Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Manager's Guide to Superior Customer Service

Sure employees get training in customer service. That's critical. But, unfortunately, there is one person who is in charge. It's the supervisor.

If supervisors don't know how to lead customer service teams, then all the training  employees get can be for naught. Well, problem solved.

Here is a course for supervisors that hits every key point.

Cost: $79.00
CEUs: 0.3 (Contact Hours: 3)
Access Time: 30 days
Course Description

A Manager's Guide to Superior Customer Service explores the art and science of developing a superior customer experience. Customers are vital to any organization and superior customer service can pay large financial dividends.
Learning Outcomes

  •     Explain the concept of the comprehensive customer experience
  •     Discuss the case for offering superior customer service
  •     Describe the customer service philosophies of leading companies. including Apple,
        Nordstrom,   L.L. Bean, and others
  •     Discuss the concept of performance measurements and Key Performance
        Indicators (KPIs)
  •     Describe the use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  •     Discuss the Voice of the Customer (VoC) process
  •     Outline ways to build customer loyalty
  •     Explain how to calculate lifetime Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  •     Discuss the issues involved in managing customer service
  •     Describe how to establish customer service expectations
  •     Discuss the approach to providing customer service on different platforms (in-person, over
        the phone, online)
  •     Explain approaches for handling difficult customers
Key Features
  •     Expert-supported
  •     Mobile-friendly
  •     Accessible
  •     Badge and credit-awarding
  •     Games & Flashcards
  •     Real-world case studies
  •     Audio-enabled in app Policy

You may request a refund up to 5 days from the purchase date. The registration fee will only be refunded if less than 10% of the course has been completed. Completion percentage can be viewed on the Course Progress page from within the course.

Estimated time to complete: 5 hours

This course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered as quickly as possible and usually within 24 hours.

This course does not require any additional purchases of supplementary materials.

Learners must achieve an average test score of at least 70% to meet the minimum successful completion requirement and qualify to receive IACET CEU credit. Learners will have three attempts at all graded assessments.

Get started here.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Reasonable Suspicion Training to Spot Substance Abusing Employees

You will not see skills in spotting substance abuse as a popular and well promoted supervisor training topic, however, every supervisor should be educated in this topic. Essentially, reasonable suspicion training is about spotting two things 1) Signs and symptoms of substance abuse actively being used in the workplace or the withdrawal symptoms thereof; and, 2) performance related signs and symptoms that may have absolutely nothing to do with alcoholism or drug addiction, but serve as the basis for a referral to a professional counselor where a personal problem, if existing--including substance abuse--can be identified and referred for treatment by a professional.

Examples of substance abuse signs and symptoms can be found here:
On this chart. . . .

And workplace performance related signs and symptoms can be found here:
On this chart.....

Together these two sets of signs and symptoms will give supervisors most of what they need to confront an employee and refer for possible drug/alcohol use on the job or referral to an employee assistance program. The video on reasonable suspicion training located here will lead you to a non-dot and dot supervisor training option for pulling this program together.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Energize employees by taking every opportunity to recognize their contributions and urging them to excel.

Every conversation with your employees produces one of three results: positive impact, no impact or negative impact.
course information about 14 Vital Skills.

You want to create as many positive encounters as possible. To inspire people, set their sights on a faraway goal that’s so exciting and potentially rewarding that they cannot help but covet it.

Help them visualize what it’ll feel like to reach the mountaintop—to know that they gave every ounce of their effort to deliver superior performance. 

Skip the long speeches when you’re trying to inspire employees. Instead, summarize a tantalizing goal and then ask lots of questions. That will turn your workers into true believers.

Try these techniques to engage them: Remind workers of their past triumphs. Ask them to reflect on what drove them to achieve successful outcomes in the past. Examples: “When you won the Jones account, what did you learn that you can apply to this challenge?”, “Remember your great work organizing our Hawaii convention? How about topping yourself by planning an even greater convention next year?” 

