As the war for talent rages across the land with no end in sight and as competition in the market continues to bubble over at a fervent pace, many business leaders are finding that they must cast an ever widening net to succeed in securing the right people. Data from the updated Global Workforce Analytics study in June of 2017 on telecommuting found that people spend approximately 50-60% of their time away from their desks anyway and the many tasks are more conducive to solitude than collaboration. Read More…
By Ari Rabban
The biggest brands in the world become what they are with the help of one elusive ingredient: customer loyalty. In a world over-saturated with scattershot marketing messages, successful companies take the time to truly get to know their customers — their motivations, fears, ideas, and priorities — and tackle customer service with relentless dedication.
If you’re an entrepreneur, this is good news and bad news.
The bad news? You’re likely competing against established brands that have worked for years — or even decades — to build loyalty among customers.
The good news? You can make customer-service commitment part of your company’s mission early on and be hyper-focused on giving a smaller number of customers the best experiences possible.
If you commit to offering better customer service than your competitors, then your customers are far more likely to tolerate growing pains and stick with you as you scale. This is why developing a customer service culture should be a table stakes commitment for all startups.
Elon Musk acts like space is the next frontier, but business pioneers know true innovation is happening on terra firma. Instead of exploring the cosmos, business leaders are experimenting with office dynamics. The 21st-century workplace is characterized by perpetual changes and increasingly unconventional setups.
Our ancestors would have trouble recognizing our employee-centered office spaces and working arrangements. Telecommuting has become commonplace for many small and large organizations, and most companies have a global focus — internationally-based employees, vendors, and clients are par for the course. Thankfully, communication is instantaneous with technology such as email, real-time messaging, virtual meetings, and synchronous conference calls.
How accustomed are we to this brave new work world? When children photo-bombed their father’s international interview on the BBC, society laughed it off because of how commonplace that scenario has become. Workers adore this ever-changing environment, but it can be problematic for business leaders.
A single perfect brush stroke does not make a painting. Nor does a single note make a song. Every work of art is a result of many individual pieces all working together in harmony to make the whole. Artists spend their entire lives learning how to improve these individual elements and learning how they fit together to create the final composition.
We don’t often think about this kind of dedication in business. No one spends their entire life devoted to the mastery of middle management. Yet, to excel as a manager, you will need to spend a considerable amount of time learning about the individual people that make up your team.
When I worked in the outdoor industry, I saw a lot of leaders forced out of their comfort zones. To survive in the backcountry, they had to use their physical and mental strength, keep an open mind, and rely on those around them for support.
Some fared better than others, and I found people’s individual identities and corporate positions didn’t determine their levels of success. Anyone could grow as a person and leader during a backcountry excursion, but only if he or she was willing to embrace the discomfort that accompanied the transformation — and you can do the same.
As any business expands — either domestically or internationally — it can be a challenge to maintain a consistent company culture. Communication might suddenly need to bridge time zones, and messages will need to stay consistent despite language or cultural barriers. An expansion can affect organizational design and the centralization of resources, potentially making employees feel detached.
What does the name Thomas Wilson mean to you?
Probably not much. But over a decade ago, this young man created a groundswell of change in a massive Federal organization that altered thousands of lives for the better; including mine.
How did he do it? And what can we learn from his story about creating large-scale change from the bottom up?
If you’ve been in the workforce for at least three years, you have likely had at least one annual performance review (unless of course, you work for a firm that has abandoned the practice). As I began to draft this article, I was curious about what my colleagues had experienced in their annual reviews. Their stories are below:
Newsflash: People aren’t possessions. So why do we insist on treating workers like commodities?
Once upon a time, employees and companies enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. Workers stayed with one company for their entire careers, taking pride in their output and putting their noses to the grindstone for the sake of the organization. In return, companies offered pension plans, training, development opportunities, and reasonable work hours.
While those days might seem like distant memories, the churn-and-burn mentality of the modern workplace isn’t sustainable.