Attention High School Students: 5 Tips to Maximize Summer Employment Experiences

Ahh… summer has finally arrived. Summer is the time for enjoying great weather, outdoor activities, exploration and of course the “summer job.”  For some young adults this summer could include their very first employment experience so we want to set them up for success!  In today’s blog, we’re covering our top 5 tips for maximizing summer employment experiences.  Let’s go!

#1 –  Always look for ways to add value

A job is more than simply being present.  Showing up on time and performing the required duties are minimum expectations.  It’s important to stand out by being a differentiator.  What does that mean? Essentially, anything that increases revenue, decreases expenses, or improves efficiencies is a value add for an employer.  It means looking for ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently and being a problem solver.

#2 – Be a team player

Demonstrate your commitment to team goals by supporting and encouraging your colleagues.  Cheer for their successes.  Apply critical listening skills for effective communication.   Respect others and recognize that everyone’s role on the team is important.

#3 – Ask thoughtful questions

Build rapport by asking questions that reflect your knowledge of the company’s leadership, industry, competitors, products, or customers. Doing so will demonstrate you have a genuine interest in the company.

#4 – Network

Seek mentors and build connections with experienced senior team members; it’s a great start to networking.  That said, don’t overlook your peers.  Undoubtedly you’ll cross paths with them again as you rise through the ranks.  Peer networking is also a valuable resource for leads on future opportunities.

#5 – Document your experience

Take a moment at the end of each day to review the tasks you completed, the skills you utilized to execute those tasks, any new skills you acquired, and quantify your accomplishments.  This information will be critical when updating or creating your résumé.  Your recollection of details a year later may falter so it’s best to collect and record information in the moment.

We hope something shared here helps you.  Tell us about your first summer job in the comment section below and make it a great day!

4 Tips for Post-Pandemic Workplace Etiquette

As many offices begin to re-open, workers can expect to be met with new safety protocols, open concept workspaces, and varying levels of comfortability in our world of the “new normal”.   As we adjust to these fresh starts, it is more important than ever to draw on our ability to empathize with others and maneuver workspaces with thoughtfulness.

Tip 1: Review Covid-19 Safety Protocols 

Policies and rules vary from business to business, so be sure to take note of all safety protocols provided by your employer prior to returning to the office.  Pack an extra mask so that you’re prepared for situations such as offsite client meetings that may fall under different protocols than your workplace.

Tip 2:  Avoid the “V” Topic

Returning to the office provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with colleagues and catch-up on life events.  Conversations can quickly turn to vaccination status and it should be avoided.  This is private medical information and intrusive inquiries are inappropriate.  Likewise the oversharing of vaccination information can also make people uncomfortable.

Tip 3: Leave Your Tchotchkes at Home

Many companies are moving to open concept workspaces with unassigned seating.  This can be a big adjustment for people who enjoy having all their creature comforts nearby.  Also, refrain from encroaching on temporarily unoccupied desks with your overflow. 

Tip 4: Embrace Meeting New Neighbors

These new open concept workspaces create a fluid community.  While some may prefer the routine of seeing the same faces everyday, open concept seating allows for new connections and communities to grow so it is likely you will have rotating workplace neighbors. 

Observing these general tips should help with the transition from remote work.  Be sensitive to the fact that everyone’s level of comfort will vary (respect one another’s boundaries).  Extend a bit of grace as we all continue to shift and pivot. 

We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your tips for transitioning from remote work in the comments below!

Make it a great day.

3 Misconceptions Businesses Make About Generation Z

So, you think your brand understands how to impress Generation Z (Gen Z) to buy your product/service?  Compare your assumptions to the results of a Gen Z think tank survey:

  • When considering a purchase, quality is the top consideration for Gen Z with price a close second.  Accountability and trust tie for third place
  • Gen Z males said maintaining high quality on products will capture their loyalty while Gen Z females said great value for price will make them loyal to a brand 
  • Celebrity endorsements have the least effect on brand loyalty—even though Gen Zers have a fascination with pop culture

Members of Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2015 putting them in the age range of 6-24 years old in 2021.

