Friday, 31 May 2013

Happy associates work better

I've read this and about this before in several articles, web pages, news papers.
The people that normally write those articles do it, usually,  from a company perspective, actually forgetting to highlight the employee perspective on this matter.

As an employee, I can assure that this is a completely accurate sentence. As a person, I have experienced good and bad employers and different policies and approaches to the theme of "employee happiness vs productivity".

And from my perspective, sometimes a company does not need to spend thousands in fancy rewards to make an employee happy and as a consequence, more productive.
Most of the time - in my own view from past and current experiences - the fact that an employee feels that there is someone to turn to if an issue is raised, is half way to the goal.
And please, do not mistake yourself by saying "That's why companies have HR departments and supervisors".
Sometimes, we don't feel comfortable with the people that are supposed to be our "help-on-reach", as they have little or no knowledge of they real job requirements and just go-with-the-flow, sometimes minimizing certain aspects that should be seriously relevant for them in the interaction with co-workers.
In fact, - and again based on my own personal experience - those are the people that can help to make things worst, either being or not conscientiously.

Another thing to be aware of is the fact that some people are normally so delighted when they receive a job offer that it is important to review and in some cases to renegotiate certain aspects of the offer. It's better to do this from start, instead of going with the idea that "after I get the job I can worry about the things that I disagree with".
A contract is a legal agreement between parts, meaning that there are certain terms and conditions that are going to be applicable for the duration of it, some of them that people won't have the possibility of negotiate/ change when already on the job.
What I mean by this is that the fault for unhappiness at work is not always just from the employer, being shared as well by misinformed employees and employees to be.

Happiness is not only needed for personal life. Love what you do, seek ways to improve your job and your daily tasks. Things will turnout better and people will notice as well that a Happy employee is a productive one

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Office Gossips

In every company there's gossip. Sometimes just the light gossip about what someone's wearing that day and some other times comments that can try to influence the way you see and interact with other people.

Since I'm here in my new job, several people came to me to "warn me" about a certain colleague. Because they've seen me talking to her and it seems to be general opinion that she's the Devil in Skirt from the house.

Well, let me put things this way:
I talk to everybody and I don't have preconceived ideas about no one. I don't evaluate people based on somebody else's opinion, but I stay alert.

I stay alert based in the simple fact that if one person comes to me and give me a warning about a certain other person that might simply say [that] they don't like each other but when nearly everybody gives me the same information - without knowledge of the rest of the people - that may indicate that the person is indeed, sign for trouble.

Even being like this, I refuse to label someone based on gossip. Until the person pushes my buttons, I will act normally to her. And when, and if, the time comes for my buttons to be pushed, I'll act accordingly.

Simple, non?

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Inspirational business vs business as usual

In the world today, there are several ways of making business. We can see all the different ways used by entrepreneurs to keep up the struggle to find on a daily basis to help improve their businesses, despite the size of it.

Local businesses struggle to stay alive in the modern days, surviving the competition with the giant chains and larger companies on the same area, seeking ways to attract their target customers to their stores.

Multinational businesses fight against each other for similar product implementation, trying to float on the surface of a more demanding and challenging market.

Customers are changing, going along with the evolution of markets, requesting the development of more technological and simplified products, things that would hopefully improve their quality of life and the way the day-to-day tasks are performed.

In today's world, people want efficiency and fastness at a low cost and speed results.

Another thing that is changing?

My work area. Customer Care.

The way we interact with customers is developing as they become more instructed, more and more orientated to their businesses, tasks, products. Customers are soaking up more knowledge.

I remember when I started working in Customer Care, at the time in a completely different area that today, several guidelines where previously given to me - even in school:

  • The customer is always right;
  • Do not use a monotonous tone of voice;
  • Forget everything that you were doing when you are talking to a customer;

I retained one thing: Your job depends on the customer.
And for me, this is still the major point of my job. If I do not please my customer, the person that is indirectly responsible for me to hold the position I hold, I'm lost. As everybody in the world, I need a job. And I'm passionate about my it.

With the years, I became better and better in what I do and now I am normally pointed as an example of a Customer Care employee by excellence. And there's a trick in that: I love interacting with people.

I think that more important than providing an excellent result when trying to solve an issue is to provide the best possible experience to the customer.
I've experienced several types of calls, several types of people, cultures, expertise. And in all of them - not even one exception - what matters is the way the person on the other side is treated.
Be patient with them, put ourselves to their level (that can go from 0 knowledge to top knowledge), be kind and don't be afraid to ask questions are, in my view, the rules to follow.

There is a simple thing to remember: it doesn't matter how skilled is your customer, how demanding he might be. He's still a person. Be firm and confident and at the end of the day... It's just business as usual.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Woman and the business world

"Being a woman can still be a bit of a taboo in the business world" - I heard this today.

As far as my opinion goes, being a business woman is no different than being a business man.
The thing is, the challenge might be different from the ones they - the guys - have to deal with on daily basis.

I'm not a feminist nor a maniac about genders, I do believe that if someone wants something, it really needs to try hard and be indifferent to the fact that most likely somebody will try to get in the way of your success.

In the past few years I've seen several transformations happening in my life, from having a baby, to changing careers, to being mistreated in a job to finally getting the job that I prayed for. And it was when this happened - when I got this job that I have now, the one that I've been waiting for so long - that I realized that people see things in me that I wasn't being able to see myself.

I found out that I normally make quite some impression on people, because I'm not afraid to show who I am - simple, ambitious, eager to learn - and because I am not afraid to say "I don't know".

I am a firm believer that everything in life can be learned. It may take time, it may take patience, it will certainly take effort. But it can be done.

The same way I learned how to spit fire when I was in my teenage years, despite the fact that I was terrified of getting burnt. The same way I leaned how to use stilts despite the fact that in my head I was constantly picturing people pushing me and making me fall and get hurt.

When a person really wants something, it will find a way. Not everybody finds the correct way all the time, but the important is to keep faithful to your beliefs and values.

My life showed me that if I work hard, I can achieve everything. That if I do things right, if I put my head down and follow the rules, life will lead the way.

So, no. I don't believe that being a woman is still a taboo in the business world. Sure it can make things less easy. But it's up to us to break the stigma and fight for ourselves. Proof who we are. and the rest will just come to us.

Simple, non?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

People never cease to amaze me

Again, people never cease to amaze me.

I think I've said this so many times in the last few days that I'm probably just more open minded lately that usual.
And the thing is, people amaze me for several different reasons, some good, some not so good.
Lately, I've mostly been amazed by people that actually think about other people in the same environment and make all the best they can to help them and integrate them in it.
Like my mentor, Nicola. She's most likely to be the sweetest person I've met in the last few months, always a kind word, always a smile, three constant tons of patience to keep up with my never stopping questions.

But then again, there's people that amaze me for some other not so kind motives, but I'm not even going to bother to describe.

  • Today, I'm learning about SalesForce in training.
  • I also need to start studying for the EMC's Information Storage and Management (ISM) exam.

Time to put my head down and simplify.

life is good...and simple, after all.