Probe to identify your employees’ source(s) of inspiration. Ask them to tell you whom they admire as a mentor. Examples might include their parents, siblings, friends or teachers. Armed with this information, you can ask each employee how his or her most cherished role model would approach the situation at hand.

Align their interests with yours. Succinctly explain why the goal is important to you and your organization. Then give the employee a chance to chime in. Use this format: “Here’s why it matters to me. Why does it matter to you?”

In terms of praising employees, ignore the conventional wisdom of dishing out daily doses of compliments to everyone you supervise. It’s better to recognize superior effort or performance rather than try to praise everyone, everyday.

Praise resonates more deeply when you express it just before and just after an employee takes on an assignment. When you delegate a project, offer a brief expression of support (“Jim, you’re our expert on this, so I’m sure you’ll do a good job,” “Mary, with your work ethic and determination, I won’t have to worry about this getting done right”).

And when the employee completes the assignment successfully, acknowledge the fine work (“Ray, your sophisticated analysis really helped us beat the competition,” “Jane, I appreciate you stepping in at the last minute and doing such fantastic work”). Praise also carries more weight when it’s specific. Go beyond saying “Good job” and give details of what you admired most about the individual’s work.

Examples: “Good job staying calm with that irate customer,” “Great work answering all of those phone lines when we were swamped this morning,” “I’m so pleased that you trained those temps so quickly to use our new software.”

Mix public and private praise. Save time in staff meetings to spotlight those employees who deserve kudos. Lead the group in a round of applause for your starring employees and ask them to stand and perhaps say a few words to the team.

Their comments can prove just as inspiring as yours, especially if they thank their peers. Saluting outstanding performance lifts everyone’s morale; even those workers who are not basking in applause will see that you value outstanding effort and they’ll push harder to excel in the future. When you praise in private, maintain eye contact and avoid distractions. Speak with passion and sincere appreciation.

And don’t follow praise by making a request; that can seem manipulative and undermine the goodwill you seek to establish.  At its best, praise serves as a management tool. If you want to induce certain behavior among your team, praise individuals already exhibiting it.

To spur workers to propose ways that improve operations, praise the clerk who came up with a money-saving idea. To highlight the need for superior customer service, praise service reps who inconvenience themselves to satisfy a demanding client. WARNING: Never praise out of obligation.

If you sense an employee craves recognition, don’t feel you must find a way to compliment the person. Instead, dangle a challenge. If the employee accepts your challenge and delivers fine results, then your praise will truly matter.

TIP: Nothing will inspire employees more than the opportunity to achieve personal goals that add meaning and excitement to their lives. Listen carefully to your employees and help them identify personal work goals—magnificent obsessions—that fit within the goals of the organization or work unit.

IT’S TRUE: In survey after survey, employees indicate that they value praise, recognition and a positive, high-morale workplace more than pay. So, ask yourself, do you find it’s just as easy to recognize people for what they do right than to chastise them for what they do wrong. Think about this. You have reflexes, and they may be reflexes to be more negative than positive in order to feel more empowered with yourself. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Harassment Prevention at Work Is Much More than Sexual Harassment Education

Less that half of all lawsuits for workplace harassment are sexual in nature. However, sexual harassment gets the most attention in the media.

This is a grave error for human resource managers--to only see harassment prevention training as something only associated with sexual harassment. Now there is a course, only found at that covers all the forms of workplace harassment and delivers the information employees need in a fascinating 12 minute video, PowerPoint, DVD, or our favorite--a web course you own and upload to your own Web site complete with test, handout, and certification of completion to hand to your insurance company to prove due care.

Unfortunately, every company faces these risk if they have over 15 employees, and state laws cover all employers in most cases. Lawsuits against employers for failure to prevent many types of harassment can be enormous due to the Civil Rights Act of 1991 which establish financial awards for workplace violations against employers.

