On this Veteran's/Armistice/Remembrance Day we extend our gratitude to soldiers and honor them for their service to country. Please, let's continue our show of gratitude and support via tangible means throughout the year. There are veterans among us seeking employment... let's put them to work! There are veterans among us setting out as entrepreneurs... let's patronize their businesses!
These very fine men and women are a special breed altogether; they have a kind of determination and focus that make them superior employees and business owners. I invite... no, I task you to learn about and support the veteran operated businesses in your local community. And if you are a business owner/manager, do yourself and our community at large a great service by employing our proud veterans. Contact your local Veteran's Administration for more details. Often times it is just a single opportunity that makes all the difference. Be the difference!
Please list your local veteran businesses in the comments and be sure to share.
We come into the world alone; we leave this world alone. There is a pure natural power within each of us at such pivotal times of our life’s journey—the power of one. And yet, by our nature of being human social beings, there are times we simply crave the touch, reassurance or shared energy of others.
For quite some time, psychologists have studied these behaviors and their effects on behavioral changes. One such example: according to the American Psychological Association, cumulative results regarding successful weight loss efforts for those participating as a group of 2 or more people are outstanding. In the cases of successfully completing and achieving weight loss goals, those participating as part of a group are 20% more likely to have successful completion than those attempting equivalent goals on their own. And when it comes to maintaining healthy weight, those who participated as a group were 40%, more successful than those attempting as individuals.
Perhaps it's not weight loss that you are tackling. Maybe it is a new business venture, a new hobby, a new lifestyle, or some other project; fortunately the benefits of teaming are of a universal nature. With any team, members must agree in some fashion that propriety and respect are foundational in their relationship, this allows all other aspects of teaming for success to flourish.
As if the statistics aren’t compelling enough to convince us to team up, let’s just take a look at what about being part of a group lends to success.
I'd like to hear from you! Share your experiences within successful teams or how being part of a team helped you obtain your goal. Highlight, if you will, the key factors that you believe took you to your goal.
Just this week I have been in the market for a common piece of technology. If it weren’t that I need this equipment for a new set of services I will be offering soon, I most likely would not be making such a purchase. For me, this is definitely an investment. As such, I did my research and asked around for all the pertinent information necessary for me to feel comfortable laying out a nice chunk of change. Then I headed out to the likely places in my current city of residence* to make my purchase. Due to having lived in parts of the world where it is imperative to efficiently coordinate errands and journeys, I conscientiously approached my shopping circuit. I determined that I would start with the local Best Buy a few miles away then work my way around to the Target and finally Walmart (ugh, I know) should the previous store in my route not carry what I am specifically looking for.
The night was rather quiet for shopping. I think the preseason pro football game featuring the hometown favorites trumped shopping for the average local. There were very few people in Best Buy when I arrived and I was relieved to be able to comfortably not have to contend with other shoppers. The nice thing about the product I was shopping for is that its brand is displayed separately from the other options, therefore eliminating the need to search through aisles. So there I went, directly to the display. Only a few moments passed before a young sales man approached me with a cocky, smug, “Oh, I bet you want to buy a XXX (another product of the same brand)”. I simply replied most definitely, “No. I am not interested in that at all, thanks.” And with that the young sales man mumbled something under his breath, turned on his heel and marched away leaving me standing at the display to fend for myself. I thought perhaps he may have said he would be right back (at least I’d hoped that to be the case, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt). But no, he didn’t return and there I waited nearly 5 minutes before deciding Best Buy obviously did not want my money. As I marched out of the store a bit incensed, I mentioned to the door monitor that the sales team this evening was not worth their weight in salt. He blankly looked at me so out the door I went; my money left with me.
