Jewel Training News

posticon Jewel Training Award Nomination

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Jewel Training is proud to announce that we have been shortlisted as one of the three finalists in the Training Provider category at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at Marlborough School on Wednesday 8th March.

posticon Are you Tuned into the Right Frequency?

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Are you remembering to broadcast to your customers on WII FM?

The key to successful customer service is remembering your customers are focused on ‘What’s In It For Me?‘. Organisations and their representatives need to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and think “what does this customer really want?”

In business we realise the importance of having rules and procedures – these are like a life raft that staff can cling to knowing they are doing the right thing. But sometimes the right thing is… oh so much the wrong thing!

Those of us not tied up in the customer’s plight or the employee’s angst can fall around with laughter at the stories we hear. My recent favourite was the customer who requested a bigger recycling bin as her family was larger – not an unreasonable request? However, she was advised no larger bin was possible, no extra bags would be collected and she would need to take her ‘extra’ recycling to the recycling centre. The customer had no car and the helpful customer service representative suggested she could use public transport. The incredulous customer asked, “Do you really expect me to take my recycling bags of rubbish, along with my baby and toddler, on two buses, a four hour round trip every two weeks – and that’s without stopping if they need feeding?” Hilariously the reply came “Yes”.

This type of incident is more common than you probably think – another recent story we were told was – how tweeting a business’s opening hours took three days to tweet as the employee with the idea only had the authority to re-tweet! Think of the lost potential revenue!

Following rules and procedures doesn’t always fit in with WII FM – so we need to challenge ourselves and organisations to generate solutions that actually make our business more successful and more popular with our customers.

Jewel Training & Development helps real people in diverse industries and environments to focus on improving their customer service skills and give them and their organisations tools to identify areas for improvement. We can provide a range of courses and qualifications to meet your needs. We love to watch organisations improve and the self-esteem of individuals increase as we help deliver excellence in Customer Service. Last week we were told by one of our Customer Service NVQ clients, “I now feel positive and enlightened.”

posticon Meaningful Objective Setting for Staff

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At Jewel, one of the biggest challenges that we find managers and leaders face is the annual setting of objectives. They are often faced with a blank page and no ideas, so end up just writing a list of work activities Р that are just part of the job role.

So how do you make objective setting meaningful?

First – Objectives should be seen as a “Statement of Achievement”. Write a one liner about what they want to achieve in a certain time scale (or even better, ask them to write it).

Second – We all know SMART! Use SMART as a checklist for your one liner. Consider:

  • Is it specific? – So the person has no doubt about what they are expected to achieve.
  • Is it measureable? – Can they say when they have achieved it?
  • Is it achievable? – Is it in their control to achieve and what do they need to do it?
  • Is it relevant? – Will they understand the purpose?
  • Is it time bound? – Do they know when to achieve it by?

Something to consider when setting objectives:

  • Do I need to set annual objectives or can they be three monthly?
  • At Jewel we like the ‘power of three’ and use our 3×3 method where we set three objectives every three months. This makes it an ongoing, dynamic process. This also means that objectives are reviewed regularly. They are broken into ‘chunks’ of achievement – much more motivating!

Third – Once you define the ‘what to achieve’, the next stage is to consider ‘how’ to achieve it. The ability and experience of the staff member dictates whether you need to ‘tell’ or ‘coach’ them towards developing their clear action plan.

Fourth – Give praise and feedback on achievements of objectives at regular review points and related to their action plan. If they are not achieved, then consider:

  • Is there a problem with accessing resources?
  • What support do they need?
  • What are the blockers to achievement?
  • How to overcome them?

If the objective is not achievable, then redefine it. Otherwise you de-motivate your staff.

Finally – You might like to consider objectives as WAGs

  • Worthwhile
  • Achievable
  • Goals

By setting WAGs via the 3×3 process and using SMART as a checklist, you will be able to set meaningful objectives anytime. Not just at the yearly appraisal! This makes it a more dynamic process over the year and more motivating for you and the staff member.