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Who would have thought it would take a worldwide pandemic to jolt us into analyzing our business organizations' hierarchy and their attitudes regarding their workforce. So here's the question that sparked the examination, "How the hell are we going to get people back to work?"
My dear C-Suite, this not 2008! You cannot stick your head in the sand and wait for everything to settle down. Jump for joy here because the reality is, things may never settle down.
Studies and surveys are popping up all over, and the conclusions are all the same: Employees are pooped, exhausted, and dismayed. Yet, in between the moments of feeding Jason his breakfast, teaching Sophia the names of clouds, while trying to keep all this out of the view of their computer camera, your workforce was thinking.
They asked themselves the hard questions that we all eventually come to when the suffering is too great:
A couple of stats:
My message to the esteemed group at the top:
You've been given one of the greatest gifts one can have in a lifetime; the power to truly affect another person's growth, esteem, and talent. You can inspire boundless creativity. You can be surprised out of your wit by the exhilaration of collaborating with people – people who laid their future in your hands. Step into the shoes you've been given and be the leader others want to follow.
For over a decade, I've been going into organizations working with teams and their bosses and supervisors. It doesn't take much for an employee to feel appreciated, heard, and vested. And it can't be a token or a crumb – not acceptable anymore.
The irony of it all is that when you take the time to nourish your workers and focus on Employee Experience (EX), the productivity you're presently commanding will exceed the quality you wanted. Then watch what happens to the Customer Experience (CX) – out of the park! It's that simple.
So, stop thinking about your next flight to the moon and start treating people the way they want and deserve to be treated. "Yes, and…" new ideas, be vulnerable – you do not have all the answers, LISTEN, engage, make a playground for bold new solutions by allowing for creativity without judgment.
And don't order that ping pong table just yet. Instead, smile, walk out of your office, and start being curious. The rewards are boundless.
Listen to the full interview below!
Learn more about Kamala Murphey at kamalamurphey.com/
Listen to the entire interview below!
Learn more about Frank Wilson and Licensed to Coach at www.spreaker.com/show/licence-to-coach
It appears the hospitality industry has a challenging time finding new hires for their establishments. Presently, they are not alone. But in restaurants and lodging, something is even more apparent.
Besides the nonexistence of any work/life balance (long hours, 6-day workweeks), ex-hospitality employees want to be treated better. As reported on NPR’s Marketplace, according to Jennifer Tierney of Tierney Recruiting Services, the persons in charge “… comes in and screams and yells at people, and people are just sick of it.”
Some owners and supervisors feel they have to be demanding, impatient, and rude to get what they want. This mentality may be left-over from the Great Depression, you-should-be-lucky-you-have-a-job attitude.
So, what is it that management wants? They want the appearance of a smooth-running operation that puts customers and guests first. But come on, your guests can see right through that smoke ‘n mirrors. No unhappy employee has the capacity or the desire to deliver an authentic, incredible Customer Experience. (CX).
Sometimes, the facilitator/trainer (me) gets the call to come in and fix them — please, teach the staff how to deliver an outstanding CX. Sure. My number one requirement; that the owner/manager be part of the workshop and that the owner/manager comes open to hear and learn something new. It’s simple. If they say no, I don’t go. It’s too frustrating for the staff.
Here’s the exciting part; when the boss participates, all kinds of magic happen. Attitudes change. When staff interacts with the “boss” and laughs and truths are shared, everyone gets to see each other in a new light. Glimpses of hope appear in this trusting environment, especially as barriers come down and humanness and vulnerability are exposed. The culture transforms, employees are glad to be at work, pass it down to the guest/customer, and an Audacious Outrageous CX becomes organic and, soon, Legendary.
Will this happen overnight? Usually not. Will it happen when respectful and generous communications are practiced consistently on both sides? Absolutely! Are you going to be perfect? No. Perfect is tedious and impossible. Are efforts being made to deepen collaborations and communications? That’s all anybody wants.
Now is an ideal time, as all our businesses begin roaring full speed ahead, for changing habits and ways of thinking that no longer serve you, your staff, or your customers/guests.
One last word to management, owners, supervisors — very simply, if you don’t find it fun coaching and inspiring other people, get out of that position — now. Or get a middle person who knows what a gift and honor it is to guide and lead other people to be their best.
