3 Random Helpful Ideas
As the year wraps up, I'm thinking about my interactions out and about with customers, members, and others, it's incredible how much I learn from people working to navigate the changing landscape of work. Employee recruitment and retention are still challenging, but people are getting more inventive and seeing some results. There's a greater focus on returning to customer service than there was directly after the worst of the pandemic.
Here are 3 simple but helpful ideas from my experiences out and about the world in the last couple of months.
1. Give your customers a visible way to praise and lift up your team members. In our local grocery store here in Asheville, there is a Starbucks, and occasionally I treat myself to a pumpkin spice or eggnog latte during the holiday season. Yum! The last few times, I've noticed a cup with sticky notes and a pen inside, with a prompt to "Rate your Service." Looking up, I saw a glass board full of kudos for the baristas. Of course, I had to add my two cents! So much easier and fun than filling out a comment card, and a visible reminder to the team about the difference they make in their customers' days. How could you make it easy and fun to empower your customers to leave encouraging notes for your staff?
2. Another fantastic tip came from an audience member during a recent full-day leadership workshop I was leading. We were talking about employee recruitment, and she shared that when she interviews a candidate she sits in a chair across from them with no desk or barrier between them. When she's done with her questions, she asks the candidate to switch chairs with her. Then she says "Okay, now it's your time to interview me!" Such a wonderful way to make the point that the needs of both are important and the questions asked by the candidate give you further insight to inform your hiring decision. Could you use this idea in your hiring process?
3. Finally, one of Red-Carpet Culture Club members recently took their almost non-existent employee orientation and turned it into a 2.5-day interactive event! We acted in an advisory capacity, but their new Onboarding Specialist took the ideas (and added so many of her own) and ran with them! The result was significantly increased 90-day retention, but there's something else. During the first orientation rollout, they let one of their new hires go....and this was a good thing. We talked about using orientation as an extension of the interview because how someone behaves in orientation is how they will behave on the job. There were all kinds of red flags regarding the new hire being late, disinterested, and checking their cell phone instead of paying attention. Imagine how much time and money this company would have cost to find that out after she started her job. For this, I have two questions: How could you use your orientation as an extent of the interview process? Is your orientation effective enough to positively impact retention and if not, how could you change it?
Donna Cutting is the Founder of The Red Carpet Culture Club and the author of 3 books including Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization.
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