Excuse me your customer service bites!

First, I want to thank the companies that I work with daily that excel in customer service but as we all know not every company is skilled at providing good customer service. I severed ties this week with a company because they failed time and again to offer the service I needed from them. With this said, an account representative can make or break the account.

So, here are my pointers for offering better customer service:

Don’t accuse the customer of sharing their login information with other co-workers because your company has made a mistake.

Resolve the problem quickly regardless of if you think you are at fault.

If I send you an email and ask for you to quit sending me emails, please follow instructions.

If I ask you to cease calling the office, please follow instructions.

No means no!

Cookies at Christmas time doesn’t make up for a year of poor customer service and immaturity.

If your product isn’t delivering results be reluctant to try to up sale to me. I need to see results first.

Name dropping doesn’t impress me, it just means you have tried to sell to them.

Take pride in every job you do and it will speak for itself.

Karma is a real thing, it is just called different things by different people.

 

And remember, I am the customer and you have a job to do. It isn’t hard to do your best the first time, this shouldn’t happen because you failed so miserably already.

 

Dictate your own Reality!

One person’s negative opinion of me does not have to become my reality!

My Mother was teenager when I was born and I felt ashamed of this for years not because of her age but because of the comments and prejudices placed on me. As a young child I was made fun of by the mean girls at school for being poor. I was labeled a “blue apartment kid,” a nerd, tomboy and weird. I grew up living in income based apartments and was super shy. The teasing and name calling did not help me come out of my shell and if someone stared at me too long I would cry.

I started working when I was 10 years old, babysitting and cleaning houses. Once I was old enough to get a work permit I started working and earning my own way. I never felt sorry for myself instead I knew if I wanted to succeed in life I would have to do it myself which made it hard for me to love wholeheartedly thinking I could never rely on anyone for anything.

I wasn’t encouraged to go to college but did attend a trade school after high school. I decided to go back to college as an adult to get my BSM with HR specialization. (That is one reason of the many reasons I chose the field of human resources because I want to help and serve those I encounter every day.) Unfortunately, many of the children I grew up with made poor choices and didn’t escape the opinions of others, other people’s opinions became their reality.

Well, this tomboy, geek, weird blue apartment kid is now content with all the things that make me, me and I am no longer a believer of the opinions that belong to the haters and doubters! I feel sorry for them at times wondering why they had to tear others down to feel good about themselves.

I had a lot of obstacles to overcome but, obviously, I finally came out of my shell. I encourage you not to let others dictate your reality! When you fall you need to dust yourself off and get up again. Don’t quit, your victory could be around the next corner. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

 

We need leaders not managers!

I recently saw a plaque that read, “I am not impressed by your job title but instead by how you treat others.” This is so true! I have been overlooked and dismissed by others when I did not have the title manager following my name. I was raised to treat the janitor the same as anyone else, heck I have been the janitor before and loved the job. I take pride in my work and that is what it is all about not about the job title.

In the past, I have had some lousy managers. They were arrogant, closeminded and immature. Sometimes I think receiving a title is one of the worst things that could happen to someone. You lose sight of what is important and how to treat others with dignity and respect. I once had a manager who would throw applications at me and demean people loudly so everyone else could overhear. The manager who berates his/her employees on speaker phone needs a reality check. This behavior will soon haunt you when you are jobless and reaching out to “little me” for help in securing a new position. I have found myself in this situation many times and I hope I was much more graceful in declining to help than my former manager was in managing me.

Taking all this into consideration, I decided a long time ago that if I was ever given the opportunity to make a difference as a manager that I would try my hardest to make a difference in the lives that I influence and the employees I manage. We spend most of our lives at work and should try to be a blessing to those around us and not a hindrance.

I hope by reading this someone is encouraged to make a positive difference in the workplace and the world around you. We need leaders not managers!

 

Can our thought patterns change our physical condition?

The essence of the mind and its connection to the body have been seen larger of a mystery as science has developed in its comprehension of the brain and body. Recommended clarifications frequently have implications about the nature of mind as a whole. “René Descartes suggested substance dualism, a hypothesis in which mind and body are fundamentally different, with the mind holding part of the attributes traditionally accredited to the soul.” (Fullbrook, 2004). This produces a mystery, to what degree the two interact. Evidence of a solid correlation between mind and body has caused this sort of dualism to be shunned. Nevertheless, there is testimony to prove that mind over matter is more than an illusion or idea, it is a reality.

