June 25, 2009

LOOK EVERYWHERE for “better boss” inspiration

You can learn how to be a better boss from all kinds of life experiences. You don’t just learn it on the job, managing staff. If you are a cyclist you are bound to see parallels and lessons you can use as a boss while on a weekend ride. If you do lots of baking perhaps you can find parallels in that which will make you a better boss. Listening to your kids and the questions they ask can sometimes bring huge ‘aha’ moments. If you keep your eyes open, you will find better boss inspiration everywhere….
* TV shows
* French fries and soap
* High school teachers
* Things your kids say
* Traffic courtesy or rudeness
* Ads on TV
* Weather

In what unlikely circumstance have you found better boss inspiration?

June 18, 2009

Is ‘shut door’ the new 'open door' policy?

Having a shut door policy means your staff have limited access to you. How could this be a good thing after all the talk of how ‘open door’ is the way to go? The answer is to make it work you have to give staff more authority. This means you can afford to have that door closed. Giving staff more authority can be hugely transformational and positive for a business. At the Ritz Carlton (one of the world’s most amazing hotel chains) each staff member has authority to spend $2000 without any form of manager approval to fix a problem for a customer. This policy has allowed the hotel chain to become world renowned as the place to stay – they have millions and millions of fans. In any other business such decisions would often have to go through many levels of managerial approval – taking longer and being a pain.

Some businesses fear giving staff too much (or any) authority. They don’t see just how much that fear is holding them back. An over the top approach of requiring manager’s approval can make exceptional customer service difficult, frustrate your staff and take up your time (the book “The one minute manager meets the monkey” is great for freeing up managers time).

*What fears are holding you back from giving staff more authority?
*How can you address these fears?
*In what areas could you let staff have more authority?
*What effect will that have on you, your team, customers and service?

June 11, 2009

What ‘x factor’ do you need in your staff

I read somewhere about the differences in nurses that had 'the x factor' and those that didn’t. It turned out the difference was a very simple one. X factor nurses had empathy. The study discovered that an ‘average nurse’ would say "this won't hurt a bit" when they gave an injection. An x factor nurse on the other hand, would say something like "this will hurt a little bit, but I'll be as gentle as I can". Patients reported feeling less pain while receiving the needle from the nurse that admitted it may hurt a bit and more pain from the one that said it wouldn’t hurt at all. So it seems empathy can make a nurse an ‘x factor’ one.

*What does ‘x factor’ look like in your industry or workplace?
*What qualities do you need your staff to have to achieve x factor?

Share your answers (and the nurse story) with your team and let them brainstorm their ideas on it. Come up with a list and examples of what x factor in your business and industry looks like and work out how you can all put it into practice.

June 4, 2009

Fabulous 'ground rules' for meetings

Further to the blog entry about effective meetings, check out what Kelly from http://www.humansatwork.com/ has added to that about 'ground rules' in meetings. It covers things like noise and privacy, communication, decision making and team work.

This blog entry really gives managers some great things to think about - especially if they've been overlooked in the past. Implimenting Kellys tips could totally overhaul your team and how they work together.

Read it here: http://www.humansatwork.com/more-on-ground-rules/