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Archive for June, 2013

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This is my personal pet peeve: Rudeness.  Much of the time it is a mindless, stressed, rushed person that pollutes the air at work, either omitting the basic manners we’re taught as children or steam rolling by in a self-involved fog.  Certainly we have ALL been there. However, in addition to increased stress, time wasted, decrease in creativity & ability to solve problems, the negative impact affects morale, productivity, quality of life and did I mention productivity?  There are two great articles on this topic:  A blog post on the Harvard Business Review, You’re Rude Because Your Boss is Rude, and an article in the HBR January 2013 magazine, The Price of Incivility.   Is this a pervasive problem?  According to the HBR poll from that article, 98% of thousands of workers polled “reported experiencing uncivil behavior at work.  In 2011 half said they were treated rudely at least once a week.”  The HBR study found “Among workers who’ve been on the receiving end of incivility, 48% intentionally decreased their work effort, 47% intentionally decreased time spent at work, 80% lost work time worrying about the incident, 66% said their performance declined, 38% intentionally decreased the quality of their work, 25% admitted to taking their frustration out on customers…”  Here’s another article from Forbes Magazine that highlights our technology and information overload that contributes to stress and overwhelm.  In it, psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., says “the accelerated pace of office life has us made us lose touch with common courtesies once taken for granted, like saying, “Good morning.”

BeNice

We are in the hospitality industry.  (Hospitality: the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.)  I strongly believe that our colleagues, co-workers, clients, (both B2B & B2C) and community are the front line recipients for that hospitality, which starts with polite behavior.  As part of the sales & marketing industry, I know developing brand advocates and devotees is a successful path to profitability.  That means converting the company people 100% to your brand first and then from there expanding your reach to everyone who comes in contact with your company, your product, your service, your brand.  One excellent example of this philosophy is articulately written and practiced by ING Direct founder Arkadi Kuhlmann: “It’s not leaders who drive business; it’s the culture they create, and sustain, that drives it.”  This is expanded upon in his book The Orange Code and has become Kuhlmann’s calling card, his brand.  I had friends that worked at ING Direct for Mr. Kuhlmann.  They all said that after their orientation, “we bled orange for that company.  It was the best place to work.”  Can you imagine the employees’ increased desire to succeed, to be there, to achieve, to totally ‘kill it’ when it came to doing their job for that company?

A few basics on civil behavior at work.

DO:

politeList

DON’T:

Swear Flagrantly.

Be Late.

Bury your face in a computer or smart phone during conversations or presentations.

Gossip, spread misinformation, tell inappropriate jokes or stories.

Groom yourself at work beyond the basic touch ups. (ok, maybe this is an odd one, but seriously people, taking your whitening trays out of your mouth at the lunch table is gross)

I realize this barely scratches the surface when it comes to elevating our behavior, our branding, our success at work and the atmosphere we create.  The reference links to books, blogs and articles offer meaningful depth into the subject.  There’s a lot to think about when it comes to civility at work.  We have gender, cultural and generational differences that can demand slight but distinct differences in behavior.  Awareness is key.  Managers at every level are unaware of reasonable guidelines and their own infractions.  So we have to not only learn, teach and model polite behavior (or hospitality), but also acknowledge, reward and prioritize it.  Is it part of performance evaluations, hiring interviews, event reviews/debriefs?  In conclusion, because we are in the hospitality, lifestyle business, it can not be emphasized enough that high quality civility, hospitality and good manners MUST be a priority at work.  Why?  Quality of life, better productivity, improved creativity, insightful problem solving, greater customer retention, greater employee retention, healthier atmosphere, decreased stress,  and perhaps most meaningful to those in charge: significantly higher profitability.

What do you think?

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missedTargetBasically inseparable, sales & marketing most often seem to completely misunderstand each other.  Marketing, loaded with creative talent, big thinkers and sometimes a budget to back that up, creates tools, information and events that can make or break a brand, a launch, a quarter.  Sales, always on the go, focused on low hanging fruit, relationships and quotas provide the revenue that can make or break the company.  So how can such a close pairing, like steak and cabernet sauvignon, so often be on completely separate, parallel, uncomplimentary tracks with each other?

SAME:

The product

The team/company

The Goal

DIFFERENT:

The job

The how, when, where, who…

The mindset

target

Since I worked first in marketing then in sales in the wine industry, I’m currently fascinated with seamlessly tying the two halves together to function as a successful, profitable wine sales & marketing unit.  With input from colleagues and customers, I look forward to a thoughtful and provocative conversation that offers a basic and varied set of solutions here.  Digital marketing, social media and e-commerce have changed the way we shop, buy,  research and share. Internet opportunities, apps and experiments pop up and multiply quickly so I look forward to evaluating them for the wine industry here as well.

Your comments are essential.

Thanks for participating.

PS.   In the series to follow, data from the Forbes article that also referred to sales & marketing as Mars & Venus (an apt comparison) will be posted and referenced with valuable details about marketing lead generation and sales response time.

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