By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Yours Truly in her Catwoman/Guitar Hero get-up with her crime-fighting partner, The Flash
When I was growing up, I was so shy…I would never talk to people I didn’t know. It was so extreme; I remember being afraid to call up the movie theater to find out what movies were playing! In general, I was unable to assert myself in unfamiliar situations.
Thankfully, I have come a long way since then. My years in the corporate world gave me opportunities to overcome timidity. And the next phase of my career, being a business owner, forced me to become even more self-confident. There’s no better cure for a lack of confidence than needing to put food on the table, week-after-week!
I’m telling you my story to introduce this week’s topic. As I’ve talked with business leaders during these uncertain times, there’s been a recurring theme…how to increase self-confidence to achieve successful outcomes.
To help me out, I’m bringing along a good friend, Isaac Wambua. He’s an amazing strategic coach and speaker who will provide his expertise as well.
So, let’s dive in!
There are three areas around self-confidence that I’ll highlight and Isaac will dig deeper into next week:
1. What Does Self Confidence Have to do With Your Past?
It’s pretty simple…A LOT. The way we were raised affects us on so many levels.
Here’s a good example…one reason I was so afraid to talk to strangers was because my parents drilled into my head that I was forbidden to do that. Rightfully so, they told me all about "stranger danger" and that unfortunately carried over into being afraid to interact with even safe people I didn’t know.
2. You Are Not the Sum Goal of Your Past
No matter what happens in your past, you can grow your self-confidence. Many times, the situations we’re placed in can increase our self-confidence…like it did with me as a business owner.
3. How Long Does It Take to Develop Higher Levels of Confidence?
This depends on the person. Isaac will be sharing more about this next week, so stay tuned!
One final question…
Are you wanting to improve your business, but you don’t know where to start? I have a great solution for that…my FREE business assessment. It will point out areas of your business that need attention, as well as what areas may need attention first.
Just click the button below to get started.
After you’re done, I’d love to follow-up with you on your results. Both are free, so you have nothing to lose!
‘til next time,
Imagine the following scenario…
Your business launched a highly anticipated new product or service into the market, and results were well below expectations. So much time, money and effort were spent on creating it, and the development team was positive it was going to do well in the market.
Disappointed is hardly a word that describes everyone’s emotions. The ramifications were not too pretty as well…one person lost their job, another was demoted, revenues plummeted, etc. Everyone on the team was asking themselves: ”What could we have done differently?”
Perhaps you don’t need to imagine this situation, because it unfortunately happened in your business.
If that’s the case, here’s a possible answer…your business could have done a better of job of listening to the Voice of the Customer, before you ever started the development project.
If customer requirements were well documented in advance, your new product or service could have been tailored more to meet the customer needs. By doing so, the likelihood of a more successful product or service launch would have significantly increased.
So, what are the warning signs that your business could use VOC? Let's dive into that...
1. Product or Service Launch Failures
The example described in the previous paragraph is often an indicator that your company needs to use VOC techniques. Having a robust process should lessen these failures significantly.
2. High Levels of Customer Churn
There’s no need to scratch your head, wondering why they left. The best solution is to reach out to them and find out the reasons for their departure. Perhaps a survey or focus group would be beneficial. Then, armed with these insights, you can put together an action plan to resolve the issues.
3. Rising Customer Complaints
If you’ve noticed an uptick in your customer complaints, it’s time to start doing a better job of understanding what is making them unhappy. Next, devise a plan to reverse the trend.
4. Depressed Revenues
It’s not a far leap to find a connection between less-than-stellar profits and less-than-happy customers. Digging in deep to find out the reasons for their disenchantment can provide actionable insights for your business.
5. No Formalized Method of Gathering, Recording or Acting on Customer Feedback
It’s so important to a business’ profitability to have a standardized way of ensuring feedback is properly gathered, stored, and acted upon. In fact, one study proves that companies with VOC programs outperform all others by as much as 22% across a number of categories, including revenue, customer churn, among others. There’s proof that VOC works!
