Are you upping your customer experience game for you or for customers? The difference matters.

Image result for giving simon sinekSo many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to improve their customers’ experience. While I applaud it and truly believe that it’s about time, there is one concerning question, are they doing it to truly serve customers or in hopes of potential gain?

What I mean is are these companies only using what I call faux customer focus as a means for increasing their financial results or is it to really get back to the true roots of business, namely, helping people accomplish objectives?

Selling With Noble Purpose author Lisa Earle McLeod says so eloquently, “When the majority of employees believe the primary purpose of the organization is to make money, the organization is destined for mediocrity. Meaningful competitive differentiation requires an outward focus on the people who actually drive your business, customers.” To illustrate, think about this example. Imagine being invited to a party by a friend only to find out it is a sales pitch for some kitchenware. How would you feel? Would it make you question whether you are a friend or a money-making opportunity? You still got to go to a party and you may have enjoyed it but the intentions behind the invitation took away a lot of the joy and made you feel a little used.

Focusing on customers for your gain versus their gain will ultimately come to light and it will damage you. Make sure you are serving for the right reasons, customer success not your success. When it is truly from a generous heart, good will come back from it. Call it karma if you like but it never fails.

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Don’t fall for shiny and new, get the basics right. Here’s where to start.

Related imageI saw this quote in a post on Adrian Swinscoe’s website, “Try not to fall into the trap of the shiny and pretty and make sure you get the basics right.” I couldn’t agree more. So many customer experience professionals are out there on a trek to find the holy grail of CX and it is a journey where the shiny and new is often alluring, however, that route often fails though because so many businesses are not getting the most basic things right. So, what are those basics and how can we improve?

Three things come to mind as basic elements of a great experience, 1) easy processes, 2) enjoyable people, and 3) effective products.

EASY PROCESSES

Have you ever made a call as a customer trying to get something accomplished only to find it trying or difficult? If so, you know how important ease of systems is. Being able to get things done without tremendous effort is the essence of service. I mean, we pay others to do the work for us, that’s what businesses are for, that’s what service is. And if it’s difficult, do you begin wondering what you’re paying for? Here are some questions to ask of your business to see if it’s making things easy or not:

  1. How many calls does the average customer have to make to get a problem solved?
  2. How many different people or departments do customers have to speak with to get a problem solved?
  3. How many times does a customer have to repeat their story, their account number, or anything else?
  4. How many hoops does the customer have to jump through (forms to fill, research to do, wait time for answers, etc.)?

Take a hard look. Is your operation easy or difficult?

ENJOYABLE PEOPLE

One of the biggest reasons customers list for dissatisfaction is indifference of the staff. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a provider roll their eyes at a request or sigh when asked to do something like we’ve asked them to scale Everest. And that’s not all, I am sure you’ve experienced flat out rudeness or lack of courtesy as if customers are obstacles rather than the reason the business exists. All of these things stand in direct opposition to a good experience and must be improved if any real progress is to be made in the customer experience realm. Here are some questions to ask of your employees to see if they are making things enjoyable or not:

  1. Do your employees make customers feel welcome? Do customers get a smile and a warm greeting, even if it’s on the phone?
  2. Do your employees ask questions to learn exactly what customers need, want, or are struggling with? Are customers invited to provide input and share their story?
  3. Do employees listen with full attention? Do they paraphrase key points back so that customers know they were heard?
  4. Do employees gladly share information that clearly explains things? Do customers leave knowing exactly what to expect, what’s happening next, what they need to do, etc.?
  5. Do employees leave interactions by showing genuine appreciation to customers? Do customers leave feeling they are valued?

Again, take a hard look. Is working with your team members enjoyable?

EFFECTIVE PRODUCTS

Ultimately, this is the biggest test because this is fundamentally what customers come to you for in the first place. They have a need and you fulfill it. That’s what businesses do, they help people accomplish things and if you’re not doing it effectively, your days are numbered. Here are some more questions to ask yourself to evaluate the effectiveness of your products/solutions:

  1. Do you truly know what it is your customers want to accomplish? Is this a question asked of everyone? Are you looking for innovative options to help them achieve more?
  2. Are your customers successful in accomplishing their objectives? Do you follow up to find out?
  3. What are you offering before purchase to help them? What about after purchase, what ongoing support is there?
  4. How responsive are you to their problems? Do customers feel they are a priority or are they a number on a list? How are you ensuring that their problems will be solved and not pushed under the rug?

