Monthly Archives: October 2020

Employee Engagement ~ One Bad Apple

employee engagement

Employee engagement ~ how behaviour breeds behaviour

It only takes one “rotten apple” to affect employee engagement across your whole business.

We have 4 apple trees in our garden and I love this time of year when you can just pick an apple off the tree. We have more than we can eat, and as we all know, if you inadvertently store a bad apple along with others ultimately all the others will go rotten too. They look OK, but open up the box in a few months’ time and you soon discover your mistake.

It can be the same in your business too.

When you have a rotten apple in your team they can have a negative impact on everyone else. I’ve seen it all too often, it may not be obvious at first, but over time the issues start immerging. Tasks left half done, customers given inaccurate information, other team members left to deal with more challenging tasks.

Unfortunately, these disengaged employees on the surface look the same as everyone else.

They manage to come to work on time, they do what’s asked of them and they say “Yes” to your requests.

But…

When you’re not around things get missed. They only do the minimum expected. They seldom go out of their way to support others, and they manage to avoid doing those jobs everyone hates.

They may not be consciously unhappy, but nor are they enthusiastic, excited or energised about the job.

And the worst of it is …

… like the bad apples, if we don’t spot them soon enough they bring everyone else along with them.

It only takes one negative or obstructive person to get in the way and undo all your efforts. These people can have a massive impact on employee engagement, people’s performance and ultimately on your customer service levels.

Do you have any rotten apples in your business?

P.S. If it makes sense to measure financial and sales performance, it also makes sense to measure engagement.  Peter Drucker said it beautifully: “If you don’t measure it, how can you manage it?

Why not find out exactly where you are now.

Get your company’s engagement score with a FREE trial anonymous survey

https://www.engagementmultiplier.com/en-gb/partner/naturallyloyal/


How to enthuse and engage your team


Making your team feel valued

How to help your team feel valued

How to make your team feel valued

Employee engagement and ensuring your team feel valued has become a hot topic lately. Like me, I know you know how important it is to have an engaged team, and the impact this can have on the customer experience, productivity and staff retention.

On Friday I gave a short presentation on just one way to help keep your team engaged, and that was making your team feel valued.

There are many ways of you can make your team feel valued, but the one I’d like to home in on today is that of tuning in to team members.

Failing to spot disengaged employees isn’t always easy. But if we don’t, we run the risk of these people being a drain on others in your team, being less productive and negatively impacting your customers’ experience. And ultimately resulting in higher staff turnover and all the knock on effects this can have.

So here are 10 ideas to help tune in to your team and individuals within the team so you can not only demonstrate to your team you value them, but you can also nip in the bud any problems brewing before they fester and impact everyone else.

  1. Know what’s important. Making your team feel valued starts with understanding what drives each of your team members and what’s important to them. Although something might seem trivial to you, it may be highly significant to someone else. When you know what these are you take account of these with this person.
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  2. Be available for people to talk to you on a one to one basis or in private. Not everyone will feel comfortable raising concerns or questions in front of colleagues, and some situations may not lend themselves to be aired in public.
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  3. Be approachable. Make it easy for people to come to you when they have question or concern, and create a no blame culture and let people know there should be no embarrassment in making a mistake, so long as they learn from it.
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  4. Keep your ears and eyes open to spot when things aren’t as they should be, and you can pick up on concerns quickly. Not everyone has the confidence to ask for help when it’s needed or let you know when they’ve a problem. Listen and observe so you can spot any staff concerns quickly. Left to fester these can snowball into bigger problems.
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  5. Regular one to ones. Never under estimate the value of sitting down in private with each of your team on a one-to-one basis. Schedule these in advance and stick to your schedule. Nothing smacks more of I’m not valued than constantly cancelling these meetings.
  6. Show you value their opinion. Ask their advice in areas where they have more involvement than you, e.g. many of them will spend more time with customers than you and often spot things you might miss.
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  7. Ask for feedback regularly. Things change and problems can fester. Use briefings to get feedback on any customers’ comments, discuss any questions or suggestions that arise about operational issues which could affect them in any way.
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  8. Provide support when needed and be receptive to when this is required; not everyone will be confident enough to ask for this.
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  9. Be brave. Ask your team for feedback on how you are doing in their eyes. It can feel uncomfortable to give feedback to the boss, so ask in a more conversational way such as “What could I be doing to make your job easier?” We don’t always want to hear about the things that frustrate your team, particularly if you may be contributing to the problem! Be open to the truth and willing to listen. Accept feedback with good grace and thank them for an honest response.
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  10. Create the opportunity for people to give anonymous feedback (using a tool such as Engagement Multiplier). People may be afraid to say what they really think if they’re concerned about being labelled a problem or complainer. Address concerns. This doesn’t mean that you have to resolve every personal whim, but it means identifying trends, recurring problems or prioritising what needs attention.

Action point:

Help your team feel valued by asking for their feedback. If you consider yourself to be a brave, caring owner (or senior decision maker) of a growth focused business, and you’d like to find a simple way to get direct and honest feedback from your team, take a trial assessment. Register your interest here:

to get your company’s engagement score, and discover where to take action to make an impact right away.



Upselling to add value

Upselling to add value

Amazon are the masters of using upselling to add value. Just think about the last time you viewed an item on Amazon; below the chances are you saw the handy little prompt saying:

Customers who bought this item also bought ….
or “Frequently bought together”.