What’s Your Story?
If your business hasn’t encountered these warning signs, congratulations! You’re most likely doing a good job of listening to your customers. However, if any of these situations sound familiar, your business could be a good candidate for using VOC techniques.
If you’re in this boat, I’d love to brainstorm with you some possible solutions! All you have to do is click here to get a time on our calendars.
By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Are you wondering where remote working is heading into the future?
Trying to figure out the right balance of Work from Home (WFM) days vs. office days for your employees?
You’re not alone in your questions! That’s why I’d like to dive into recent trends and then give you some ideas on how to determine the best balance of hybrid (remote vs. in-office) work for your organization.
First, let’s look into the current mindset of executives in the US. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a survey across six areas. Let’s look into four of them:
1. Remote Work Has Been an Overwhelming Success
The shift to remote work has been a success, according to 83% of employers, and it’s here to stay. Employees agree (79%). The big takeaway is that companies are seeing the need to invest in technology to support this trend. According to 60% of those executives, they are expected to raise spending on virtual tools to support more effective WFH strategies.
2. The Office is Here to Stay
A large majority (87%) of employees say that the office is very important for building relationships and collaborating with teams. A small mount (13%) of executives want to let go of the office for good while 80% are trying to figure out a hybrid model.
3. Employees Want to Return to the Office More Slowly Than Employers
Most executives (75%) believe that at least half of their employees will return by mid-year; 61% of employees believe that is the case.
4. There’s No Consensus on the Optimal Hybrid Model
Over half (55%) of employees want to work from home after pandemic concerns lessen, while 68% of executives believe the same. According to Gallup, 100% remote workers are the least engaged of any worker, but the same is true for 100% of office workers. So, a balance between the two is optimal.
With all this in mind, what’s a leader to do? What are the best paths forward to striking this balance?
I think one of the most important things to consider is that remote work is here to stay. So, companies that embrace this mindset will be ahead of the game.
With that in mind, here are several things you can do to help your company determine the right hybrid model. The idea is to experiment with these suggestions so you can discover what hybrid model works best for your organization.
1. Ask Your Employees What Their Ideal WFM Model Would Be
An essential first step is to have in-depth conversations around their ideal WFM experience. For instance, they may want to work from home, but they don’t have the right office set-up or equipment. Or, they may have children at home that are distracting their work. Carry this feedback into the next three steps.
2. Level the Playing Field
Many remote workers often feel excluded and disconnected from their in-office counterparts. To combat that, here are a few ideas:
3. Provide Technology to Enable Greater Efficiencies and Connectivity
This can’t be overstated. Providing digital systems to enable remote working is proven to increase employee satisfaction and production.
A great example is the Accelerate platform. It works superbly for improving the WFH experience. It allows for greater team cohesiveness, connects siloed systems into one application and increases productivity. Many Accelerate clients have increased their productivity by over 200%!
4. Experiment With a Range of Solutions
Here are a couple of examples:
These suggestions are a great start to helping you develop the right hybrid model for your organization. It may take some experimentation, but your due diligence should pay off!
Interested in learning more about ways to use technology to improve WFM strategies? My strategic partner, Michael Cantu’ of Accelerate, and I would love to talk with you.
Click the button below to schedule a chat!
By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Are you considering undertaking digital transformation initiatives in your business, but want to ensure you start off on the right foot?
There is one essential thing to consider…ensuring your team has the right mindset. It’s a vital aspect for ensuring project success and keeping your ideology fit.
It’s great to have a good plan, great people, processes, and execution, but if you don’t have the right mindset, successful digital transformation projects will only be a pipe dream.
So, what are the qualities of a great mindset? It all starts with team members who:
These qualities are just the tip of the iceberg, so let’s take a deeper dive into some four key aspects of having a great mindset:
1. Honesty and Candor
Creating a mindset of honesty and candor is essential to have successful teams. Honesty should never be devalued within your team.
