their contribution?

Staff are more likely to be loyal and work harder for a business they believe in.

Give praise where it’s due to create a buzz for the year ahead!

 

3. What’s your Why?

Remind people of your purpose and values. now as a good time to review your purpose and values. Are these living breathing and evolving and referred to and reflected in your day to day activities? Or simply a statement that’s tucked away and forgotten?

Be passionate about your purpose – if you aren’t how can you expect anyone else to be?

 

4. Fresh Focus

Time off often gives people time for reflection and can prompt them to start thinking about other options, career moves or even career changes.

Share your plans for the coming year with your team so they feel involved.

Schedule one to one reviews early to discuss individual contributions and where they fit in with your plans for the year ahead. Ask for their input to demonstrate you value their contribution.

Encourage everyone in your team to have their own goals too. Even if these don’t include working for you long term, discuss how you can help them achieve their goals together.

 

5. Getting stuck in

It can often feel as if you’re not achieving much in the first few days or weeks back at work. Set some short term goals or mini projects so that everyone can get stuck in and can see some results within the first few days back at work.

It will certainly help focus attention back onto the job in hand, and get everyone back into full flow as quickly as possible.

 

6. Plan your training and development

As well as your routine refreshers, look at where you can be

  • Upskilling and cross training people to cover other’s responsibilities
  • Capitalising on individual strengths to enable people to really excel
  • Look for opportunities to stretch team members within their current responsibilities so they don’t get stale
  • Discuss how you can add variety, set new challenges or stretch them
  • Identify what development people need to work towards future roles and aspirations.

So inject some energy into your team to improve employee productivity.


Freshen up your refreshers

customer service training ideas21 customer service training ideas to help freshen up your refreshers

If January is a quieter month for you now might the time to address your refresher training. Refresher training is important in any area, and customer service is no exception.

Without reminders it’s easy for service to stagnate and standards to slip. Consistency in your service ensures your customers won’t be disappointed on their second, seventh or even 70th visit.

But how can you make this engaging for everyone, especially your long-serving team members who have seen it all before?

Instead of thinking refresher (as some will simply see this as a boring repeat of the same old messages) focus on different aspects of service.

By Creating a culture of continuous improvement, and putting the emphasis on making things even better, it’s less likely to be dismissed as unimportant and repetitive.

Here are a few customer service training ideas to help freshen up your refreshers (or any other training)…

  1. Challenge your team members to come forward with suggestions on how things can be improved, not just for the customer, but to make their lives easier too. Shaving 5 minutes off a task in one area can free up 5 more minutes to spend caring for customers elsewhere..
  2. Add variety. Do something different to what people are used to, to make the sessions interesting or memorable, so everyone remembers the messages.
  3. Stop thinking about training purely as a classroom activity; get creative with your training. Recognise people’s different learning styles and vary the ways you communicate with your team to appeal to different preferences.
  4. Ask the team what training they think they need and how they’d like to learn it.
  5. Make learning a part of the day-to-day activity, by using everyday activities as opportunities for development and where it’s second nature for people to help and support one another, and to learn on the job.
  6. Use short sharp ‘coffee break sessions’ to delve deeper to explore how you can make things even better. What can you do to add more value for your customers and really wow them?
  7. Assign tasks or projects on real business issues to develop team members.
  8. Get everyone’s involvement. Avoid the chalk and talk’ lecture, it’s not as if they are hearing this for the first time. Use team exercises to encourage interaction, get opinions, and generate ideas so everyone benefits from each other’s insights and suggestions.
  9. Use team meetings to direct focus and reinforce messages. Most customer facing roles are ever-changing, and every day there will be specific and individual options, events, and situations.
  10. Use refreshers as an opportunity to give your team up to date product knowledge.
  11. Celebrate and share successes. Remind people of the importance and significance of what they do; everyone likes to be appreciated, and when they hear about refresher training they can see this as a criticism, implying they are not doing things well enough.
  12. Recognise and reward team members who go the extra mile and contribute to exceptional customer service to reinforce what makes a good customer experience.
  13. Act on customer feedback. Ask for direct feedback from your customers so you learn first-hand what they value and where you can make improvements in your service.
  14. Share positive customer feedback. It can be a really big boost for the team. Use it to reinforce good practice. Even for those not involved or contributing directly, it helps illustrate the impact of good service and a great customer experience.
  15. Keep things light hearted when discussing customer service issues; it is a serious subject, but people are more receptive when they are happy and relaxed. Reinforce messages with quizzes and games to add an element of competition and fun.
  16. Add in fun energiser activities and ‘right brain’ exercises. These might seem trivial, but getting your team involved keeps them energized and in a better state of mind for learning.
  17. Take people away from their normal environment (as long as this doesn’t make them uncomfortable or become a distraction); go outside, use music; alter the layout, introduce unusual props.
  18. Use role plays. Despite people’s reluctance they are a great way for people to practise what to say and how in a safe setting. Make these less intimidating by running in small groups with colleagues acting as an observer to give feedback.
  19. Capitalise on people’s strengths, and utilise those with talents in specific areas to share their skills and expertise with the team. This is not only good for people’s development, it also helps the team respect other’s roles and share the burden
  20. Involve your support teams in refresher training, identifying what they do or not do which impacts the customer experience, however minor, and ask for their input on how these can be developed.
  21. Ask your team for feedback on how you are doing in their eyes. It can feel uncomfortable for people to give feedback to their boss, so ask in a more conversational way such as “What could I be doing to make customer service easier?“. Be sure to accept any feedback with good grace, and thank them for an honest response!

So instead of rolling out the same old training, take one, two or all 21 customer service training ideas to help freshen up your refresher training.

If you need help with this, find out how to get this here