So, there are many other types of workplace harassment and they are also illegal. Most companies aren’t doing anything about these risks. They aren’t providing general anti-harassment training. They are ticking time-bombs without trained and aware employees--and supervisors who speak and act before they think.

There are many types of illegal harassment in the workplace ranging from religious, pregnancy, race, disability, ethnicity, and more. Making employees aware of these forms of harassment is critical, but few organizations are doing so. Most are just taking their chances. They don’t know where to get workplace harassment training so they can assemble a program. They are playing with fire without one.

Don't Just Do Nothing Workplace Harassment Training

While most companies do nothing about general workplace harassment training, others have a handbook or letter from the CEO. That’s nice, but this doesn’t cut it. What’s missing is training, awareness, and an emotional connection with the content to influence the employees powerfully and effectively so they remember to steer away from these behaviors at the very moment impulse strikes.

Lawsuits cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Out of court settlements for harassment are common and the awards can also be astronomical. Here’s the problem. If you get sued, you have a 60% chance of losing either way -- with an out of court settle or a jury trial. Those are terrible odds.
But for $397 you can have a program to educate employees. Sounds like a bargain? It is.

Reduce your risk of lawsuits from harassment with an intense short presentation that includes a handout and test questions.’s program will help employees think twice because the content makes an impact. Avoiding Workplace Harassment covers the types of harassment the U.S. Federal government has deemed illegal. Anti-harassment training can be accomplished in about 12 minutes. There is no fluff in this anti-harassment training program.

You may have struggle to find a general program on harassment. There are very few. Since you obviously need employee trained and aware, you can stop looking.

All business leaders worry about risk and problems of mutual employee respect in the workplace. You can lose sleep over it. Preventing workplace harassment will help you know you have something solid in place. This workplace harassment training program solves the problem with a PowerPoint with sound (or use without sound), a Web course to document education and satisfy risk management needs, a DVD, or a Web video you can place on your Web site. You own these products after purchase. You control them. They are also editable and brand-able.

For such a low cost, why ignore this problem any longer? You can stop thinking about finding an general harassment program. That takes time and energy and you are most likely to keep kicking the can down the road. You have it here: Avoiding Workplace Harassment and you can download it after purchase today.

The Equal Employment Opportunity commission recommends training in harassment prevention for all employees. And many companies make it mandatory because their attorneys said, “do it!” What better proof of need is there?

When employees are aware of boundaries and respect, workplace morale improves, conflicts are fewer, and productivity increases. There are also improvements in workplace communication. All of it flows from education and awareness, and resulting behavior changes that will come after training with Avoiding Workplace Harassment.

Anti Harassment Training Pays Off

You will experience fewer complaints in the HR office or directly to top management itself that are related to harassment after offering this presentation and having all of your employees sign a statement that they saw it and completed the test questions. You will also sense better communication and improve morale, and have a general sense of improved respect among employees. Anti-harassment training pays off.

If you do not experience enormous paybacks as described, or you sense this unique program from is not effective for your purposes, a full refund is yours with no questions asked.

Use the shopping care on this page to order this workplace harassment training product now. Or print the Avoiding Workplace Harassment Brochure and fax to 843-884-0442. Request the Web course if your employees are scattered far and wide. If you have a classroom setting you can use the PowerPoint or DVD format. Request two formats and the less cost format (or same cost format is 50% off.)

You should not wait to obtain this training program and begin anti-harassment training. Risk exists every day and eventually these risks catch up to employers. Don't let that be you. You want to act before bad things happens. You want to think upstream. Be able to prove to the court that you took "due care" in educating employees about workplace harassment prevention. Don’t put this one off. You can download the product today.

