business culture

Are you creating Raving Fans for your business?

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“Just having satisfied customers isn't good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans." - Ken Blanchard, author of Raving FansI love to read stories about excellent customer service. Better yet, I love to experience incredible customer service. I was reminded recently of the difference between good customer service and going “above and beyond” towards creating Raving Fans. Check out this awesome letter I received from one of our client’s employee’s right before Christmas.

“Dear Mr. Fulling,

Your employee, Starla Kendricks, went far above and beyond what I'm sure is required of her in her job description. I have a deduction taken out of my checks for bankruptcy which took place a pay period sooner than expected and the trustee office was not going to return to me.

In a nutshell, this is the extra monies I was planning on for Christmas and as you can imagine, I was incredibly frustrated and Christmas at our house was cancelled.

Ms. Kendricks took it upon herself to make some calls and to both the payroll company and the trustee's office and they confirmed that it was additional payment. I will now be getting that money before Christmas, which I was told just a few days ago from the trustee's office that I would not receive at all.

This has alleviated a lot of stress in my life and made a very Merry Christmas for my family. She did not need to do what she did and I'm unbelievably grateful to her. I just thought this needed to be brought to your attention and tell you what an amazing employee you have, which I'm sure you already knew.”

Now that is how to create a Raving Fan! Thank you Starla for providing a great example of serving others.

Working with family

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Have you ever worked for a family owned business and you were not part of the family? This was my situation before starting my own business, Fulling Management and Accounting. The business had become a revolving door for the owner’s wife, mother, cousins, and so on. Each time a family member would leave, the business culture became more and more negative. Working with family can be difficult.

[column col="1/2"]You are likely familiar with the guys (and beards) from Duck Dynasty. Obviously, they are a sample of how family businesses can be extremely successful and beneficial for the family. However, in some cases, family businesses can bring blurred lines as it relates to management decisions. The added stress of family relationships in the work place can lead to decisions that would not otherwise be made.

Small business owners are forced to wear many hats and sometimes these hats can overlap and cause friction. Knowing what your role is at any given time is imperative, not only to the success of the business, but to the family unit as well.

One of my favorite stories of a family owned business was from a friend of mine named Joe. One morning Joe was working diligently at his home office to get an important report finished up. His wife, who served as his administrative assistant, walked into his office, sat down and started talking about the kids, laundry, honey do list, and all other home related items. Joe, in a frustrated tone, looked at his wife and said, “I am at the office and will be home at 5pm.” He promptly resumed his work. Obviously, working with family isn't always easy.

While they can laugh about the short conversation now, Joe and his wife learned an important lesson about identifying and respecting the hat being worn at the time. Knowing your role at any given time is imperative to business and family success.

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[message_box title="Need help creating a healthy balance in your family owned business?" ] Our business coaching services can help! Give me a call at (913) 254-7300 or email me at rusty@fullingmgmt.com

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Creating a positive culture with an attitude of gratitude

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Fulling_Management_Creating_a_positive_culture_largeI had the chance to sit down recently with Kevin, a business leader in Missouri, and go through the DISC communication profiles for him and his staff. It quickly became clear that creating a positive culture had to be a top priority for his business.

[column col="1/2"]One of the recurring themes that we discovered was a growing culture of dissatisfaction. The profiles indicated that although the company had been a great success recently, there was a huge disconnect within the team as many felt they were not appreciated. We discovered that some of the staff simply wanted affirmation, such as a “pat on the back” or a verbal “great job.” Others were hopeful for tangible recognition such as increased compensation, promotion, or a bonus.

Staff and management had begun to take on the “what’s in it for me?” attitude. This resulted in poor work habits, declining customer service, and an overall poor culture within the company.

If you had asked Kevin for the major reasons for his company's recent success, he definitely would have recognized the importance of his team. However, through this process, he realized that he was not doing a great job of making sure they know how valuable they are to the company and how grateful he was for their work.

Once he identified this issue, he began creating a positive culture by approaching the team with an attitude of gratitude. Kevin is now intentionally looking for ways to express appreciation. When I spoke to him last month, he said even some of his worst “what’s in it for me?” offenders had shown great progress.[/column] [column col="1/2"] Fulling_Management_Creating_a_positive_culture_smallFulling_Management_Creating_a_positive_culture_quote2 [/column]

Creating a positive culture for your organization

Three tips to creating an attitude of gratitude:

  1. Think back to someone who mentored or invested in you to help your career. Give them a call or write them a note to say thank you. Then encourage your team members to do the same for someone who has invested in them.
  2. In the last week, who on your staff has done a great job? Go tell them thank you and be sure to be specific. When they know that your gratitude is genuine and their hard work is noticed, they are excited to be doing great work for the organization.
  3. How, specifically, can you better equip each person on your team for success? Your team wants to be productive and successful as much as you want them to be productive and successful. When you ask them what they need or how you can help, you have the opportunity to resource them and unlock their full potential for your company.

 

[message_box title="Is it time to focus on creating a positive culture?" color="gray"] As part of our business coaching services, we can help you develop a plan to change the culture and increase productivity. Give me a call at (913) 254-7300 or email me at rusty@fullingmgmt.com. [/message_box]