Go out and observe, ask customers for their thoughts, get to know what’s really happening no matter how painful the truth might be. Are you really providing effective products/solutions?

Here’s the final word. If your business isn’t easy to work with, if interactions are worse than a trip to an oral surgeon, and your products and services don’t genuinely help people achieve success, start updating your resume because your company will be out of business soon. But you can improve, you can take action, you can engage your employees in finding ways to make it all better. Believe me, they know the problems and they have answers. Ask them what they think, ask them for their ideas, and then help them implement change. The shiny, pretty new ideas are floating around everywhere, and they can be as inviting as the sirens on the seas, but don’t fall into the trap, fix the basics first and you will see rewards.

Ten Questions for Removing Complexity at Work

Related imageHave you ever had times when you went into a store to return something and the clerk helping you made it difficult? I’ve often wondered why something so simple could be made so problematic. I often think that one major possibility is that the process the clerk has to go through is so challenging that they want nothing more than to get you out of the way so they can avoid the complexity. I say this because I experienced it when I worked in retail many long years ago. The particular place had a return policy and procedure that was so cumbersome that it was easier to disappoint a customer than it was to perform the procedure. So, we, the employees, often did it, we pissed off a customer rather than having to go the through return-process hell.

Do you see this in your workplace? How many systems are simply out of alignment with employee and customer ease?

Some of you might be grumbling to yourself that work isn’t meant to be easy, it is work after all, but as our friends at FranklinCovey tell us, effective leaders create systems that make it easier to achieve results. When you make things easy for employees, you make it easier for customers as the product-return example illustrates, and if that’s not enough, making employees’ lives easier allows for more efficiency and less errors which means lower costs. You see, ease and lower complexity can make life better – for everyone including the boss.

So, when’s the last time you reviewed your systems and processes? Here are ten questions to help in this review.

  1. What are the key objectives of your team or work group?
  2. What are the systems necessary to reach those objectives?
  3. What are the steps necessary for each system to be successful?
  4. Are all those who touch each system necessary?
  5. Are there any unnecessary steps in any of the systems?
  6. Are there any redundant steps any of the systems?
  7. Is the sequence of steps in each system logical and uncomplicated?
  8. Is any training needed?
  9. Are any additional resources needed?
  10. How will changes to any of these systems improve the lives of those who use and are served by them?

Now, armed with answers and ideas, go and make change. Tear down the old and bring in the new so that employees’ and customers’ lives are improved.

Ask these questions regularly. Never stop getting better. Work doesn’t have to be hard, in fact, it should be as easy as possible for everyone involved. Why you ask? The better question is why not?

Three ways to see people differently and be a better leader.

Image result for see people As a leader, in each and every interaction with our team members, we all have opportunities to see them in one of two ways,  as people who have value or as things to try and control or dismiss. This distinction and the choice you make in how to see them has immense implications for the way you engage and work with them as well as to the culture of your workplace.

If leaders see people as things, specifically, a means to an end or an obstacle in the way, the possibility of kindness and understanding is considerably lessened because people are no longer humans with feelings, needs, and challenges, they’re just machines to complete tasks, or worse yet, objects to remove. This thinking leads to observable behavior that people feel which causes hesitation to willingly follow. This hesitation leads to not volunteering best efforts which ultimately results in people becoming dreaded clock punchers who do the very minimum to keep their jobs. Frustrated and in a quest for better performance, leaders apply more control only to see employees performing with even more mediocrity, and in some cases, active indifference. As this cycle continues all that’s really being accomplished is the creation of a have-to-go-to-work culture rather than a want-to-go-to-work culture.

However, if leaders choose to see and treat employees as people, they can get a better understanding of them. They can learn how to better accommodate their needs to maximize performance. They can learn about challenges and work with them to find solutions that may benefit not only the employee but also the business as a whole. When employees see that leaders care and have their best interest at heart, they’re inspired to use all of their potential to complete their work to the very best of their ability.

We all have the opportunity to choose the way we see others and making the choice to see them as people is sometimes difficult. Thus, this decision must become a habit if we hope to change our actions and behavior consistently. Here are three ways to help begin the seeing-people habit.

