The Importance of Connecting

October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Being able to relate and connect with the members of an organization is important in the business world. One of the main reasons individuals stay with an organization is if you communicate with them, recognize their good work and give them room to grow in their job.

It is important to have enthusiastic company members who give their best efforts to make your organization stand out from other companies.

To be able to make your organization a great place for the employees you can have a significant impact by practicing the following seven strategies –

  • Put People First
    All employees! No matter what position want to be respected and valued for their contributions. Respect comes in respecting opinions, respecting time, respecting efforts and culture. In return, the employees need to respect their employers and their careers.
  • Man and woman shaking hands isolated on a white background.Create A Safe Environment
    It is our job to provide employees with a safe haven to bring forward their ideas. It is our job to listen to our employees and listen to the truth. Many employers use intimidation and create fear for employees. This causes employees to contribute less rather than more. Employees must feel safe to be willing to try new ideas and know they will have support whether or not the idea works.
  • Breakdown Barriers To Information
    Traditionally, information is power and that information may have been granted to a select few. Today you need not to selectively communicate. You need to keep employees informed on what’s going on in your organization and how they fit into the plans of the organization. This will assist the employees to give their all to making your organization better.
  • Create Personal Growth Opportunities
    Organizations need to be focused on providing “WOW” services for its clients and customers. This can be accomplished by giving your employees responsibilities and opportunities with the clients and customers. You need to invest in education, training and systems to allow your employees to learn and grow. This in turn will result in the best service provided by your employees.
  • Undo the Organization
    You must be willing to change your organization from the rigid, rule-bound organization of the past. You need to be willing to be lean, flexible and allow active involvement of your frontline employees. When you give your employees the responsibility in their jobs, you must also give them the authority to do their jobs. You need to depend on them to do the right things.
  • Engage Your People
    Employees are a tremendous potential source of organizational improvement. Allow your organization to have a system that allows suggestions. Then analyze and implement good decisions from employees. There is a wealth of good positive ideas that result from engaging your employees.
  • Make Recognition a Way of Life
    Research shows there is an overwhelming positive effect to an organization’s bottom line when employees take the time to recognize and reward employee’s efforts. The simplest recognition, such as a verbal recognition or a “thank-you” card for when an employee does a good job or is celebrating a success. Take the time to recognize employees; you will be amazed of the positive effect.

Communicating and connecting can have a tremendous positive effect. Put these seven strategies into effect today.

Bob McGowen
Bob McGowen

Collections…You CAN Do It!

October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Are collections from clients or customers part of your job responsibility?  Maybe you are the boss or maybe your boss has assigned you with the task of collecting past due accounts.  For me, it was the latter.  At first, my mind was racing with questions such as; Why me? What do I do? Where do I start?  After praying, I found peace and a process that was very successful.  I would like to share what I have learned over the past year.

  1. Develop corporate policies. If your company does not have a plan in place……develop one.  It does not have to be complicated.  Use common sense practices such as: engagement agreements and retainers before service begins. Send a letter or place a call for accounts over 60 days. Stop serving clients over 120 days past due.  Consider small claims court.
  2. Select a specific individual to manage collections. “”Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.””
  3. Research what you can and cannot do before starting the collection process. In my case, I called an attorney.  His advice was priceless.
  4. MP900341404[1]Be professional. When placing calls or sending letters always be polite.  I can hear my Mother’s wisdom now….””You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  My highest compliment was when a client expressed, “”You are the nicest collection call I’ve ever received!”
  5. Listen. One of our senior partners recently expressed his Mother’s wisdom, “”God gave you two ears and one mouth so that you can listen twice as much as you speak.”  I have learned there is always a reason for a late payment.  If you take the time to listen the client will tell you the problem.
  6. Take notes after each call. Develop a spreadsheet with the client’’s name, last payment made, amount due, days old and a section for notes. Review your notes prior to making follow-up calls. This documentation is invaluable and allows you to quickly recall pertinent information relating to each client account.
  7. Be flexible and compassionate. Allow the client to make a monthly payment that works within their budget.
  8. Be persistent. At first, the collection process is uncomfortable and easy to put aside. As with anything, the process will get easier with time.
  9. Be patient. The process is a marathon, not a sprint.
  10. Be thankful. If you are the boss, empower, support and thank your Collections Specialist.  If you are the Collection Specialist thank your client for payments made.

There is no time like the present, so pull up those past due accounts and start collecting!

Amy Jurgensen
Amy Jurgensen
Executive Assistant – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

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