Tag Archive: employees


Sitting here at home thinking about life, pondering about the next move and the opportunities that will come. However, something happened today and it made me really think about the word ‘reputation.’ In college, students can fool around and get away with it. By that I mean, if you fool around ‘well’, you can still have a great job and command a good salary too. I remember years ago when sex tapes were becoming a trend. A tape was released through hackers with a college couple. Of course, no one cared about the male who was also visibly on camera but more emphasis was placed on the girl. With all the reasons for that, it must be a horrible feeling for your most intimate moment to be seen by hundreds of people and the internet!

MagnifyGlassIn the professional world, you are recognized and are judged by your latest project. People tend to forget what you did years ago but the blunder you created minutes ago will remain fresh in their minds.  Being on the job keeps you on your feet. More than ever, job security is on everyone’s mind; forcing people to be productive and efficient. Having people’s trust is critical because they depend on you not only to perform but to surpass expectations. The mere fact you got the project to work on wasn’t a trial and error judgement, more so, it was a deliberated process (most times) based on your skills and competencies. When someone who entrusted you with a duty and in the middle of it withdraws that responsibility to give someone else, it shows you’re incapable of delivering on what is expected. It is alarming because those who you expected to look up to you and who you wanted to impress will now have second thoughts. Because they had high expectations of you and they are now saying and thinking you are not the ‘big fry’ you claim to be.

Sitting here at home, after a lovely Jamaica meal I think about those who are being referred to others because of their tremendous quality and delivery at what they do. Recently one of my acquaintances was referred to a new project. Although there are options in taking a decision, there are ramifications if you turn down someone’s recommendation, especially if it comes from an esteemed, prominent person.

All we have in our professional life is our ‘reputation’. Without it, it may cost you the next job opportunity. I will encourage employees to start creating a reputation that has hard work and Excellency as its foundation in the workplace. The only thing we can build and hold on to is our own reputation. The next time you get that job/responsibility from your boss, suck it up and complete it with pride and hard work; See the forest not the trees.

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Customer Service at its Best!

customer_serviceBusinesses often say customers are the most important aspect of their work. If this is so why is it that some firms do not place much emphasis on Customer Service? Customer service is a key factor in any organization’s operations. The lack of it will make the company go under and if the company appreciates the value of customer service it clearly distinguishes that particular company from the others within the industry. I believe in a few years more companies will understand how critical this aspect of a company is. As customer service moves to the forefront of every organization, companies are going to employ stringent guidelines in hiring employees as the friendliest and most courteous workers will be hired. How are you able to communicate the company’s values to the customer with a smile in the fastest time?

Most fast food outlets attempt to operate efficiently. The operation is all about time. Preparing that meal to the customer at the fastest time; after all it’s fast food. I happen to have been at a particular outlet of KFC in Portland, Jamaica and was stunned and shocked at the level of customer service that this branch has. Most fast food outlets have average customer service but this outlet in particular was just outstanding. Lining the walls of the branch were the various awards and plaques the outlet has received over the period of its existence. I cannot believe the service I was receiving. In a country where most people accept mediocrity and any standard of service it is amazing that this company stands out among the others in setting the right standard of service quality for the others to see. At this particular branch the employees smiled with you each time they communicated, they had a fast serving time and the food was very good. This was genuine among the employees; nothing about the service was fake. I am very meticulous when I walk into any service organization. I observe the employees and just analyze how things are going. It’s just a habit. The employees were laughing and smiling with each other. This shows the kind of atmosphere and work environment that the management has cultivated which makes the service offering to the customer even more appealing.

You know, you might be thinking Oh they were nice to me because they were having a good day or the employee was trying to flirt, or because I was a good customer. I told someone else who would be going to that same branch about the quality of service and low and behold the service was the same. This simply means this is a norm for this branch of KFC and it is most heart warming to be served in such a great way. What is amazing about great customer service is that the customer’s perception of the product or service increases. So even the meal tasted better, and you would like to purchase a meal from this branch all the time simply because of the service they provided. In the end the customer is king and firms should act likewise.

I am sure you have encountered great customer service and some horrible ones. It is true we expect so little of service providers that when they give us mediocre service quality or poor product delivery we say nothing. I am amazed that when we receive great customer service we are so shocked like it was a gift. Companies should begin to understand that customer service alone can make their business succeed even or out of a recession. It should be the norm when companies offer great customer service. We shouldn’t be talking about it, it should come and go. But customer service is never like that; some leaves a bad taste in your mouth, allowing you to think how come people got employed in the first place. As the world opens up and the internet begins to be the place where employees vent, companies will understand how important it is to deliver on customer service to all customers. More websites are being launched where customers can comment on the service quality delivered and websites that will allow customers to rate the business. If companies think customers are entitled to shop or purchase their product or service think again! There are tens and hundreds of other firms just like yours who will offer the same product on a better customer service level. Companies are going to lose out if they continue to allow front line employees to offer insipid customer service. Service comes with a smile and a courteous attitude.

