Hire for the soft skills

March 7, 2018

hireRemember a few years ago when it was simple to hire? There were so many people that had been displaced by the recession that finding a qualified and available candidate was a piece of cake.

That is definitely not the case today. The employee shortage is real and in certain sectors, it’s a serious crisis. Not only does that make it harder to find that next vital team member but it means that every hire is even more critical because you can’t afford to make a mistake and have to start all over again.

We have all experienced the cost of a bad hire. It’s the cost of the investment you made in recruiting, interviewing, training and onboarding them. But it’s also the cost of the damage they do if they’re not as qualified as you think. The staff suffers too when you have a bad hire. Not only do they have to pick up the slack (again) while you replace the bad hire but it ripples through the fabric of your culture.

The only thing worse than a bad hire is a hire that is a bad culture fit because they don’t have the soft skills that you need. It’s easy enough to interview for and test for aptitude. It’s a completely different challenge to screen an applicant for the difficult to discern or measure traits like leadership, adaptability and how they match your culture. And yet, those are the elements that will most likely determine how successful this candidate is in your company.

Why am I talking about hiring in a marketing column? It’s simple – your employees are your biggest marketing expense. Every day their choices, behaviors, and attitudes translate your brand into how your customers and prospects see you. There is no better insight into a business’ heart and soul than to observe its employees.

We have to interview better. We need to ask more questions that give us a peek into how the person works, rather than if they can do the work. Let’s assume you use the first 10-15 minutes of an interview to determine if the candidate is able to do the tasks of the job. (You should be doing onsite testing too but that’s a different topic.)

After they’ve cleared that hurdle, most interviewers actually go into selling mode, talking about the company and trying to woo the applicant. Avoid that temptation and instead, ask questions like these to get a read on their soft skills.

  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you’d never done before. How did you react? How did you approach it? What did you learn?
  • What has been the biggest change you’ve ever had to deal with? How did you adapt to that change?
  • What’s the most interesting or surprising thing about you that is not on your resume?
  • What’s the biggest misperception that coworkers might have about you and what might make them think that it’s true?
  • Describe a time when you were working on a team and someone on the team did not understand you. How did you know they weren’t tracking with you and what did you do?
  • What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make in the last six months? How did you approach it?

These are tough questions to ask and even tougher to answer. Which is the point. You’re considering setting this person loose inside your organization. They’re going to influence your team and either impress or alienate your best clients. I know it’s easier to interview with safe questions that only focus on the tasks of the job. But if you get this wrong – it’s a mistake that can cost dearly.

Ask the hard questions. Find the right brand advocate. It’s worth the effort.


Silence Kills

December 6, 2017

silenceI had to call United’s 800-number the other day to change an existing ticket. At each step of modifying my ticket, the customer service rep would have to key in some data and then there would be this long silence. I couldn’t hear him typing or even a single breath. I assumed he was still there because I wasn’t served up any on hold music or messaging. But, several times in the process, I’d actually say something just to make him respond because I was convinced we’d been disconnected.

As the call dragged on, I imagined that something had gone wrong. The silence was not only deafening but it made me fill in the blanks. This is not the first time I’ve had to alter a plane ticket. I know the drill and I know it takes several steps and more time than you think it would. But in the past, if there was a long delay as the computer was thinking or the rep was verifying something – they’d say something like “oh, my computer is slow today” or “this will take a few minutes, sorry for the wait.”

My imagination worked overtime as the United rep continued in silence and I wondered what disaster must be befalling my travel plans. As I sat there fretting, it occurred to me that businesses do this to their customers all the time. I’m sure, from the United guy’s point of view, he was doing exactly what he was paid to do – change my ticket in the most efficient and effective manner possible. So he was probably concentrating on the work at hand. He was focusing on the facts of the transaction, not how I might be reacting to his methodology.

Silence breeds worry and uncertainty. Neither is a healthy ingredient for any relationship. The only place silence does even more damage than what it does in our client relationships is the impact it has on our relationships with our employees and teammates. I believe it’s all about vulnerability.

Here’s my “how much should I communicate” barometer. The more the power has shifted in my direction, the more I must communicate. So if you’re the boss or a customer is particularly beholden to you or at risk if you drop the ball – you must overcommunicate to keep them secure.