What's in the Avoid Workplace Harassment Program? The program includes:

A discussion of what Is In the Workplace Harassment Training Program

  • When most people think of workplace harassment, they usually imagine . . .
  • But there are other forms of harassment associated with work and employment ...
  • It’s important to know about the legal definition of harassment ...
  • Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on...
  • Harassment becomes unlawful where ...
  • Offensive conduct may include things ...
  • There are virtually no restrictions who can be harasser. It could be...
  • And the victim of harassment does not have to be ...
  • Has your workplace behavior ever crossed the line...
  • Workplace harassment is covered by Title VII of the Civil ...
  • A Key Myth to Dispel
  • None of us think of ourselves as the type of person ...
  • The great myth of harassment is that...
  • Understand Individual Boundaries
  • A little "good-nature" fun to one person may be offensive ...
  • The workplace relationship unavoidably influences ...
  • Friends at work do not equate to college roommates ...
  • Even if you socialize with your coworkers off the job...
  • Our increasingly diverse culture has made it very difficult ...
  • Even ethnic, racial, or cultural jokes ...
  • As a rule, gauge your comments in mixed company. Avoid negative ...
  • It’s okay to say ...
  • More specifically, the ability to be aware of your reaction toward others, and pay attention ....
  • Types of Harassment
  • Almost all harassment has one thing in common...
  • To be on the safe side follow this rule...
  • Harassment vs. Offensive Behavior
  • Although good manners and civility are the general expectations of your employer, unlawful harassment is necessarily ...
  • The important point is this...
  • So, how can you avoid ...
  • The answer is to practice ...

Friday, November 24, 2017

Why Is Supervisor Training Important, Even a Matter of Life or Death

Supervisor training is important for companies that wish to have increased productivity, efficiency, and communication between their various departments. Supervisors who are properly trained will be able to relay messages between upper management and lower management, thereby leading to increased organization as a whole.

Supervisor training is a required investment for new and experienced supervisors. Remember, supervisors serve as the link between various departments. They must be reliable, professional, and quick on their feet. Ineffective supervisor training will produce low quality supervisors and also lead to:

·         Overall decline of the company – If the workforce is disorganized and fails to understand management instructions, then the entire company will decline due to lack of communication. 

·         Quitting employees and employers – Inefficient supervisors are one of the top reasons why employees and employers quit their job.

Why Communication Skills for Supervisors Are the Most Crucial

Supervisors must have good communication skills if they wish to efficiently operate and manage groups of people. If the supervisor fails to communicate directly with upper management, then critical milestones may be missed, which could lead to catastrophic financial consequences.
Ultimately, it is the supervisors who make sure that information is told accurately and provided in a timely manner, so that upper management and the workforce are on the same page. Proper communication from supervisors will lead to:

·         Productivity – The workforce will understand their delegated tasks and work in a timely manner, which in turn will please management and improve top-down productivity.

·         Organization – Improved organization will eliminate errors and maximize positive outcomes.
·         Increased Morale – Proper communication may increase the morale of the entire company, which will make the workforce feel more valued as team members.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

How to Manage and Correct the Performance of An Employee Before You Are Forced to Fire Them

If you are feeling a bit guilty because your company had to dismissed an employee for performance issues, you may be wondering whether the employee you thought had great potential, could have be salvaged or whether there was something else more you could have done to prevent this tragedy.

Take what you learn below as a method or approach for managing sub-par performers so in the future you give these employees the best shot at improvement.

So, don't look back, but consider how many employees you will help in the future with the following.

When you work with an employee’s performance issues, have several very short meetings, say 20 minutes, spaced out, during the year where you discuss the standards of performance you require.

Share notes between each other--no secrets--and examine parameters such as quality of work, quantity of work, attendance and availability, responsibility and dependability, use of time, cooperation, initiative, personal appearance, ability to accept feedback (constructive criticism), and appearance.

First agree what constitutes outstanding performance (what it actually looks like on each of these metrics), but also above average, “standard”, below standard, or poor. At each meeting discuss where the employee thinks he or she falls within these graded scales.

Critical: Discuss what it will take to reach the next level no matter where an employee falls, and push them to reach it. This engagement supplies urgency and motivation for most employees to keep their performance improvement "top of mind."