  1. Create a blank slate and don’t pass judgement: Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and don’t think of them with labels. Try to approach people with a blank slate in mind. Listen to understand, not to reply or find a reason why they are bad or any other label. Be kind to be kind, not to serve any controlling purpose.
  2. Remember you and others are alike at a fundamental level: Treat people as equals regardless of any position of authority because, at a fundamental level, we all have similar complex, messy issues, needs, wants, dreams, etc. Know that when people get angry, act up, or behave badly, they’re being human, just like you. Make your objective to make people feel comfortable and valued because you don’t see them as less than yourself.
  3. See their potential as a valuable contributor: Everyone has potential and much of it is untapped. As you listen, seek out that potential, that valuable contribution they have locked within. Ask questions and let them answer. See what you can learn, you might be surprised, they may have ideas that help solve, even in some small way, a large problem. Finally, ensure people leave you with a sense that they matter by thanking them for their thoughts no matter how big or small, remember, they contributed and more contribution leads to more success.

How are you interacting? How are you choosing to see people?

Book Review: Transform Your Company by Alex Vorobieff

Image result for transform your companyI just read Alex Vorobieff’s new book, Transform your Company, and it was definitely time well spent.

I think every business leader would agree that if you want your business to succeed, everyone in it needs to be rowing together on the same mission, and until that happens, frustration will be an ever-present partner. In Transform Your Company, Vorobieff shows leaders how to eliminate the chief behavior that keeps businesses from moving forward, and then shows how to find the right tools to reach true alignment.

Vorobieff begins by discussing the critical need for leaders to listen to feedback, both positive and negative, without bias and with humility. This is the first and possibly most important step to removing the frustration of misaligned employees, work groups, and departments going in their own directions instead of the direction of the company’s mission and purpose. Without an honest view of things, it is impossible to make real, long-lasting change. You have to know where the dark places are before you can shine a light on them.

From there, he uses a simple model of an upside down pyramid to explain exactly what alignment means and what, from the core beliefs and values of the organization to the intentions and motivations of the front-line employee, needs to be aligned. He then proceeds to help readers on this alignment journey by showing them how to define their organization’s unique place to begin, the best alignment tools for different situations, how to choose the best tool for each, when to ask for help from a business coach, and what to look for in that coach. And if that all sounds complicated, fear not, this book was an enjoyable read that got to the point and made things very practical.

Vorobieff makes it clear that this journey and process are not easy, but he gives a step-by-step framework to make it manageable. I highly recommend this book to anyone in a business leadership role particularly those starting their own business. But don’t skip it if you aren’t running your own company, any business leader would be well served by learning from this work and where it can lead to making an organization better.

One thing every service provider should do to improve their customer service.

Image result for one thingIn a recent conversation, I was asked for something that anyone can do to improve their customer service. I think I was being challenged to come up with a magic bullet. Well, this isn’t a magic bullet to solve all customer service problems, but it is simple and can improve things immensely.

This simple action is something that I call proactive helpfulness. This is when things are done for you without you having to ask. For me, it makes me feel taken care of and pampered. I feel like I don’t have to lift a finger … which is what great service should be as far as I am concerned. Anyway, I believe that any service provider can, by simply be more observant and mindful, make their customers’ experiences even better by demonstrating this one behavior.

These days, more and more customer problems are managed on phone calls that can and should be resolved in one interaction as much as possible. Getting a quick answer is exactly what customers want and it can be made even better with some proactive helpfulness. By providing suggestions for solving possible next challenges or by making their next step easier, you clearly communicate to the customer that you want to proactively save them time and set them up for success without them even asking for it. Imagine how refreshing it is to make a call to get a problem solved and not only get it solved but also get some proactive suggestions for ways to solve issues that might happen after you hang up the phone. Imagine getting a suggestion that would make something related to your current problem easier or make the next logical step you need to take less complicated. It’s customer nirvana.

An easy way to get team members to start doing this is to have them continually ask themselves, “How can I ensure this person does not have to call me again? How can I make their next step easier?” The point is, team members shouldn’t just solve the problem the person called about, they should give customers suggestions for solving an issue they might encounter when they get off the phone or share an idea for making their next logical step easier.

In other customer experiences that aren’t phone calls, where the customer is present, like hotel work or retail for example, team members should always be looking for opportunities to serve. If the customer looks curious or like they are searching for something, team members should ask how they can help. If the customer is standing in front of an information kiosk, team members should approach them and offer their assistance and provide the information directly. Being proactively helpful in the live, onsite environment is all about being observant and finding ways to help before the customer has to search for it.