This isn’t just about being benevolent. When your employees and teammates feel completely in the loop and know what’s going on – they can help you get to the finish line faster and more profitably. They don’t accidentally derail your efforts nor do they make up things in their head that encourages them to intentionally get in your way.

We’ve all done it. We misread clues like a closed-door meeting or someone’s absence and before you know it, we’ve spun a doozy of a tale. That’s not just silly. It costs you money, productivity and in some cases, it might cost you the employee. All because they didn’t understand. It’s your job to over communicate so they do understand.

The same is true for customers. This isn’t just about giving them peace of mind because you’re a kind human being, although I’m going to assume that is part of the motivation. A client who knows what is going on, is given forewarning if there’s about to be a problem and is kept apprised of the status of your work together will stop micromanaging. They’ll stop constantly asking for updates or altering the details.

When in doubt – tell them again. Have you ever had a customer or an employee tell you that you’re going overboard in terms of keeping them in the loop? I honestly don’t think it’s possible. Whatever you’re doing – double it and it’s probably about right.



Show a little gratitude

August 30, 2017

GratitudeI believe that gratitude is a brilliant marketing strategy. I’m astonished at how many businesses give their customers the distinct impression that they’re a little put out by having to sell them something.

You’ve felt it – the grocery clerk who is too busy chatting to actually make eye contact. The phone rep that can’t wait to get off the phone. The sales pro that doesn’t return your calls, even though you’ve told him you’re ready to buy.

It’s annoying and hardly breeds customer loyalty. But gratitude isn’t just for customers. I believe the smart business owner creates a continuous chain of gratitude and not only is it genuine, but it yields incredible benefits.

Here’s how the chain gets constructed. First – you demonstrate your gratitude to your employees. You then give them the tools to extend that same gratitude to your vendors and clients. Then, you invite your vendors and clients to recognize your employees for serving them well.

See how it goes full circle? When you cultivate and encourage the cycle, it just picks up steam and gets stronger and stronger. It’s like a snowball that keeps growing and accelerating as it speeds down the hill. Pretty soon, it’s been woven into your culture and becomes part of your reputation. That’s a pretty powerful brand attribute.

So how do you make it happen? You develop tools for each group of people in the cycle. Let’s start with the employees.

The good news is that this isn’t about more money. It’s about recognition and appreciation. Everyone wants to be noticed for doing a good job. You start by defining what “a good job” looks like. Be very clear in your own mind what character traits you want on your team. Interview for those soft skills and attitudes.

After you hire the right kind of people – train them well. Don’t just train them to be good at their job, train them to be grateful for the clients who bring the opportunities to your company. Help them understand how each client contributes to the bottom line.

Now – start catching them doing things right. This cannot be left to chance or it won’t get done. Create a peer recognition program, where employees can thank each other for going above and beyond. Read the nominations at an all staff meeting or share them on your intranet. Find a way to publicize the kudos they received. Personally stop by their office (or call them if they’re not local) and thank them for making a difference.

What’s the business rationale for this effort? A study of over 1,700 employees conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that more than half of all employees intended to search for new jobs because they felt underappreciated and undervalued. Further research on gratitude and appreciation documents that when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, will work longer hours, build supportive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and are happy to help the company achieve its goals.

On top of all that – they aren’t looking for other jobs. I don’t know about your industry but in my world it’s getting tougher and tougher to find qualified employees. So we want to keep the good ones that we have.

Beyond the employee peer recognition, there are other things you can do. On your employees’ anniversary with your company, why not acknowledge their contributions and how it’s impacted the company? Or send a note home, telling his/her family how they contribute to your organization.

Celebrate your employees and their wins. Be thoughtful, be personal and be sincere. But most of all – be genuinely grateful.

Next week, we’ll wrap up the cycle of gratitude by talking about how you can cultivate that among your vendors and customers.


But can I trust you?

May 24, 2017

trustI can’t guess how many times I’ve written about trust over the past ten years.  I’ve talked about the importance of the know • like • trust model, I’ve discussed the connection between trust and a brand’s equity and I’ve explored the role of trust in shortening the sales cycle.

Suffice it to say, trust is a cornerstone of marketing success.

But it occurred to me that when I’ve written about trust, it’s been one-sided.  I’ve focused on the trust we need from our prospects and customers in order to make them feel safe enough to make that first purchase or repeat buy.

