Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Tips for New Employee Integration
Tips from Our School for Managers
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Third Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
I would like to thank one of our readers who sent us the following after reading our Feature Article last month titled - "A story of compassion".
"The story quoted last month is Perfection at the Plate, a work of Rabbi Paysach Krohn
which appeared in
his 1999 book, Echoes of the Maggid. Echoes is a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" type work, described by
its publishers as "heartwarming stories and parables of wisdom and inspiration." It is the fifth such
tome in the Maggid series. Rabbi Krohn says that the story is true and that he was told it by Shaya's
father, who is a friend of his. (The "Chush" school mentioned in the piece is the Jewish Center for
Special Education on Kent Street in Brooklyn, a school that caters to Yiddish-speaking children of
Orthodox Hasidic Jews.)
I've read that story (Feature Article I A story of compassion) many times and every time it makes
me cry....because, in spite of everything we see and hear in the news every day, I truly believe that
most people are good at heart and will choose to do the right thing if they are left to make that
decision and not spoiled by outside influences. Thanks for reminding me.
It's been a rough month." - Arizona
NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:
There is nothing new on the web site this month.
Tips for New Employee Integration
TIP 5: Looking Inwardly
Provided by Orientation Passport
Do a frustration (barriers to productivity) survey among new hires at the end of the first, third
and sixth month. Manage the results.
TIP 6: Celebrate the New Hire
Take a Team Picture on the first day and have it signed by all the members
Visit the Products and Services describing the Orientation Passport
Tips from Our School for Managers
- by Andrew E. Schwartz
TIME MANAGEMENT -
Time is a personal thing. What might seem like a waste of time for you may be highly productive for
someone else. Think about day-dreaming, for instance. One person may be doing crucial planning as he
stares off into space, while another may have absolutely nothing on his mind. To become more effective
and productive, managers must thoroughly examine and consider their lack of time. If training or
personal change is based on the results of such examination, productivity within an organization or
department will increase significantly, and stress will decrease.
Copyright A.E. Schwartz & Associates, all rights reserved
For more information: Charles.Loew@masetllc.com
ONE LINERS - "To make you think and/or smile"
- There are some things that money can't buy. For everything else, my salary isn't sufficient!!
- Well done is better than well said.
FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
Minimum Wage does not mean Minimum Effort
By Dirk Dusharme - Editor-In-Chief, Quality Digest
Good customer service has nothing to do with how much you make.
Our publisher, Scott Paton, got plenty of e-mail last week in response to his rant against
mega-merchandiser Wal-Mart (see "Last Word" in our April 2004 issue). Most of the e-mail
agreed with his view that Wal-Mart has lost sight of customer service (see "Letters" on page
5 and "Last Word" on page 64 of this issue).
A few readers disagreed, however. Because we're running our salary survey in this issue, one letter
in particular caught my attention: "It's a simple case of getting what you pay for. I could
get mad at a person at Burger King for messing up my order, but I realize they're working there for
minimum wage. Not exactly a rocket scientist!'
There's an underlying sentiment in that statement that says I shouldn't be concerned with the quality
of my work if I'm not paid well. Or, even worse, as a consumer, I should expect crappy service from
someone getting crappy pay. Well, I don't. I expect good service, all the time. I've had jobs that
paid five bucks an hour and jobs that paid 50 bucks an hour (not this one, trust me), and I always
strived to do the best job possible. I expect others to do the same.
Laurel Thoennes, Quality digest's editorial assistant, often gets e-mails from the readers and
advertisers whom she deals with on a daily basis, praising her for going out of her way to locate an
old article, help change a buyer's guide listing or about a million other things. Laurel isn't
exactly in line to buy a Lexus. She gives excellent customer service because she takes pride in
I asked our art director, Caylen Balmain, about his first job flipping burgers. "Did you think
about how much you were being paid, and did it affect whether you did a good job or not?"
"Funny," he replied, "I never thought about that before. Now that you ask, I don't
think it ever crossed my mind what I was paid. It was my first job, and I wanted to make sure I kept
it." Minimum wage and 42,000 burgers later, Caylen now runs our art department.
I believe that pay has little to do with poor performance. The same people who do poor work at
minimum wage are going to do poor work at any wage. It's an attitude.