Proactive helpfulness is an uncomplicated, cost-effective way to make the customer experience easy and comfortable. By asking before customers have to make a request, it shows a commitment to them and their needs as your priority, and, it’s something anyone providing service can do.

 

 

An Impromptu Leadership Lesson

Image result for helping climbers

Recently, I was approached by an acquaintance who is a manager in his workplace. He was having problems with his team members and their lack of engagement and enthusiasm. Although it wasn’t planned, the conversation turned into a leadership lesson. It went something like this.

MANAGER: I am so frustrated. I just heard one of my employees say, “That decision is above my pay grade.”

ME: Why is that so frustrating to you?

MANAGER: Well, to me it’s just another way of saying “that’s not my job.” It shows no ownership or desire to take responsibility.

ME: So, you see it as a lack of initiative, a lack of commitment, is that what I am hearing?

MANAGER: Yes, exactly. And it’s damned frustrating because I think people should step up when necessary.

ME: Why do you think he’s demonstrating this?

MANAGER: He’s probably gotten jaded or bored or just not that great of an employee.

ME: Is it possible that it’s not all him and that some other things may have contributed to it?

MANAGER: What do you mean?

ME: Well, do you let people take initiative? Do you let them make decisions?

MANAGER: Of course I let people make decisions. They just have to run them by me first. Then I tell them whether it will work or not. If I think it’s going to be a problem, I tell them what to do. It’s pretty straightforward management stuff.

ME: How do you think what you just described might have planted the seed for this commitment and initiative problem?

MANAGER: I’m not sure. I mean, I told you that I let them make some decisions, I’m not a dictator, I leave my door open.

ME: Can I share an observation?

MANAGER: Sure, go right ahead.

ME: Well, it sounds to me like you have created an environment where your employees can’t actually make decisions because you have to be part of all of them. For them, it’s a bit like being a kid with a hovering parent who won’t let them do anything on their own, they just want to go away so they can spread their wings. I don’t want to sound too presumptuous but I can only imagine Fridays here are like the last day of school and Mondays are like the first day in jail.

MANAGER: Okay, wait a minute. I’m a manager, I manage, that’s my job, and I can’t just let them make decisions and do things without putting my stamp on it, it would be chaos. Oh, and of course Fridays are happier, aren’t they everywhere? I mean, you’ve got a couple of days off coming.

ME: Yeah, you’re right, everybody looks forward to the weekend but we can make the workplace better so that the week is fulfilling too.

Now, as far as being a manager, manager is a title and everything a manager does isn’t about managing, especially when it comes to people. You see, management is about control and while there are many things in the workplace that need controlling, like schedules, budgets, systems, processes, etc., things change drastically when we talk about people. You can’t control people. Try as you might, people can think and decide to do things differently no matter how much you tell them what you want. People have tried very hard over thousands of years to control people and they just can’t do it. Some people would rather die than be controlled, literally, look at the history books. What people need is leadership, and leadership requires influence, inspiration, and guidance not monitoring and telling them what to do.

MANAGER: Oh, here we go, a leadership lesson.

ME: Yes it is, but I asked and you said yes. Besides, what harm can it do to try a different approach?

MANAGER: Okay, I get that. What should I do?

ME: It’s just a minor adjustment, I am going to suggest something small but something that could make a big difference. First, when a problem comes up, instead of giving your employees your view, start by asking them what they think is causing it. Get their opinions and observations. I mean, they’re the ones out there fighting the fires, they know best why things are the way they are. Next, ask them what they think would fix it. Get their ideas and if they have good ones, sing their praises and tell them to get on with it. If they have a bad idea that might cause problems, point it out, just do it as a question like, “How do you think that might impact ‘blank’?” You can fill in the blank with customers or a system or whatever you think might be negatively impacted. If they don’t see the connection or are not getting it, ask them if you can share your thinking. The point here is that, as much as possible, you want to get them to think and see the bigger picture not just wait for you to jump in every time something comes up.

You see, your job as a manager isn’t so much about telling people what to do, it’s really about leading them by helping them think and do for themselves. Just think about it, if all of your team members could think and do more themselves without you, you could spend more time on all of the other things you have to do. And, they would be more productive and more engaged. They might just start coming to work because they want to not just because they have to.

How generosity makes us better at work, home, and life.