I’ve been ignoring the whole other side of the equation. Trust has to be a two-way street or else it doesn’t work.  When you don’t feel trusted – it’s very difficult to trust. Just like in our personal relationships, it’s difficult to let down your guard enough to develop trust when you’re feeling like a criminal, based on how you’re being treated.

Think that’s a little extreme?  Think about some of the signage you see in retail locations.  “You break it, you buy it” or “video surveillance cameras in use.”

Without meaning to, in a million little ways, many businesses communicate that they don’t really trust their customers.

And if you think we have work to do in that arena – it’s nothing compared to how many organizations treat their employees. It’s pretty tough for them to trust you, trust your brand and create a trusting environment for your customers.

If you want to cultivate trust among your prospects and customers – you have to start by demonstrating trust in your own team and those same prospects and customers.

Let’s look at a couple ideas for each.  First, the customers:

Your customer service promise: Call it a pledge, a promise or a policy. Whatever you call it – make sure it’s written in simple English, errs on the assumption that 99% of your customers are honest and good people, and cuts your customers a great deal of slack.

Make it very public – post it on your website, in your store and in your contractual agreements. Celebrate the fact that you believe in your customers and in servicing them with respect and affection.

Arm your employees with both authority and resources: Every time a customer complains or has a bad experience and you make them wait for a manager to resolve it, it feels like you don’t trust them or their story.   You also teach them that you don’t have enough confidence in your team to give them the ability to resolve the issue. But when your employees can immediately respond and fix the problem, the customer feels heard and that your organization believed them and their concern.

And now, for showing your employees that you trust them:

Treat them like grown-ups: Flip through your employee manual.  Are the rules for adults or does it assume that your team will act like teenagers trying to sneak out after curfew?  Too many employee rules are made for the few, not the majority. Create rules that make it clear to your employees that you hold them both capable and accountable.

Ask for help: Nothing says “I believe in you and your abilities” more than asking someone for their help. Involve your employees in key decisions involving customer-facing policies, pricing or R&D options.  You can’t just give this tactic lip service.  You actually need to listen.  The upside of that – you’re going to learn more than you think.

Remember that the know • like • trust model is a two-way street.  What are you doing to pave the way to trust for your customers and employees?



Get Ready for Hibernation

December 7, 2016


You may not realize it but you’re starting to feel very sleepy. In a couple weeks, you’ll be in full “business hibernation” mode. Everything comes to a screeching halt as you go from full steam ahead to a sleepy stroll towards the New Year.

Even if you want to keep going at breakneck speed, everyone around you is already yawning and shifting into a very lazy gear. Between the holiday shopping, parties, travel and those long weekends that seem to start on Wednesday – productivity is doomed.

Customers don’t want to start anything new. No one’s in the office to review any proposals or contracts and even if you have work in progress, tracking anyone down to give you an approval is almost impossible.

The New Year doesn’t snap everyone back to attention either. It’s usually the middle of the month before things get cooking again. We are slow to wake from our winter solstice slumber.

But, if we know the hibernation period is coming, is it possible we could actually use it to our marketing advantage?

Here are some suggestions for some ways that you could enjoy the slow down but also feel like you’re planting some seeds for a strong new year.

Ponder and plan: You know you should already have your next year’s business plan done, right? You know why you don’t? Could it be because you haven’t had a free moment to think? Guess what – the hibernation season is the perfect time to dream, wonder and put at least a skeleton of a plan together.

If you’re looking for a system to turn your plans into accomplishments, check out the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. I’m betting that you’ll have time to read it before the end of the year!

Reach out and connect: Think of a few people who are important to your business but you rarely slow down long enough to have an actual conversation. They might be a key vendor or a referral source. Make the time to invest in your connection. Grab coffee or a hot toddy and ask them how you can help their business in 2017. You’re going to like where the conversation goes.

Prune for future growth: Gardeners and arborists will tell you that pruning sparks new growth and I think there’s a lesson there for all of us. It’s time to trim. Trim your email lists, trim marketing tactics that just haven’t delivered the ROI and trim all the data that you’re buried under. This is a great time of year to get down to the essentials.

Spruce yourself up: You know that website that you keep meaning to update? Now’s the time! You need to freshen up your content, take down the bios of employees who’ve been gone for 10 months and give the whole site a fresh feel. Don’t forget to give the back end of the site some attention too. There are probably plugins, updates, and other technical aspects of the site that need your attention as well.

