Are HR Trends New or Simply "Redusted"?

By Jim Woods

Image courtesy of International Association of Business Communicators

Image courtesy of International Association of Business Communicators

Perhaps I am among contrarian thinkers who believe poor performers are a reflection of their management. An organization is certainly not a fit for all people. However, your selected employee successfully went through your hiring process. So what went wrong?

  1. Were their ideas addressed?
  2. When did their performance dwindle?

Gallup states that over 70% of managers are incompetent. Great article by Jim Clifton of Gallup. That being said what would better managers do for your hiring and retention, customer service, innovation and bottomline? Employee engagement is such an overused expression tantamount to diversity or women in business. The flavor of the month as if they were newly developing issues. My friend Paul Keijzer writes in a recent blog post of 4 Unavoidable HR Trends Shaping 2017. They are not new. Yet, Paul offers that reminder. If you treat employees as customers and not serfs your customer service will become legendary creating a formidable competitive advantage without reducing costs. Writes Paul:

Exploit Employee Potential A trend that’s still continuing in 2017 is the ability of your top talent to find opportunities elsewhere. It’s always been the case that your star performer will be the first to leave as the market will hunt them down and attract them. And their exit means all the time and money you’ve invested in training and developing them walks out the door. So who are you left with? Those employees who are average or poor performers since they aren’t highly in demand and know that you’re running out of options. These aren’t the talent who can help your business grow exponentially – not unless you invest in them! In 2017 organizations may have been able to reduce several HR costs, but their costs related to training and recruiting new talent has substantially increased.
To curb this expense, there’s been an increasing trend of training and developing current talent – even if they aren’t star performers. Rather than being held hostage by their inability to perform at high levels, organizations have been investing in their existing talent to make them more productive and effective. This of course helps them reduce the cost of recruiting and training new talent and allows them to exploit their current employees’ potential. In essence, 2017 has seen an increasing trend of getting rid of complacency. via

Over the years I strongly caution my friends despite their thing to the contrary that employees are as vital to customer service as the customer is. Moreover, as an oft quoted adage goes, Fish stinks first at the head." When performance dwindles look at management. Do they engage or use the stick in the carrot approach. I was never a man motivated to follow the line by coercion. 

  • Recognize employees have options. 
  • Have a brown bag lunch with them in small groups with some they can relate to. 
  • If employees don't trust you they won't remain.
  • Notice the hands with questions in your meetings. Are they the same? 
  • How do you handle those who will privately disagree with your opinions. 

You want those who will tell you to take a "flying leap." They are innovators not followers beholden only to a check. These people want to be partners.

What is an area of your business that is not the way you want it? See what we can do to help you now. Go> Jim

Jim Woods is a successful leadership trainer and speaker and executive coach. He speaks on employee engagement, leadership and change management, leading instead of managing and customer service. He is an author, a former fifth grade and university teacher with an impressive resume. He is beloved by audiences. To schedule a speaking engagement with Jim please schedule an engagement here. Go>. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook, and Linkedin.

10 Things Workers Need the Most to Succeed

In all likelihood according to a Gallup study more than 70% won't give a rat's hiney. In another study by Gallup it is clear the answers are the same if any of you ever worked for company that billowed "Our employees are our most important asset."

The Real Imperative for Customer Service

The secret to great customer service may sound trite but true. It is about the employee. Having worked in customer service for years I have seen managers deride customers to find common ground to the point that the employee and manager deplore customers who call in. Getting customer interactions correct so that the problem is resolved with “wow” is more critical than ever before. While social media has given customers an immediate voice with wide ranging repercussions, customer service “beyond good enough” should be employed for three reasons: 1. It is the right thing to do. 2. When are call about a customer service issue we personally deplore bad behavior, long hold times and insensitivity. 3. Competition is only a click away on the internet.

Most every company wants to raise the level of their customer service. Their urgency is the bottom-line. The moral imperative is how do we want to be treated when we call? How do companies consider improving their customer service? They rewrite the script and crate another dubious project from the standpoint of employees too timid to speak up. This is disengagement. Real action isn’t taken until customer service failures impact the bottom-line.

The simplest way is to empower employees and treat them with as much respect as you expect them to treat the customer. While you ponder that here are 20 dang good customer service quotes. If you would like to know how our unconventional ideas on customer service can increase your bottom line simply click here.

The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways. – Richard Branson
Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get. – Nelson Boswell
Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new…If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low. – Seth Godin
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better. – Jeff Bezos
Make the customer the hero of your story. – Ann Handley
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong. – Donald Porter
Always do more than is required of you. – George Patton
Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them. – Kevin Stirtz
The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service. – William H. Davidow
The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. – Sam Walton
People expect good service but few are willing to give it. – Robert Gately
It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back. – Seth Godin
A customer service apology is stronger with a personal touch. – Shep Hyken
When people call our call center, our reps don’t have scripts, and they don’t try to up-sell. They are just judged on whether they go above and beyond for the customer and really deliver a kind of personal service and emotional connection with our customers. – Tony Hsieh
Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most. – Tony Hsieh
A lot of people have fancy things to say about customer service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity. – Christopher McCormick
The only purpose of ‘customer service’… is to change feelings. – Seth Godin
Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price. – Lauren Freedman
In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from costly interactions with their customers, it’s time to consider an entirely different approach: building human-centric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It’s worth it. – Kristin Smaby