Related imageService requires generosity, or at least it comes from that spirit. But being generous isn’t such a natural thing. It’s a choice, and it’s a choice that has some risk involved. I mean, you are giving away something of value even if it’s only some of your time. Maybe it will all be for naught and have little or no effect. Maybe it will be the wrong thing. Maybe it will not actually help in the way you thought it would. Maybe the other person doesn’t want any help. Yes, with generosity comes risk.

Thus, generosity requires courage. And if you really want to serve, you must step up to the challenge.

Fortunately, Mother Nature provides us with some help here because generosity makes you feel good, both physically and emotionally. And that little hit of feel-good chemicals is just enough to make it worth any of the jitters that might come from our doubts.

Additionally, Mother Nature also provides us with chemicals that make generosity contagious. When you demonstrate a generous spirit, others get a little chemical hit that influences them to want to do it too. It’s amazing. Our wiring is such that just seeing someone being generous makes us feel good, and that good feeling makes us more likely to act. So although it may seem idealistic, your simple act of courageous generosity can, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, start a puff of air that can become a wind. It’s really an act of leadership.

So, as you go forth today, think about being generous.  Maybe it’s just some extra time spent with your family or a team member. Maybe it’s just some small act of kindness to that person you bump into at the supermarket. Or maybe it’s walking that customer to the right aisle instead of just pointing the way. Regardless of the act, generosity can have a big positive impact, a big influence on making our world just a tiny bit better. Take up the generosity challenge. Be of service. Be a leader. Start the wind blowing. Do it and see how you feel.

 

Changing the World with a Thought.

Image result for being helpfulI just read a story about a consultant who was presenting a workshop to help teachers working with behaviorally challenged kids. During the workshop, the teachers talked about one particular child who was very disruptive. They described one incident where, after becoming increasingly unmanageable, the child ran out of the classroom and out into the schoolyard.

To deal with such things, the teachers had typically defaulted to using a “time out” room, a kind of isolation booth for the unruly. This, however, was proving not to work for everyone. In fact, it served in some cases to make things worse. They wanted to know what else could be done. What could the consultant add that they hadn’t thought of?

Well, the consultant knew that people do not respond so well to being pushed, they typically resist when attempts are made to control them, it is human nature. So they suggested that the teachers think differently. He asked them what would happen, if during one of these disruptions, they thought about how they could be helpful (a more selfless act of thinking about the child’s needs first) rather than to try to control (a more selfish act of thinking about the desire to maintain order)? What if they could move away from their assumptions about this child, and instead, think more about how they could help them? What, by thinking this way, might occur to them to do differently?

Two weeks later, the consultant came back for a follow-up session. The teachers were eager to share their experiences. In one particular story, a teacher recounted that the problem child had run into the gym and hid under blankets. In contrast to how they would have responded earlier, the teacher began to think about the needs/wants of a child in a classroom. They thought, “what if my assumption that this child is just acting out and trying to be a distraction is wrong? What if they just want to play instead of work in a classroom?” With this in mind, they gently approached the child and got down next to them and explained that they would be happy to play hide and seek later after the class. They then returned to their class without demanding that the child go with them.

When the class was over, true to their promise, they returned to the gym to find the child still under the blankets. They reached down and removed the blankets with a loud, “Found you!” From here, they continued the game until they had to go teach another class. Before leaving, they carefully explained that it was time for them to go work with the other students and that they enjoyed playing the game. Twenty minutes later, our disruptive child snuck back into the classroom and sat down.

Several teachers began doing similar things. They would treat their “problem” children as people rather than problems. They would ask the child questions, involve them more, and clearly explain why things had to be certain ways. And although the problems did not cease completely, the teachers all reported that things were different. They were different and the children were different.

What the teachers had found was that seeing the needs of the children made all of the difference. When they took the position of seeing the humanity of the kids (i.e. that they had needs and wants) rather than simply seeing them as a problem, they were able to act, in the moment, to do things for the children rather than to them, they were able to be helpful rather than controlling.

What is the lesson for all of us in the workplace? Well, how might you be seeing others as problems or obstacles rather than people with needs and challenges? How well do you know the objectives and pressures of your fellow team members? How well do you know the objectives and pressures of your customers? How might making these things your first consideration change how you manage those relationships? How might it make you more helpful rather than controlling? How might things be radically different at work … and maybe even at home? Try it and see. Think differently, think about others’ needs and challenges, think about how you can be more helpful, make it your go-to thought, a thought to change the world, your’s and others.’

