Using Feedback to Grow

November 26th, 2012

Communicating with anyone can feel like a guessing game at times; your mother may say she doesn’t need any help in the kitchen, for instance, but you know what she means is that she doesn’t want you in the kitchen getting in her way. When speaking with job seekers or clients about the service your company provides, it is important to be able to read between the lines and to identify what they actually mean so that you can maximize your use of that information to improve your company.

“You need an app.”

Interpretation: Yes, you may actually need an app. But be sure to ask several follow-up questions to interpret if customers would actually use an app in conjunction with your business, or if they are saying that because everyone seems to have an app, regardless of whether or not it is good or smart business.

“I like this.”

Interpretation: “I like this–but I don’t love this.” Ask customers why they like your service, but be sure to follow up by asking what kinds of changes would have to be made to ensure love and loyalty.

“I frequently use your service.”

Interpretation: “I’ve heard of you.” Use data analytics to determine if people really are using your company frequently–check online or service information to determine if your customers really are taking advantage of what you’re offering as often as they think. And if they aren’t, use similar data to figure out why and how to entice them to keep coming back.

“Your website should be more like __________.”

Interpretation: “I prefer ___________’s site to yours.” Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that you should make changes to your website to more closely compare to your competitors. In fact, it is an even better idea to create your website in a way that there can be no comparison drawn between the two. Yours must be different enough to be noticeable, but interesting and user-friendly enough to hold customers’ attention and convert them to your brand.

 

Often, people do not say what they mean without putting it through a wringer, which changes context, meaning and intention. When you are interpreting your clients and job seekers comments, it is important to pay attention to subtext as well as what they are really intending. Contact the experts at Olympic Staffing today, to find you great employees that know how to interpret feedback and grow your business!

Managing Your Younger Generation

October 23rd, 2012

Just after Generation X started making mortgage payments, the “millennials” burst en masse onto the job scene with enthusiasm, an affinity for technology and social media, and a new set of priorities and perspectives. Leading this group of individuals (comprised of more than 80 million, according to this infographic) can be challenging for many reasons. The values and priorities of this group of people are vastly different than those of their older co-workers. Because of this, managing them must be approached differently, for the sake of company cohesion and productivity.

Encourage and embrace diversity. According to the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, this generation is the most diverse of any, ever. If your managerial style is more on the exclusive side, this might make millennial employees feel negatively about the work environment you create. Moderate your vocabulary; be sure to include gender neutral language when appropriate, and make sure that references to race, creed or sexuality be used in appropriate, germane ways that are in accord with current political correctness. Use this information to select your staff: remember that a diverse work environment will be vital in making your company appealing to millennial applicants.

Provide timely and abundant feedback. The attention spans of millennials tend to be on the shorter side, which can be attributed to their tendency to communicate electronically (read: instantly). This is a generation that normalized the delivery of even commonplace information on a constant basis; these are people who announce on social networking sites that they are grocery shopping, for example. Provide feedback (both positive and negative) on a constant and immediate basis. This will benefit you by creating a more productive atmosphere.

Give frequent recognition and rewards. This group of people is used to more frequent feedback, as mentioned above, which means that it is also used to more frequent praise and reward, particularly those that are public. An easy way to incorporate this tactic into your managerial style is to begin to give praise or rewards to individuals at regular meetings. The verbal pat on the head provided by an “Attaboy!” at a staff meeting is viable motivation for a younger person, and can greatly increase productivity and ingenuity. According to UNC, a majority of millennials cite “the opportunity for personal development” as the most influential factor in their current jobs, so offer rewards that provide opportunities for personal growth.

If you want to hire people who “get” the millennial generation in order to grow your business and bring aboard a fresh set of perspectives and talents, contact us today! We can help you assemble the perfect team for your company that will help you reach and exceed your goals!