Build up the team: Everyone who works for you has been going all out for months too. Why not use the forced slow down to strengthen your team’s bond? Do something together that fosters team and holiday spirit. Adopt a family and go shopping for them together. Or work a shift ringing the bell for the Salvation Army or wrapping gifts for charity. Why not create a Toys for Tots drive among your employees, vendors, and customers? Let the holidays give you the perfect team building exercise.

Don’t get me wrong. I think you should enjoy the slow down. You’ve earned it. But, there’s no reason you can’t mix the holiday festivities with some business activities that will give the next twelve months a leg up.


Don’t forget to recognize your good fortune

November 23, 2016

good fortune

It’s easy to get caught up in the metrics, goals, sales projections, and all the other things we measure in business. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I want to suggest that the best parts of being in business can’t be measured in dollars, percentages or increases but by your good fortune.

I don’t know about you, but by this time of year, I’m getting a little tired. I’ve been going full throttle ever since the holidays wound down last year and I’ve been chasing some pretty aggressive goals. This coming week is the perfect time to slow down and genuinely be grateful for our good fortune. Why not take advantage of the slower pace of Thanksgiving week and actually say thank you to those who make your work meaningful and successful.

Your employees: Let’s be honest – your employees are awesome, aren’t they? They care about your customers, they care about your business and they care about you. They work hard and your bottom line benefits from their efforts.

If you have a small staff, take the time to handwrite them a thank you note. Point out the things they do that make such a difference and let them know you appreciate all they do.

If your team is too big for that, gather them together and tell them how much you appreciate them. If you have multiple locations – why not shoot a video? It doesn’t have to be fancy — you can do it on your computer or phone. But make it personal.

Your clients: What if you spent a couple of hours this coming week and called all of your customers just to say thank you. Don’t try to sell them anything or talk about 2017. Just say thank you. But be specific – tell them why they’re such a wonderful client and why you appreciate them so much.

Encourage your employees to do the same thing with the customers that they serve.

Your vendors: You know who I’m talking about – the ones who bust a hump when your client shortens their deadline or wants to double their order but not the time it takes to get it done.

Let them know that you value their skills, commitment to your customers and willingness to bend over backward to help you over deliver. If there’s a sales rep or front line person who is always going out of their way for you – why not pick up the phone or write a note to their boss? Express your gratitude for their employee and make sure they know just how lucky they are to have them.

Your past customers: Even if they haven’t done business with you in a while, why not drop them a note to thank them for their past business? Tell them how much you appreciate the faith they had in you and the opportunity they gave you. Again, this isn’t a sales gimmick and you’re not trying to win them back. Just acknowledge that you enjoyed working with them, are grateful for the chance and wish them well.

In keeping with this blog post’s theme, I want to thank all of you for reading my blog content. Your emails, calls, notes and kind words make my day. I love it when you disagree, agree or just ask a question. I’m very grateful for our on-going conversation about marketing and all things business.

The magic of this week of giving thanks is that the more gratitude you express, the better you feel. You’ll be reminded again and again of your good fortune and that’s the perfect way to wind down this year and gear up for even more blessings in the year to come.


Insincerity is not good for your brand

September 21, 2016

BrandI love it when employees really adopt their company’s brand and make it their own. That’s one of the ways you know that your brand has really woven itself into the culture of your organization. But it rarely happens by accident. In any brand process, part of the process should be about helping your employees understand and internalize the brand.

Then, you need to work with your team by job functions, helping each type of employee figure out how the brand influences their work. For example – if you’re a bank, how the tellers bring the brand to life will be very different from how the fraud department will live the brand.

Unfortunately, most companies take a shortcut that just makes their brand feel forced and artificial.

The first time I checked out at Walgreens and the clerk said “Be well,” I thought, well that’s cool – it fits with their whole brand and bravo to the clerk for making the brand her own.

After being in about five different Walgreens in several different states, I caught on. They had all been told to use “be well” as their farewell to customers. Suddenly the only thing “be well” communicated to me was a robotic script that completely lacked even an ounce of sincerity.

Probably not what Walgreens wants us to think about their “at the corner of happy and healthy” brand position.

That’s the problem with a lot of brands. You can’t just create a brand and slap it on your marketing materials. For a brand to actually mean something to your customers or your employees – it needs to be grounded in what you actually believe. It has to be built from your corporate values and be the sword you’re willing to fall on when there’s a conflict.