Candor involves talking about things in a real way, without negativity, towards other team members. It’s discussing the things that can be done better or how individuals can interact more effectively, without pointing fingers.
This also includes Care, which means having an attitude that you are all in this together. It’s involves determining how to best look after team members and being aware of how individual members are doing.
Care comes down to active concern for the total person. Case in point—everybody's got a life outside of work. Having an empathetic understanding of what things employees are balancing, to the point that they feel free to share about them, is the goal.
Here’s an example. Bob has been working late every night and seems stressed, which is uncommon for him. As a leader, it would be helpful to ask Bob how he's really doing—to show true care to him, making sure he is doing alright. It may also involve “taking one for the team”—giving Bob permission to leave a couple hours earlier the next day, if that seems appropriate.
And here’s a further illustration of how having the right collective mindset throughout your team might look like. Bob’s manager could ask someone to pick up the slack for him and a team member would most likely be glad to jump in and help.
On the other hand, having negative team mindsets could result in many more problems on a project. Imagine this—team members with a fearful mindset aren’t going to be as forthcoming when something's a mess. And with that type of environment, you’re most likely not going to find individuals wanting to jump into to help when someone’s needs a break. They’ll perhaps be more concerned about not meeting their own work goals while caring less about the overall team goals.
Bottom line—it comes down to working with your team to build the right mindset, which in turn, helps create a healthier team culture.
Endurance is one of the most important factors of continued success and is a large part of having a great mindset. This is true for anything, whether you are building a business, a team or your life.
Successful teams complete projects over and over again. It has to do with their ability to endure. Every day they come to work and complete tasks, completing one more piece of the puzzle at a time. It involves team members keeping their mindsets positive and making a decision to endure.
Of course, great leaders will use the “Care” approach to check on them, as well, to help them in the process if they’re getting stuck.
In the end, endurance is the ability do what it takes over and over again with measurable, incremental and positive results, which move you towards a successful conclusion of a project. It’s also about making sure you do what you said you would do.
3. Visibility and Transparency
This involves open communication with your stakeholders, whether external or internal. Essentially, it’s all about letting them know that you will have a mindset of honesty, candor and care with them and that you will escalate issues when required. By doing that, you show leadership how much you care about the project, which will pay dividends for you throughout the course of your work.
For example, if you happen to miss a deadline, it may look less erratic when you're raising the issue with management. It really is going to make a difference in the way that they view you and how they view the project.
But that’s not the only good outcome. Having visibility and transparency amongst all team members can positively affect the end users of the process, and eventually the business as a whole.
4. Change Management
How you approach communication of planned changes has a powerful effect on mindset. That’s why a good change management approach is important—employees in an organization really need to understand what's changing. That way, they can prepare themselves for the changes, so that they can achieve the right mindset. This involves communicating the amount of effort required for a project to transition from where they’re at to where they have to be for the business to succeed. Then, it’s asking for their feedback along the way.
This removes the outward perception of changing for change sake and casts a vision of the future to help ensure success for the organization. And it really becomes an organizational change/movement mindset.
This is vital, because this can change the whole organization’s attitude and help create an environment that is more accepting of digital transformation.
When you can do that, you’re well on your way to a more successful digital transformation journey for your organization!
Are you interested in starting or accelerating your digital transformation efforts, but have limited budgets to do so? We’d love to talk with you! You’d be surprised at how affordable it can be.
For instance, our Ratify AI Vaccination Tracking module (the only such app in the market right now) starts out at $399/month. It automates engagement with your workforce, digitizes and centralizes immunization data and allows for real-time tracking of compliance status.
Interested in learning more? We'd love to talk with you! Click here to set up a chat.
Kathy Kent Toney
I'm passionate about helping organizations grow profitably in ways they haven't imagined!