It helps the employee also avoid complacency, and completely normal and natural response to boredom or other cognitive distortions that the employee uses to say to him or herself, "things are okay--I can kick back now." The process described above thwarts this drift to mediocrity or below.

Without short term, periodic discussions that are quantifiable in nature, as described above, the likelihood of performance deteriorating further is high, or at least higher.

Refer the employee at any point to your organization's employee assistance program because if something personal is in the way of achieving the required performance standard, you are not going to be able to deal with it and correct it as a supervisor.

Encourage a self-referral to such a helping program at the very beginning of this process, and at any point along the way as a formal referral if things to do not change, before half through your evaluation period.

Purchase a Performance Evaluation System using the methods shown above complete with with Forms, Video, and instructions at

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Documenting Poor Performance and Writing a Corrective Memo That Human Resource Managers Won't Throw Back in Your Face

Don't tread lightly with written warnings. They are actually corrective memos that can be used in legal proceedings if there is ever an employment claim against your company filed by employees who are out to get you and it strung up.

This model corrective memo is a training tool I developed at Arlington Public Schools and Arlington Country government, and it has all the proper moving parts to keep you out of trouble.

Trouble? What kind? Inexactness, emotional weird statements, threats, and things you would say to your spouse in a fight like "you never listen!"

So here's the Documenting Performance outline (by the way, stop reading this blog and get some decent training at the link to the side called "14 Vital Skills for Supervisors". It's also available in Spanish--yes, the only such program in the U.S.A or South America.

Yes, I have looked. Nothing like it exists.

PURPOSE: Let's get this straight. The corrective memo (written warning) is a means of

creating a sense of urgency necessary to motivate an employee to make changes in job performance:  conduct, attendance, or quality of work. It is particularly useful when corrective interviews conducted by the supervisor have not resulted in needed changes in performance. (Note: Numbers below match specific parts of the sample memo found on the back.)

1. Write a statement of specific concern about job performance problem: quality of work, attendanc availability, conduct/behavior. Include specifics: what happened, when, dates, times, etc.

2. Remind employee about prior conversations or discussions concerning performance issues, and when these occurred.

3. Statement of specific negative impact or consequences for the performance problem(s) stated in #1.

4. Statement of what changes are required and when these changes should occur.

5. Statement of possible consequences, administrative actions, or disciplinary steps if problems continue.

6. Statement asking employee to speak with supervisor if needed to clarify anything in corrective memo relative to changes requested in paragraph #3.

7. Statement of support and value. Mention positive performance elements of employee (what is done well, skills, etc.) but emphasize need for change. Mention resources available to help employee with correcting problem, if applicable.

8. Statement recommending employee contact the EAP based upon the job performance problems in case a personal problem of some type is contributing to the performance problems. DO NOT allude to your beliefs about the existence of a personal problem. An EAP referral by the supervisor is never based upon what the supervisor believes or thinks about an employee’s personal problem, but the performance issues. Insert in your letter the name of the EA professional to whom you spoke and his or her phone number. This will make it easier for the employee to follow through.

9. Supervisor’s plan for follow-up. Provide date when this will occur. Be specific about when you will speak with the employee again to see how things are going.

10. Thank the employee for his or her attention to the matter and end on a positive note.

11. Send a copy to the next level supervisor, as necessary. Send or fax a copy to the EAP.

This #11 i(If you have a company employee assistance program, do not buy into the idea that this program is only a benefit for employees. When such programs were originally created in the mid-1970's (I was there!) they were considered management tools (and beneficial to employees), not employee benefits that management should never think about. Today, they have been beaten up, bastardized, and kicked around by insurance companies and fashioned into hotlines and 800# on backs of insurance cards. You do not know if your worker has some hairy personal problem, so encourage them

This one of many handouts in the Supervisor Training program "Oh So Easy" Supervisor Training Program of 14 Skills.