Your customers and employees have a pretty accurate BS meter and if your brand promise is superficial, they’re going to figure it out pretty quickly.  Here are some things that trigger the meter.

Hyperbole: When you use loaded words that seem hyped and exaggerated, it immediately makes people suspicious. Use language that your audience can connect with and relate to, rather than words that feel artificial or impossible to achieve.

When it’s rote: Much like my experience in Walgreens, there’s a fine line between creating consistency in how your brand is communicated and it being robotic and stale. How often have you thought that a customer service rep was just reading from a script and really didn’t care if he had “met or exceeded all of your expectations today?”

One size fits all: If your brand position is so generic to your industry that your competitor could adopt and reasonably honor your brand – it’s not really a brand position at all. It’s simply a statement of what everyone in your industry should be delivering.

When it’s nothing more than marketing speak: A genuine brand isn’t just a marketing tool. It’s a divining rod that helps direct the entire company. I should feel your brand in my interactions with every single employee. But that requires commitment and investment on your part. It’s just spin if you sprinkle it in your marketing but not work to make it a part of your organization’s foundation.

When it works on the outside, but not inside: Your brand promise needs to be just as true internally as it is with your best customers. Remember – a good brand is your values in action. Values aren’t situational. You can’t expect your employees to behave according to your brand if you don’t in your dealings with them.

A brand is a promise of what it’s like to do business with you. Insincerity can kill your chances of even having a shot at delivering on that promise.


How to deliver excellence – it isn’t an accident.

August 10, 2016

deliver excellenceI’ve never met a business owner or leader who didn’t want the employees of their organization to deliver excellence. And the truth is – most employees want that too. They want to work for an organization that allows and even encourages them to go above and beyond for the people they serve.

Sadly, most employers believe that as long as they have this genuine desire and their employees share in it — they’re all set. But excellence doesn’t happen by accident.

The best companies in the world – the ones who get kudos for the customer experience every day like Disney, Southwest Airlines and Zappos, all invest heavily in training because they know that the true strength of their company’s brand rests on the shared values and common behaviors of their leadership and staff.

Zappos puts every newly hired employee through an intensive four-week training program that goes beyond orientation and also covers brand values, strategy and culture. One week in, Zappos makes what they call “The Offer,” a $1,000 bonus to any employee that will quit on the spot. The goal is to identify those who don’t embrace the brand and make sure they never get to talk to a customer.

Disney starts every new cast member, regardless of their job title, in a three-day class called Traditions. A housekeeper might be sitting next to a VP of operations or the next Cinderella. Together they learn all about the values, history and traditions of Disney. They are taught that every guest at the park is expecting something magical to happen, and it is their job, no matter what their actual job is, to make that happen.  After that training, and only after it has been completed, every cast member learns his or her actual job.

Disney cast members all learn and live by The Disney Cast Member Promise:

  • I project a positive image and energy
  • I am courteous and respectful to all Guests, including children
  • I stay in character and play the part
  • I go above and beyond

That promise and how the cast members honor it didn’t happen by accident. It was carefully crafted and even more carefully and consistently trained.

So how about you and your company? Do you invest in training your people? Do you have a way to discover and share your core values and how you want those values translated into behaviors?

You need to figure out what your core values are and how you’re going to teach/translate them to your team. And guess what – teaching them once isn’t enough. You need to weave those values into their daily experience as an employee so they’re surrounded and immersed in them.

Do you have a plan for getting that done?


Let your benefits tell your story

July 6, 2016

benefitsLet your benefits tell your story.  What does that mean?  Most prospects and customers have no idea what your company’s mission statement or tagline is but they definitely know how they felt when they did business with you.  Those experiences spark more word of mouth marketing than anything else.

The interactions your employees have with your customers – be it in-person, on the phone or online, are often the foundation for how your business is perceived. Which makes those exceptional employees one of your most effective and valuable marketing assets.  Assets you do not want to lose.

Couple that truth with what sources like Bloomberg, The Economist and US News and World Report are saying about the oncoming high skilled labor shortage.  As businesses struggle to find new employees, it’s only natural they’re going to start trying to poach yours.

A strong benefits package actually packs a double wallop. There’s no doubt it will help you retain your best employees and keep them on the front lines, delighting your customers, but what many business owners don’t really understand is how much your benefits package can also build your brand internally.  By carefully creating benefits that speak to your core beliefs and values, you can weave those elements deep into your organization’s culture.