What matters to Gen Z is that they want businesses to know who they are and what they like/dislike.  To be clear, Gen Z is not a monolith, however, due diligence must be undertaken if you’re serious about including them in your client base.  Remember, Gen Z buying power in the U.S. is a whopping a $143 billion. That’s nearly 40 percent of all U.S. consumer shopping.  If that’s not impressive enough, 93% of parents say their Gen Z children influence their household spending and another 70% of parents ask their Gen Z kids for advice before making purchases.

Your company has a higher chance of attracting Gen Z to become loyal customers IF your core values align with their expectations.

Gen Zers are looking at your company’s mission, product quality, and service quality before committing to purchases. If you want their business and loyalty, review your corporate philosophy to determine if it conducive to the three points in this article.

Let’s all go out there and make it a great day.

4 Powerful Ways to Kickstart Customer Service

Most customers will leave your brand if you don’t give legendary service.

It’s simple.  The quality of a company’s customer service will impact revenue. Offer gold standard experiences and revenue will increase. Deliver consistently poor service, revenues will not only decrease but there’s a good chance the company will go under.

Surprisingly, what matters most in service may not be what you think. Research shows more than anything, customers want to be seen, heard, respected, and have their problems resolved with laser precision and quickness.  They don’t like repeating themselves either! 

Dimensional Research, a market research company, revealed that 69% of consumers attributed their good experience to quick problem resolution, while 72% were irritated with having to explain their problem to multiple employees.

Follow these time-tested solutions in order to take your customer service from ordinary to legendary:

  1. A Powerful Support Team – Every employee is responsible for delivering gold standard service.  Managers are the glue that hold the company together.  They’re responsible for encouraging, training, and motivating all members of the team.
  2. Purpose and Values – Ensure all employees (a) are on board with the company’s vision to serve (b) have a sense of strength and solidarity for the company’s success.
  3. Recognition and Appreciation – Give the team positive feedback and recognition in order to build esteem and enhance a feeling of value and accomplishment.  This will build morale and create happy employees who will deliver exceptional service.
  4. Journey to High Performance – You want team members who are committed to being great, who think in terms of “we” rather than “you”, “I”, and “me”.  You want a team that will anticipate client needs and deliver ultimate luxe.

Strive for Michelin star ratings.  Give such personal and detailed attention as to make clients feel as though they’re the only customers on your books.  And above all…

Make it a great day!

Ask 5 Questions: Then Pandemic-Proof Your Small Business

Customer service delivery has become more complex thanks to a global pandemic.  It is the customer who has leveraged control and has demanded a positive experience, not the company.  

Nearly overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic elevated the importance of delivering fast and accurate digital experiences to customers who found themselves cut off from conventional ways of doing business.

According to a global study by ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, a measly 27% of companies have transitioned from recruiting underperforming in-house talent to high-efficiency automated systems in order to deliver top drawer customer experiences (CX).

So, what’s at stake?  Profitability.  As you answer the five questions listed below, consider whether your responses match what’s in your pandemic plan, company core values, mission statement, and corporate culture philosophy:

  1. Has your team developed skills to create a digital customer experience (CX)?
  2. Have you identified the touchpoint that matters to your customers?
  3. Has your team aligned its objectives & key results (OKRs) with CX?
  4. Has your company consolidated data into a single customer view?
  5. How much progress has your team made toward providing a personalized CX (creating personas specific client demographics)?

The largest returns from CX initiatives come from positioning the right people, processes, and technologies in the right departments to deliver a superior experience time after time.   According to ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, almost 50% of global leaders reported a moderate to large ROI due to maintaining an efficient and  personalized CX platform, versus only 22% for others.

You may have already implemented the necessary safety measures to protect employees and clients from further complications of COVID-19 and future disasters; however, it is also important to know that protecting and growing your small business is about finding ways to anticipate the needs of your clients and to deliver superior service with laser precision.  Trailblazers constantly search for ways to implement state-of-the-art safety and delivery systems that will benefit both clients and employees as well as local and global supply chains.

Remember, clients are your “why”.  Show them that you are in this for them and with them.

Make it a great day.