“It doesn’t matter, according to Larry Dossey, M.D. in Healing Words, whether you remember to do it at the appropriate time or do it early or later. The action of mentally projected thought or prayer is “non-local,” i.e. not dependent on distance or time, citing some 30+ experiments on human and non-human targets (including yeast and even atoms), in which recorded results showed changes from average or random to beyond-average or patterned even when the designated thought group acted after the experiment was over.”

We often think of our bodies and minds as two separate entities, it turns out both are much more entwined than we might imagine. Researchers are constantly uncovering data that the brain has a different ability to manipulate the body’s physiology. The connection can work in our favor or detriment, depending on our knowledge of the situation and our ability to prove the point that the mind has a great connection on the body. A Harvard professor conducted an experiment on a group of overweight hotel maids whom should have been thinner due to their exercise levels. Despite their work activities and daily working habits, Langer found through a survey that 67% of the girls thought they didn’t do any exercise. Langer predicted the maids’ thoughts were hindering their own weight issues, so she took half the group aside and explained that through their daily duties they were exceeding the definition of an active lifestyle; the other half of the group were given no additional data. “A month later, Langer’s team returned to the hotel and reevaluated the maids. They found an overall decrease in systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio in the educated group. The other group had no significant physical changes. While some suspect the mere discussion of exercise somehow altered the women’s behavior, Langer said there was no indication any of the maids modified their routines, and she feels the results were due directly to a change in mindset.” (Spiegel, 2008).

Stanford conducted a study of 86 women with late-stage breast cancer. Half of those women received usual medical care while the others were given weekly maintenance meetings in addition to the standard medical care. During the break-out sessions the group shared their obstacles, discussed feelings with one another, and had a positive outlet where they could discuss their issues. At the end of the clinic, the support group lived longer than those, not in the group. A similar case found that others who have feelings of weakness and hopelessness have a lower probability of survival. (Harrington, 2009).

An Air Force serviceman was locked up in a tiny, dingy North Vietnamese jail for seven years. While nearly all would fail to keep their minds in such situations, Hall went to his happy place, by mentally playing golf every day of his captivity. His visualizations were notably in-depth and encompassed everything from hitting the ball off the tee, sweeping the sand traps, feeling the breeze, and of course tapping the ball into the hole. After his release, he was asked to play golf at a US Open and he shot a 76. He had envisioned himself playing golf daily and it came naturally to him. The press asked him if it was beginners luck due to the shock of his abilities; this goes to prove that you have to have a dream in your heart and see it in your mind to make your dream a reality.

In one case, written by the American Psychiatric Press, a scientist noted how drugs prescribed to a dissociative identity disorder patient had various results depending on whichever “personality” took the medication. For instance, if a tranquilizer was presented to the man’s childish persona, it made the individual drowsy and at ease. Yet, when the adult character was administered the same medicine it made him anxious and frustrated. Comparable outcomes were obtained with other subjects and a variety of different prescriptions. Experts even discerned visibly apparent traits would come and go depending on which character was present. (Bennight, 2012).

Unquestionably it is difficult to keep a good outlook when you’re facing a life-threatening condition, but, based on medical research, doing so may determine the difference between life or death. Prayers of thanksgiving make us focus on the good in our lives and not the bad. A heart of gratitude will serve us well. Mind over matter does work and a positive attitude with faith can move mountains.

References

Bennight, A. (2012). Diseases of the Mind.

Dossey, L. (1993). Healing Words.

Fullbrook, E. (2004). Elgar Companion to Economics and Philosophy.

Harrington, A. (2009). The Cure Within: A history of mind-body medicine. Health &  Fitness

Spiegel, A. (2008, January 3). Hotel Maids Challenge The Placebo Effect.

Say What?

Comments used in an interview that you should probably not say ever again:

I have to get a job because my girlfriend is pregnant.

I’ve only gotten in a fight at work once but my supervisor deserved it!

How many hours a day do I need to work to get some time off?

Do you have petty cash onsite?

