Monday Mornings with Madison

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Service: The Only Lasting Differentiator, Part 2

Every company touts that they deliver great service. Yet there are many companies actually known for delivering terrible service. Of course, they aren’t alone. But, while business leaders may think that the pandemic has afforded companies leeway in how well they service customers, think again. Subpar service is costing companies customers and sales, which is unfortunate since service is the one area that can truly elevate and differentiate a business long-term from the competition. Here are some companies that are really doing “customer service” right in 2022. Continue reading

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Service: The Only Lasting Differentiator, Part 1

In business, there is a tremendous focus on how to win customers. Rightfully so. And that is nothing new. To win customers, companies will claim a variety of variables that set them apart: quality, price, innovation, convenience, customization, first-to-market, etc. But there is one differentiator that can never be undercut, become outdated, or be copied identically: service. It beats all other features, whether it’s delivered face-to-face (brick-n-mortar), remote-to-remote (email or phone) or screen-to-screen (ecommerce). Great service was, is and will always be the only lasting differentiator, especially in a high-tech world. 

So what does service look like in 2022?  Continue reading

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Millennials vs Zellennials: What’s the Difference? -Part 2

If you’re reading this, chances are you are not a Zellennial. This is not written for Zs, but about them. Because, in business, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of what a company’s employees and customers want and value. We already know lots about Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. But there is a new generation now pushing into adulthood: Gen Z. Many are apt to view them as an extension of their Millennial predecessors. But that would be a disservice to what is shaping up to be a generation that is already changing the world with its views and influence. Here are some important things to know about Gen Z as employees and customers… and perhaps even competitors Continue reading

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Millennials vs Zellennials: What’s the Difference?

The biggest takeaway to be gleaned from all the data mining, computer hacking and data breaches sweeping the planet is that “information” is invaluable. The lesson for business owners is this: know thy audience. So how well do business owners understand the newer generations of Y and Z? For those who think Millennials and Zellennials are basically the same, think again. There are some subtle and some substantial differences between them that affects how businesses should market to them and handle them as employees and colleagues.

Here are some of the main differentiators. Continue reading

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Block Out the “Noise” to be More Effective at Work

There is so much “information noise” and so many distractions that it’s hard for workers to be effective. There is a relentless geyser of unrequested information about people, products and places blasted to every person. And there are a multitude of tools that vie for one’s attention. This is actually harmful. Here’s why and how to reduce its impact. Continue reading

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Time Management and Parkinson’s Law

Time management is arguably the most important skill anyone can learn. After all, the better one uses time — the ultimate finite, perishable resource — the more one can potentially accomplish. But it is also the hardest and most vexing skill to master. At work, managers give deadlines to ensure employees manage time well. And, bosses will often cite Parkinson’s Law – that every task will fill the time allocated to doing it — as the reason for giving tight deadlines. But is Parkinson’s Law true and is that approach effective? Here’s what you may not know about Parkinson’s Law and what you should know about time management.

Read more. Continue reading

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The War for Talent

There is an interesting phenomena occurring in today’s job market. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% in October 2021. But the workforce is also getting smaller as the labor force participation rate also continues to contract, as it has been for over 20 years. With fewer and fewer people looking for work, employers are having to get better at recruiting and retaining talent. Raising salaries is a short-term solution that fuels inflation and doesn’t address what workers seek. Instead, workplaces need to get creative.

Here’s how some companies are doing it. Continue reading

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The Power of Tiny Gains

The principle of “Accumulated Advantage” says that when an individual, group or organization gains a certain advantage over others, this advantage then starts to be compounded over time. And that compounded gain is what eventually hits a tipping point that separates that person or company from all the rest. So how does accumulated advantage actually work and how can businesses leverage this principle to their benefit?

Read more. Continue reading

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Resolving Conflicts at Work, Part 2

Given how hard it is to recruit, hire and train employees these days, employee retention is more important than ever. And a key to keeping employees is maintaining a positive workplace. While conflicts in the workplace are unavoidable — where there are people, there is bound to be friction and even the best workplaces with the nicest people experience conflicts – it doesn’t have to be destructive or lead to turnover. Conflicts can be managed. It’s crucial for managers and leaders to develop Conflict Competence… the skills to mediate conflicts. Thankfully, these skills can be learned and improved. What does that entail?

Read More. Continue reading

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Resolving Conflicts at Work, Part 1

Having employees work well with one another is one of the biggest issues Managers and HR Departments face on a regular basis. Even the best companies have workplace conflicts. They are inevitable. Such conflicts are usually uncomfortable for everyone and can lead to a negative office environment. Understanding the reasons for conflict and deploying strategies to resolve them can not only restore harmony but actually make the workplace stronger and more cohesive.

Here’s how. Continue reading

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