Now that this year's Thanksgiving has come to an end, we are pretty sure that you have returned to work relaxed, belly full, wallets empty, and ready to take on your job with gusto! With that in mind, we have noticed a few bits and pieces that could help in motivating your team, improving your leadership and of course, adding some fun into the workplace.
Mr Rogers and Management Advice
Most of us can remember Mr. Rogers. From PBS, Mister Rogers Neighborhood ran on TV from 1968 to 2001, offering a safe and sane TV show for millions of children over the year. Much maligned and mocked, It seems that there is some advice for the workplace in Mr. Rogers approach, and you can read about it HERE. it is a summary of an article from a recent issue of Fast Company.
We liked one of the five management tips best: "Be Consistent in who you are, and what people should expect. We think this is especially important in the campus world, and for retailers to stay focused on their core products and values. Although the desire to snag trends is important, staying focused on your history, and your core mission creates an environment of customer trust and satisfaction.
Speaking of Values...
Have you ever spent what seems like an endless amount of time with staff and bosses hashing out your mission statement, core values and the like? After you wordsmith and hammer out some pithy statements, what happens next? They often become just words on the page, added to annual reports or appearing on the staff bulletin board.
What about sharing these values with your customers? We stopped for a burger at the restaurant chain "Red Robin" recently, and were intrigued by how this restaurant gets their message out. They have printed their core values on the back of drink coasters and the check envelope. There are four values; Honor, Integrity, Continuing Seeking Knowledge and Having Fun. They call it "Living the Core Values", and the descriptions are well written. It suggests that this might be a good place to work, or at least someplace you might want to come back for more meals.
We liked the core value of "Having Fun". As Red Robin sees it, fun is about staying fresh, vibrant and always willing to seek out and learn new things. Value number two is good as well. Integrity. Empower people to do the right thing and they will.
We think it is smart and clever. Does it work in campus retail? We think so, if you took your values and printed them on receipts, receipt holders or displayed them individually throughout the store. A way to share your values with your customers.
Cyber Monday and Holiday shopping.
A few surveys gave us pause last week as the media looked at workplace, employees and holiday shopping.
The first survey asked 100 large company IT managers how they handled employees shopping on line during work hours. 44% said they now block popular online shipping sites to combat "time theft", especially at this time of the year. Most employees admit to shopping on work time, but under estimate the time they spend online, or argue that their activities are during break times.
We thought it is something for managers and supervisors to keep an eye out as Cyber Monday rolls along.
The second survey (one commissioned by Ebay), was intriguing as we had just not thought that much about it. Their survey showed that 6 percent of workers admitted to calling in sick in order to Christmas Shop. 20% of the respondents had considered doing this.
It is not a large percentage, but it does give one pause, and, as always it's something for people supervisors to keep watch on during the holiday shopping frenzy.
Can Campus Retailers.....Connect?
There was a recent article in NACS Campus Marketplace about Assumption College (Worcester, MA) that we liked. Presumably this store has an employee by the name of "BookstoreJosh". In a fit of creativity, they have created two YouTube videos to promote the bookstore, both as a place with more products than textbooks, and a fun place to hang out.
Now many stores have done similar on YouTube, but have generally been a bit flat and boring. YouTube by committee, without much spark. Assumption and BookstoreJosh have gone the other way, creating fun and friendly videos that highlight the store in a positive and enthusiastic vein.
We like video #2 best, with it's campy batman theme music and focus on the bookstore as a campus community center. "The Bookstore....we've got time" is the tag line, and while we would have nixed the "window shopping" line, we enjoyed the focus on using the store's Mac demos for "time wasting activities"
Good job, and we are waiting for the next chapters in the Assumption College Bookstore video library. You can see the whole video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pSYPErEULc&feature=related