Target also was quiet. It was nice to meander through the store on my way to the very back where the electronics section is located. There was another woman that arrived in the department just as I did, which really was no big deal since there were two young men working in the department. But then again, I am not certain why or how but that was not the case. I went directly to the brand display just as I had done at Best Buy earlier. I caught the attention of one of the salesmen ever so briefly. He and his associate chose to attend to the other woman who described to them a cell phone accessory that she was looking to buy (the price of said accessory is equivalent to 1/5th that of the equipment I was waiting to purchase). Hmmmmmm… I am not certain how this team of salesmen determined their approach to serving customers was efficient. Again, just as at Best Buy, I was left waiting unattended for what seemed like 10-15 minutes. So onward I went to Walmart with my money still in my wallet.
By the time I arrived at Walmart it was now late enough that one set of the doors was closed and there were associates stocking the shelves throughout the store. I was somewhat surprised that there were a fair amount of customers compared to the first two stores. By now I was rather tired of my shopping experiences and frustrated that I still had not as much as asked if my desired product was in stock at the previous stores. Before I even made two steps into the electronics section I was approached kindly by a young salesman very eager to assist me. Wow. He asked if I knew the specifics of the product I was shopping for or would I like to look at various options. And once I shared the details, he promptly scurried about to check if it was in stock. It was not. Just my luck! But fear not… this kind young salesman offered to look online to see if it might be available for order. While he stepped away to do his research I was approached with offers of assistance by three other associates; one even proceeded to check with my kind salesman on the chance she could also assist. In the end I was instructed how to make an order for delivery of the product to my home or to a store for pick up. I did not spend my money at this store either. I did, however, check whether the Walmart sales associates receive any type of commission or points for their sales because these team members definitely did their jobs well. As it turns out they are not commissioned in any way. The sole kudos for their efforts would be my glowing remarks to the store manager on my way out… without my product, money still in my wallet.
It amazes me the stark differences in the levels of service in these examples. Each of the sales associates at each of the stores was, I assume, in the same age range (early 20s). I don’t know any of them personally to say to what degree they are amiable, competent with expertise in electronics, or whether they have worked prior service jobs, but something obviously was askew with the associates at the first two stores. There was a lack of customer empathy and connection and definitely a lack of understanding the fundamentals of recognizing an easy sale. Though certainly these individuals failed to deliver a professional representation of their companies, I fault the management that has not hired more selectively, the management that has missed the mark with training and mentoring, the management that does not employ consistent quality control measures. Successful business teams recognize that it costs more to secure new customers than it does to retain repeat customers. And so it is with acquiring and retaining employees that represent a company’s aspirations of stellar service. Businesses that begin with insightful hiring techniques and utilize engaging coaching and training methods with their employees (irrespective of wages) tend to attract and retain employees who best represent their organizations in the marketplace.
Do you have a comparative example of services gone right or wrong? How does your business’ hiring and employee retention measure up to your customer acquisitions and customer satisfaction?
*Southeastern Wisconsin, USA
As the morning outdoor yoga class wound down with moments of mindful breathing and meditation, she looked upward from her yoga mat at the canopy of trees and realized how especially calm and at peace she felt.
Just how many times have you read of an enticing scenario such as this only to dismiss it as an unlikely opportunity for stress relief in your life? Perhaps yoga out under the trees may not suit your personal situation, but don't give up on nature!
Medical and psychological research has found that engaging in nature not only helps humans feel better emotionally but also facilitates physical benefits. In fact, many physical benefits such as lowered heart rates and blood pressure, release of muscle tension, and headache relief are actually tied to a reduction of anger, fear, and general stress.
The magic of natural settings is that they provide us with a diversion, a respite from the mental fatigue caused by our every day activities. Nature consumes us as it triggers our involuntary attention. Though maximum affects are achieved by being outdoors fully in nature engaging multiple senses at the same time, impressive improvements to well-being may be achieved by simply employing a single sense.
VIEW nature through a window or via gazing at an aquarium.
FEEL nature by tending a window box garden or house plants.
LISTEN to nature sounds: lapping waves, a gentle stream, birds singing, a heartbeat.
SMELL the scents of nature: herbs or freshly mowed grass.
Just 3 to 5 minutes of contact or immersion in nature provides enough diversion to significantly reduce stress and improve your overall wellness.
A Whizzy World
"You are only as memorable as the quality of the relationships you've forged in this world."