Next week — When we consider employees as our internal guests/customers and make Employee Experience (EX) a top priority, everyone wins.
No matter how eloquent the words, we cannot transmit the joy, excitement, or change in perspective when we experience pure spontaneity. It awakens the creativity in us we didn’t think we had. It demonstrates fearlessness. There is no need for applause as self-satisfaction is far greater than the world’s admiration. What stops us from letting it rip – to feel the freedom of spontaneity?
1. Fear of looking foolish
Some of you are thinking, “Easy for you to say. I’m not going to risk looking like a fool. My team, family, friends, teachers have shut me down too many times. Not worth the risk. Someday though…”
How about someday being now? Heck, we’re in the middle, end, who knows, of a pandemic that has jolted our need for everything to go as planned – a delusion even before March 2019. Now’s the time to let it rip!
We all know what it feels like when we’ve had that missed opportunity to self-express. “I should have said…” or “I wish I had asked…” “Maria’s idea is good, and I could have added on to it.” I don’t know about you, but when I have the opportunity to express myself, and I don’t take, it’s me judging me – a worse consequence than fearing whatever you may be thinking.
Besides the fear of being blocked by someone or a group, we overthink things. This habitual over-analysis grows stronger until there’s no way we’re opening our mouths. We second guess ourselves at every turn. I have a great second-guesser. Life is clipping along, and by the time we are ready to share, the opportunity is gone. No, really!
Perfectionism has become a most acceptable character defect. Society thinks it’s cute. Some of us wear it like a badge of honor. We hold back our enthusiasm because it may not sound perfectly thought out and then perfectly expressed.
Then comes the day we recognize our isolation, lack of creativity, and rut we’re in is more damaging than people being witness to our mistakes. We cleverly and rightly so identify our need to be perfect as an addiction. Hence, those that have found liberation from it call themselves recovered perfectionists.
(In full disclosure, I spent three hours searching for the "right" pics)
Where we jump in with a big smile on our face and surprise ourselves with originality. Jumping in may look like speaking up at a meeting and pretending not to care what others think. (Besides, other people’s thoughts are not our business.) Throw that idea out on the table and be ok without knowing why you think it would work. Dance your goofy dance, sing that song, tell the person you love that love them, sit back and feel the freedom gained.
Are you open today to be so perfectly present that you forgo approval (or disapproval) to let your wisdom, ideas, and creativity – rip? Don’t think. Just answer.
1. Play 2. Play 3. Play As I began researching this article, I started asking Google, what are the scientific benefits of laughter? Even though we all know how we feel when we laugh, I wanted the facts.
The facts for all those naysayers who say they like to laugh but who don't believe it belongs in the workplace, which currently, for many of us, is in our kitchen, dining room, or stairwell.
We all know how we feel when we laugh when those magical hormones, endorphins go up and that stress, that we didn't even know we had, is gone, and the TV blaring in the other room? who cares!
There are nine million results on google, for the “scientific benefit of laughter.” Mayoclinic is the first to write about it. “Stress Relief from laughter – it’s no joke.” How cute is that?!
But, I got more curious. You see, I’m not a big fan of one person who’s “just great at telling jokes.” A lot of times, I am that person. And I am pretty good at it. Still, not satisfying.
So, where else can we find healthy laughter at work? Through play. I looked up the scientific benefits of play.
What??? Not just 9 or 10 million like laughter. How about 125 million results on the scientific benefits of ADULT play!!!
I even qualified it – no kids play here!
Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College, shares a few of his findings. Play:
What’s most important to note, is that we’re not just talking about sports games. In fact, for my purposes, we’re going to set that aside. What about the rest of us who just can’t catch the soft ball anymore, or ever could?
There is play you can do right now, in Zoom or Teams, whatever the virtual platform. Now, tell me, which of the handful of benefits above do you feel would NOT be a game changer for your organization – in the middle of a pandemic?
Here’s a quick activity you can start with today. SUPERHERO/SUPERPOWER Activity
In this most precarious time, emotions are running the gamut, as we navigate our way back to our offices – or not. Just as we thought we mastered the virtual meeting, new questions and unspoken concerns are simmering directly below our cordial conversations.