I have 5 felonies but not for anything serious.

My ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend works here but there won’t be any trouble. Me thinking: So, why are you mentioning this to me?

My Mom told me I had to get a job.

I need to pay child support, I have 8 kids, I need a job. Me: “Sounds like you have been busy.” “So, why have you had so many gaps in employment?” My exes are always wanting money.

I called in December, you told me to check back in January… (it is almost April)

“I really need to pee; are you going to do the drug test soon?” Is it horrible to make them complete a pile of new hire paperwork first?

Don’t start the interview with, “Is your receptionist single?” or “How did YOU land this job?”

 

Best Fit vs. Best Practice

The relationship between human resource management and performance can be connected to best practice or best fit. Best fit argues that human resource policies should align with business strategy. “Designing and implementing an appropriate reward system that complement human resource strategies and fits business competitive strategies is currently an important issue” (Hsieh, 2011). Best practice or high-performance work practices are described as human resource methods and systems that have an addictive or positive effect on organizational performance. I think both strategies work well at different times, depending on company culture, and both should be used to create a sensible strategy; we must align the human resource strategy with the business strategy.

Characteristics of best practice are employee development, career progression, a well-structured recruitment process and teamwork. Employee training and development creates a path for employee improvement; investing in human capital is a gain for the company. “HR occupies a key role in helping organizations in tapping human capital, align it with business strategy and turn it into a competitive advantage” (Kumar, 2016). Performance appraisals can be used as motivational tools an excellent way to increase communication across the organization; being evaluated does not necessarily constitute a pay increase. However, I agree with the best-fit approach that firm’s pay levels must be competitive. “A market reward alternative that pays these individuals at or above the market rate can prove to be a wise investment, especially if their replacement would be particularly expensive or disruptive. This approach ensures that the firm’s pay levels are at least competitive with the labor market” (Hsieh, 2011).

Best practice leads to high motivation and better employee commitment; the best fit strategy results in achieving competitive advantage. “To effectively manage human resources, firms should nurture the type of employee behavior that is essential to the success of their competitive strategy” (Hsieh, 2011). Best fit advocates the firm’s reward system should be aligned to organization strategy; best practice is a group of human resource policies which include a reward system. “Modern organizations must align their reward systems practices with their organizational strategy to achieve higher levels of performance at both the individual and organizational level” (Hsieh, 2011).

References

Hsieh, Y. H., & Chen, H. M. (2011, June). Strategic fit among business competitive strategy, human resource strategy, and reward system. Academy of Strategic Management 10(2), 11-32.

Kumar, M. (2016). HR Analytics: Not Merely Intuitive?. Human Capital, 19(11), 44-50.

Do not have your Mother call!

Let’s talk about the “entitled” job applicant for a minute. I guess I’m supposed to be blown away that you held a job for three months and are the best thing since sliced bread.

Here are a couple of pointers:

Do not have your Mother call to check on your application.

A girlfriend that calls to speak on your behalf and says she is your wife is enabling you.

If you do not have at least one person that will give you a good reference, good bye!

Getting to work every day is a priority so be prepared to walk if need be.

Do not show up with another applicant and expect me stop everything I am doing to interview you without an appointment.

If you have worked here before, make sure you are using the same social security number you used the first time I hired you. 😊

Lighting up a cigarette during the interview is never ok! This isn’t the 1960’s.

Quit blaming everyone else for your problems; you are the only one that can change things.

Tell the truth and explain yourself; just because you were fired from one job doesn’t mean you can’t find employment again.

And finally, just a helpful hint, insanity is doing the same thing time and time again expecting a different result!

I don’t mind talking with applicants who sell themselves well but please be able to back it up. There is nothing wrong with being confident in your abilities but no one likes to be lied to. I leave you with this little story of a former friend that lied about everything.

Imagine this: My friend was sitting at the dinner table, dinner has ended and she pulls her lip gloss out of her purse. She looks at me and says, “do you like my new lip gloss?” “I bought it from Sephora.” I giggle and say, “since when did Sephora start selling Almay?” My other friend bursts into laughter and the liar never gets the point. (Sephora doesn’t sell Almay.)

Here it is: lying only leads to more lies and is never a good idea. Speak the truth!