As business owners we know that often the profit is in those all important additional sales. More so now than ever with reduced capacity. So just how well do you maximise the revenue per customer?

Over the years I’ve delivered many workshops focusing on ‘upselling’, and written training materials for clients that included sessions on upselling.

But whenever I get involved in this topic there are always one or two team members who find the idea of upselling uncomfortable.

When your staff feel uncomfortable about promoting additional items, guess what?

They won’t do it!

Or if they do it will be with very little confidence, which of course the customer picks up on.

Learn how to overcome this on my “How to teach your team to Upsell and Cross-sell” workshop next week. (Early bird closes on Thursday at 6 pm, so register now if you want to save £20 per person).

We’re exposed to upselling all the time. When we see those messages from Amazon, do we think them pushy?

If you’re anything like me, you can actually find these quite handy.

Let’s see what happens when we DON’T upsell…

Imagine you’ve just been on your holiday of a lifetime to Fantastique (made up place, obviously!). Because it was a special occasion you didn’t want the hassle of booking it yourself, and booked it through your local travel agent.

When you get home, you’re chatting with some friends and one of them asks “what did you think of Awesome Island?”

You look at them blankly, and ask “where?” To which they reply “What! You mean you went all the way to Fantastique and didn’t go to Awesome Island?! You would have loved it! For us that was probably one of the best things about the place!

How do you now feel about your holiday?

You know you’ll never go back there, but now you find out you’ve missed one of the best things to do/see. Why on earth didn’t your travel agent tell you about this place?!

When up selling is done for the right reasons it’s a good thing, as it can add real value and enhance the customer’s experience.

Although we don’t want to be pushy, if we don’t offer other items often we’ll leave the customer not even realising that option exists.

Result?

Disappointment. Regret. Frustration.

So change your staff’s thinking. Stop them thinking of it as upselling.

Get them into the mindset of adding value.

This one of the topics I’ll be covering on my “How to teach your team to Upsell and Cross-sell” workshop next week.

Early bird closes on Thursday at 6 pm, so register now if you want to save £20 per person.

Video intro to Upselling workshop


Upselling and cross selling

Upselling and cross selling

You could be running the best promotion in the world, but…

Last week I was approached by someone from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) who is leading a tactical workgroup on recovery for hotels. He had a pdf I had written over 10 years ago, on 100 promotion ideas for hotels, and wants to use it as a foundation for their brainstorming. My initial reaction was surely it will be out of date, but when I reviewed it I concluded that pretty much all the ideas were just as relevant today as they were 10 years ago.

Most centred around additional sales by adding value to give customers a reason to spend more.

But, here’s the thing…

None of those ideas are any good if your customers don’t get to hear about them!

Now, more than ever with reduced capacity you and your team will want to maximise sales from every customer, so your team need to be confident in upselling and cross selling.

Upselling and cross selling first principles

London’s taxi service is arguably the best in the world. If you get into a London cab and give the cabbie the address you’re heading for, you can be sure he or she will know exactly where you want to get to and the best way to get you there.

That’s because they must pass “The Knowledge” before they can drive a London Taxi, something that can take 3-4 years to master.

Although they wouldn’t necessarily expect such detail, every customer expects your team to have at least a basic knowledge of your products and services.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for dinner, bed and breakfast, serving cake in a café or the latest treatment in your spa, customers want and expect your team to be able to give accurate information on your products and service so they can make an informed choice.

But this is even more important if you want your team to sell, upsell, or cross sell.

As a minimum they need to understand all the offers, products and services you provide. This goes beyond just a laundry list; it needs to include understanding of the features and of course the benefits from a customer’s perspective.

What’s included in a package, what are the different options, what are their recommendations or suggested combinations? A good understanding of your customers’ profile, needs and expectations will help this process.

I’m often shocked by the lack of exposure team members have to the products they are selling, let alone what’s available from other departments. Without this knowledge how on earth can they upsell or cross sell?

As examples: for accommodation – have any of your reservations team ever set foot in the spa, or seen first-hand the difference between a standard and an executive room? The same principles apply whether it’s glamping, shepherds huts or a hotel. In a restaurant – how many of the dishes have your team tasted? What side dishes, accompaniments or wines would they recommend?

Customers buying decisions are based just as much on emotions than on logic, so it’s not just all the features your team need to know, but how to convey the benefits and make it emotionally appealing to the customer. Describing something with enthusiasm and feeling can be hard when you’ve not had any first-hand experience.

Use your internal team to train others so they can cross sell. For example, your pastry chef will do a better job of describing your desserts or afternoon teas than a manager who isn’t involved in making the cakes or puddings. Involving others in the team who you know have an interest and passion for that service and/or products and who will be more than happy to share their knowledge, allows their enthusiasm rub off.

You can’t necessarily cover every conceivable angle. Such as, in a restaurant you might not expect every team member to have sampled every wine on the wine list! But they still need to understand the points of distinction and what complements which dishes.

It’s finding a way to describe your products and services so they sell themselves.

If you only do one thing as a result of reading this – test your team members on their product knowledge of the top 10 products or services each might sell, upsell or cross sell. Don’t assume they know; put it to the test!

Product knowledge is just one aspect of upselling and cross selling. And as it’s so important right now so you don’t leave money on the table, that’s why I’m re-running my Upselling Workshop on 20th & 21st October.

That means you won’t miss out on that potential extra half term business. Save £20 on the early bird if you book before Thursday 15th October.

Here’s a short video to tell you more about the upselling and cross selling workshop