What is happening outside our office is acutely being felt by each employee inside. There is no leaving fear and confusion at the door. In most cases, there is no door.
Employees are craving a way back to connection and civility, while desperately needing and wanting the courage, confidence, and most importantly, agility to embrace this uncertainty and unrest – thriving would be the bonus. They are also looking to leadership to forge the way.
Gallup gets it right!
In the July 2nd Gallup.com article, As COVID-19 Continues, Employees Are Feeling Less Prepared, they describe how leaders made a good effort in the first 10 weeks to assure that their employees were safe, informed, and engaged.
And then, leaders, wanting and needing for it to be over (like the trend in the country), stopped on a dime and disconnected from their managers and employees.
So, how to get communications back on track?
Here’s Gallup’s three suggested actions:
Let’s all agree that #1 is stating the obvious. If you assumed that your managers are "taking care" of the employees, I ask you, then who's supporting the managers?
How much energy you put into #2 and #3, directly correlates to the employee experience and engagement which more precisely will be reflected in revenues.
In my working with teams, this is what’s being asked and said: “Are we coming back into the office, or aren’t we? When? Why not now? I want to stay at home. Will I be required to wear a mask? What if people aren’t required to wear a mask?" You can understand why dialogues
These questions and statements are just the tip of the iceberg. Beside a paragraph press release, many leaders haven’t gone any further in addressing Black Lives Matter and your organization. Don’t be scared to show your vulnerability – that trait is right up there in the list of what makes a great leader/manager.
Most importantly, these don’t have to be in-your-face-combative discussions. At Collaborcate!™ we get there through the application of improvisation, to focus on teams, agility, acceptance, and empathy, to name just a few.
So, if you don’t call us, please call someone – the healthy and prosperous status of your employees, teams, and organization depend on it!
Long before airlines were charging for the oxygen on their plane, Southwest Airlines, no Herb Kelleher had an idea – let’s make flying affordable, and while we’re at it fun and friendly. And let’s not make the latter two, an edict. Let’s just treat our employees really well – in fact let’s focus more on our employees than we do our customers – then the employees, naturally in turn, will give everyone awesome service and an awesome experience, and the customers will return, etc. etc.
(Later SWA transformed Chicago’s Midway Airport from a ghost town to their largest hub operating 34 of the 43 gates, with 234 daily departures.)
This whole lower fare thing was something the competition was not going to take sitting down. He was going up against some big guns, particularly in Dallas, American Airlines. (As I’m writing this commentary, I happen to be on an American Airlines’ flight. And, so as not to put any voodoo on this plane, I’ll confine my comments to the brilliance, moxy and love of Mr. Kelleher and do my best not to compare.)
It was not an easy beginning for them. There were all kinds of legal battles around airports and borders and still they thought themselves equipped to stay the course, going all the way to the US Supreme Court and Texas Supreme Court. They won and after this four-year fight, the first Southwest Airline flight was taking off.
Or, I could just throw around two financial stats that no other carrier can claim: 1. SWA has made a
profit for 46 consecutive years (since inception) and NO employee has ever been furloughed – even
through the Great Depression – not a one.
What I will tell you, is Herb’s Employee First Culture, was sincere and deliberate. This was one time, the trickle-down theory worked. He knew that flying was serious business and safety is ALWAYS first, still he encouraged his staff to keep it light and not take themselves so seriously. That was also his mode of operation. Think back to the first time you were on a Southwest flight and the attendants cracked a joke on the loud speaker. Or when you called Southwest and you knew the person on the other end really liked what they were doing. There wasn’t a stressed-out or impatient syllable muttered – they were down to earth and authentically friendly and helpful.
Being on the Board of the Press Club of Dallas, I had many opportunities to hear Herb speak, to watch his playfulness spill over into any event he was at, and to repeatedly quote his wisdom and wit as a financial commentator for NPR’s “Marketplace.” His joie de vivre was contagious,
and most of all he LUVED his employees.
Kelleher knew that without dedicated employees, he was just another CEO with a large company. And every other CEO knew he was special as he was constantly bestowed the coveted title of The Most Admired CEO. He sincerely loved his employees, and they loved him. So did I.