The next time you are offered great customer service spread the word and when you were not served with gratitude spread that bad news and allow the company to suffer. The more we support companies who show no respect and little and low customer service quality the more we are rewarding their bad business. Let us congratulate those who show great service quality and spread the word about companies who offer service beyond the call of duty. Companies like Ritz Carlton and the thousands of others that can be added to this list must be congratulated and rewarded with more business for showing the customer is still king!

The Work Environment

Fantasy:

Closeup portrait of happy business group

I want to work in an organization where everyone is one big happy family.

Is that too much to ask for?

Many people will end up working in organizations all functioning in different roles to improve the company’s bottom line – profit or to achieve an objective. Having employee synergy in businesses and teams are critical to the success of the business and the team. But what happens when a team member’s focus is clearly not on the final result, what do you do?

Students

Students

University students will tell many experiences where they had team members who did not participate on projects. Most times committed team members are burdened with the task of doubling up on duties to ensure the job is completed. It is horrible to think that these same individuals will be joining huge organizations. Only if management knew the background of the persons they were hiring. It is important to note that these are the same individuals who have all the links and networks to land them good jobs after graduation.

Most times in school I do not know how but I ended up being the project leader on many projects. I am not a confrontational person, so it is interesting to note that a person like this would lead groups with these issues. There is something very critical in team leadership and that is communication. How you say things out loud, your non-verbal actions are critical in communication. Communicating to delinquent team members that their participation on team projects are critical can be traumatic but doing so must be done carefully to ensure that the team member although being reprimanded still feels important and apart of the team.

Present Project

SuperStock_1487R-54847I happen to be working on a project with a team and it has shown me that communicating can be the biggest challenge for most people. When team members make disparaging comments on the workplace and you know they are making references to you, do you comment automatically?  I wouldn’t and I will tell you why. I do not believe in damaging the work environment. Responding to an employee’s insensitive and stupid comment will only lower you to their standard. I would advise to walk the high road and just ignore and avoid having any confrontation with employees/team members whose aim is bent on making other team members upset. It is a pity they live a sad life and I would not advise anyone to respond to employees who exert behaviours like this. Live your life happy and I’m sure they will fade away when they become obsolete.

Each employee/team member has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the workplace environment is healthy and productive. Anytime the work environment is degraded and becomes unhealthy and unproductive then more conflicts will arise. Management primarily must ensure that employees who are set in their ways to disrupt the work environment must be managed and supervised to ensure that unnecessary attention are not focused on these culprits.

After leaving university graduates are normally on edge waiting for that faithful call to invite them to an interview. I was interviewed for a job recently and it went well. I was further invited for a second interview, which I was thrilled about.

But, there are certain tips that any interviewee can use to help them ace their interviews. Below I will mention some tips that individuals may use to be successful.

job-interview

Research

Companies want to know that you know the relevant information about the company. This shows your interest and also proves the fact that you did prior preparations. In the interview I was not asked about specific details as to what areas the company operated in but with my answers to different questions I highlighted the different areas the company focused on and this will prove you clearly know the company’s operations.

Be Relaxed

Being nervous in an interview is most times inevitable. However, practice mock interviews with friends or in mirror to get you acquainted with responding to the interview questions. We are in 2009 and information is at your fingertips. Check videos on tips on answering interview questions at www.youtube.com and www.google.com. It is important to add your own dynamic to the answers to make them your own but it helps for interviewees to have an idea of how to respond to a question. Ensure you communicate well, this will show you are able to bring across your points clearly.

For example: When the interviewer says ‘tell me about yourself’, it is not the time to mention what are your likes and dislikes.

Be inspiring

Job interviews can be dreadful so ensure the panel is interested in you. You can achieve this by being charismatic, cheerful, emotive and inspiring. Therefore, show interest in the position and show them that ‘wow-factor’. If you studied Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, Insurance this should not be difficult.

Punctuality

There is no given rule on how many minutes you should arrive before an interview. I would advise applicants to arrive at the establishment at least 20 minutes before your interview is slated to begin. Punctuality shows your employer great business skill and your respect for time.

Dress Code

Depending on the job you are applying for will determine in some way how formal you will be dressed. For middle to upper management a suit in my view is a must. For entry level employment your attire (shirt, tie, pants – for men) will be accepted. Dressing professionally for any interview is critical, first impressions typically last and you will want to introduce your best image to the panel.

Non Verbal Communication

When at the business location please note that you are judged the moment you step in. Please show respect to the receptionist, and any other employee you encounter. When I arrived at the business place I greeted the receptionist even other interviewees in the lobby area. You never know who is sitting where and who is watching. More than ever companies are equipped with CCTV cameras so be very careful. In the interview remain focused, keep eye-contact and have an interest in what you are doing.

An interview is the closest you will ever get to the actual job. You will have one moment to show the panel interviewing you that employing you will make their company so much better affecting its bottom line – profits. I hope the tips offered above will make you more prepared. I followed those tips and I was granted a second interview.

Now it is on to the second!

Corve DaCosta