Many companies struggle with how to infuse their brand into their employee base in a way that rings true and will reinforce those beliefs so they get translated accurately in all customer interactions.  When an organization walks its talk, the employees don’t just hear the brand values, they see them in action.

Does your current benefits package actually reflect your company’s values and brand promise?

One way to think about your benefits from a more holistic point of view is to look at them by category.

Benefits that make life easier and communicate family, trust and life/work balance: This would include perks like time off, child/elder care, flexible work hours, and space, concierge services, discounts on legal services, counseling, personal space at work (lactation room, exercise room, etc), summer hours and gift cards/certificates.

Benefits that focus on the employee’s health and the importance of living a balanced and long life: There’s lots of room to get creative here beyond health insurance.  Don’t forget about benefits like gym discounts, long-term care insurance, wellness programs, a health risk appraisal, disability insurance, and access to health care options like eye, dental and mental health care coverage.

Benefits that help them grow professionally and speak to thought leadership, expertise and the value of helping others: Many employees know that the best way for them to earn more money is to be more valuable to the organization. Look for opportunities to give them career visibility, frequent feedback from managers, relationship networks, learning opportunities, trade or professional memberships, coaching or mentoring, education reimbursements and perhaps the best professional perk of all – an engaging culture.

Benefits that make your place the bomb and communicates fun, passion, serving the community and play: Not all benefits need to be traditional or ongoing.  A day at the ballpark, an internal paper airplane competition, a potluck just because, bringing in a chair massage service or working together for a charitable cause all create a workplace that’s hard to duplicate.

Benefits that help an employee build their wealth and demonstrate your belief in being prepared, rewarding performance and legacies: Beyond paying a fair salary, there are plenty of things you can offer to help an employee stay in the green.  Think about offering tax preparation discounts, access to financial planning services, bonuses, or retirement savings accounts with employer matches.

Use your benefits package to not only keep your employees happy but to remind them every day what you and your company are all about.


Thanking your employees is smart business

February 22, 2016

Love advice is not good marketing adviceI’m all for appreciating our clients. At MMG, we created a special holiday with just that intention in mind called Who Loves Ya Baby Day. It’s not just about being grateful. It’s good business.

One of my business idols is Walt Disney. When someone is hired by the Disney organization, no matter what their role or title, they have to attend a class called Traditions. During the class, they learn all about the Disney way of doing things. They also learn a lot of history about the company and Walt’s beliefs.

One of the quotes attributed to Walt during that class is “Take care of the employees and the guests. The money will take care of itself.”

I think he hit it on the head. Yes, we should say thank you to our clients. But we shouldn’t forget our employees.  No one influences the success of your company more than they do. They’re on the front lines – taking care of our customers and making sure they come back for more.

Now is the perfect  time you to thank you employees, no matter when you read this. And I’m not talking the company ham.   This isn’t about a token. This is about acknowledging to them that you get it. You understand how vital they are to your business.   And if you’re smart – this is about recognizing the chain reaction of happy employees leading to happy customers and that leads to a better bottom line.

Make no mistake — the way you treat your employees is marketing. It will influence your future recruiting efforts. It will trickle down to how your customers are treated and it will ultimately shape your company’s culture.

So let’s assume you already do the typical company ham or a little extra cash in an envelope during the holidays. What else can you do to say thank you to your employees throughout the year?

Give them a voice: On every employment survey known to man, one of the resounding messages that comes back from employees is that they want to influence the way the company does business. Not only does it make them feel like part of the solution but in many cases, they know stuff that you don’t because of the unique relationship they have with your customer. Whether you form an employee advisory committee or you simply poll them at your next team meeting, start using their insights to both give them a sense of contribution but also to improve your business.

Don’t keep them in the dark: You know when most employees see one of their company’s ads or promotions? When a customer brings it to their attention or when they’re sitting at home, watching TV. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and annoying to your employees to be out of the loop. Before you start any new initiative – clue them in.

Build a reward system tied to company goals: Forget the ham and token cash. Why not reward your employees because together you have accomplished some of your goals, based on key performance indicators? Now they have a very personal reason for helping you move the company forward – they benefit.   The truth is, you’ll all benefit if everyone is motivated to pull in the same direction.

Your employees are your most expensive and most valuable asset. Be sure you take good care of them every day. The results will astound you.


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