Many businesses are sick, or at least unwell, but you can make your’s better.

Related imageSomebody asked me whether I thought business was sick referencing my use of the word wellness. I said that I thought some businesses, like people, were sick, some unfit, and some fit and working to stay that way. However, overall, much like the general population, today’s workplaces are largely unwell in one way or another. Since some of you might be wondering what I mean exactly, I’ll explain.

According to Gallup, only 13% of employees are engaged at work worldwide, and in another poll, when surveyed anonymously, 85% of employees report hating their jobs. Read that again, not just disliking their jobs, hating their jobs. Now, couple those ugly statistics with the fact that in 2017, New Voice Media and Forbes reported that $62 billion was lost to poor customer service. And if you’re asking why, some of the main reasons cited were that the customers felt unappreciated and encountered unhelpful, rude staff. And if you’re having trouble seeing a connection, think hard, unhappy employees aren’t exactly prone to deliver happy service.

So, do I think business is unwell? Yes! And it seems to be getting worse. Since 2013, we’ve seen a steady increase in lost dollars to bad service to the tune of about $5 billion per year. That’s a lot of loss. It’s like watching your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol steadily increase over the years to the point where something has to be done or you’re going to have a heart attack or stroke … or both.

So here we are with sick or at least unwell businesses marked by symptoms that are largely going unnoticed by the people in charge. However, things can be done to turn it around.

Much like individuals, wellness involves both mental health and physical health, and if we think of the culture and environment of the workplace as its mental health, the processes, systems, procedures, and policies can be likened to physical health. The well being and health of both is necessary to personal wellness as well as business wellness. And, as being well makes us happier people who are friendlier and more fun to be around, so it is with businesses. When the workforce that is impacted by environment, culture, processes, and systems, feels good, they can and are more prone to make customers feel good.

Now, before we go any further, fear not, I’m not going to tell you that your business needs to get some pool and ping-pong tables and that you’ll need to start providing daycare and free lunches with happy hour on Friday. Although these things would be pretty cool and I’m sure your employees wouldn’t object, wellness is not about that. It’s about making changes to how managers work with their teams and changing processes so that they are more beneficial to employees and customers.

Let’s begin with the “mental health” side of things which essentially focuses on the culture and environment. And where better to start than the key drivers of the environment, management. In well workplaces, managers lead people instead of trying to manage them. They engage their workforce in conversations where they get their thoughts and ideas on solving the problems. They empower their teams and trust them to get the jobs done that they know how to do, and they continuously encourage team members by praising the things they do right and helping them remove obstacles that hamper progress. Put simply, managers who lead build a team where employees with the right talent and experience can come to the front and be leaders themselves when the opportunities arise. In contrast to the traditional leader-follower model, businesses working toward wellness build teams of leaders where managers facilitate and celebrate instead of trying in vain to manage people with old-school command and control tactics. This is the key to healthier cultures and work environments. This is where better business mental health begins.

On the “physical health” side, well businesses regularly conduct a complete review of processes, systems, procedures, and policies. They look for steps that make employees’ and customers’ lives difficult. They look for things that are unnecessary. They look for where they are making it hard for workers to work, and subsequently, hard for customers to work with them. This requires them to listen to their employees and customers, and to get ideas from all who use and experience their systems. It requires redesigning things to make them easier and more relevant for users, customers, and all who touch them. It means getting rid of siloed activities that benefit the few but impede the many. And although it may potentially involve short-term cost, businesses working to be well focus on long-term benefits including efficiency, employee satisfaction, and ease for customers which will yield higher revenues and lowered costs. While none of this happens quickly and it can be complicated, following this road map for improvement is a must if you hope to have better business physical health.

Put simply, business wellness is ongoing work, it’s a lifestyle so to speak where managers lead by engaging, empowering, and encouraging while teams work together to create better systems that benefit them and customers. And if enough of you heed this and begin the work, maybe those ugly statistics that were cited above might just shift in a more hopeful direction. Ultimately, since all of us work and all of us are customers, maybe, just maybe, we might also make life in general just a little better too. All in all, not too bad an outcome when you think about it.

So, why not get to work on this today? Why not get in the business gym and start the workout that advocates managers leading and systems being more employee- and customer-friendly? Why not start today to create better workplace life, better customer life, and better life? Be well.