Although the ultimate responsibility for job quality lies with the employee, I think managers also
have responsibility to look for ways to motivate employees, to get them excited or at least involved
in the workplace. What are your employees' interests? Is there a way to connect their job to those
interests through company activities? Is an employee interested in a different type of work at the
same company"? If so, why not slowly train them in that function? Maybe the employee has
personal problems that are dragging him or her down. Does your company have a policy, formal or
informal, to get help for employees who are depressed, drug- or alcohol-dependent or in abusive
situation? Do you take a personal interest in your employees' well-being? Do you give credit
where credit is due?
It's wrong to explain away a grumpy Wal-Mart greeter or messed-up Burger King order on low wages,
as if that makes it OK. The way to get better wages is to do a better job than everyone else,
to smile at the customer, to so blow the customer away with good service that this person mentions
to your manager what great service you gave, instead of writing a put-down that will be seen by a
quarter-million magazine and Web readers. Now that, my friend, ain't rocket science.
Reprinted with permission of Quality Digest. Originally appeared in Quality Digest, May, 2005
SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
Quality Means No Secrets
Published in Quality Digest - News Digest Section
When United Southern Industries faced increasing foreign competition and a downturn in the U.S.
economy, it didn't order cutbacks or layoffs like many of its competitors. Instead, the company chose
to invest in its shop floor employees and adopt a stringent quality effort to facilitate a turnaround.
The quality and management programs have worked: its innovative Cost of Inferior Quality and Quest
for Success management programs saved this North Carolina-based injection molding manufacturer $1.1
million in 2003 and another $327,000 in 2004.
The programs keep United Southern industries' employees fully informed about the company's financial
status. Factors that negatively affect company performance or profitability are assigned dollar
values, clearly illustrating to individual employees what their actions mean for the company as a
"United Southern Industries keeps as up-to-date on everything from health care costs to what's
driving the business we are getting and losing," says Lisa DosSantos, shop floor machine operator. "Most companies keep this a secret, but not here."
The company also invests heavily in education, providing each employee with an average of 100 hours
of training per year. This allows employees to become certified in their job skills, and the company
boasts a large percentage of Society of the Plastics Industry certified operators and several American
Society of Quality-certified workers. The company is registered to ISO 9001 and QS-9000 and has
implemented Six Sigma and lean manufacturing practices.
In 2003, United Southern Industries implemented an innovative workplace game called Power Dots.
He game is posted on a large board in each facility and keeps "score" of each shift's
efficiency, scrap, yield, sales, labor use and return material authorizations. Each shift works
together to advance its game pieces, creating friendly competition among the workforce.
"Employees absolutely love the programs," says Todd Bennett, United Southern Industries
president. "There's a sense of trust built up now that all employees have access to the
financials, understand what the company is doing with the money, as well as how their position
affects the bottom line. Our profitability is up, our labor costs are down and job errors are
The programs have had the following effects on United Southern Industries:
- In fiscal year 2003, internal rejections/scrap was reduced by 41.2 percent.
- In fiscal year 2004, internal rejections/scrap was reduced by an additional 13.4 percent.
- External rejects and returns reduced by 65 percent
- In fiscal year 2003, corporate efficiency increased by 8.1 percent.
- In fiscal year 2004, corporate efficiency increased by an additional 7.7 percent.
For more information, visit www.unitedsouthern.us
Reprinted with permission of Quality Digest. Originally appeared in Quality Digest, April 2005
RxSales: An Expert Performance SystemTM
Unique Strain of ADD Strikes Seasoned Sales Professionals
By Linda Stimac, Author, RxSales: An Expert Performance System
Today Jim Kinney is the president and managing broker of Chicago's preeminent real estate brokerage,
Rubloff Inc., with seven offices and 225 agents who average $7.1 million each in sales. But Jim
remembers the day he knew it was time to hang up his agent gear and accept the call of sales
"I was sitting with a prospective buyer, nodding my head as he talked, smiling at all the right
moments," he told me. "But I was actually thinking about my upcoming vacation. Suddenly I
was capitulated back into the present, and I realized that I had not heard what my prospective buyer
had said for - how long? I had no idea."
Jim Kinney explains a classic symptom of salespeople who suffer from Attention Deficiency.
It is the bane of seasoned professionals. They have a command of their subject and extensive
experience with similar conversations. It is easy to perform several tasks at once - plan ahead,
think about other things, and listen (well, sort of).
A more commonly known condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), makes it difficult for children
and adults to focus, organize, and finish tasks. Treatment includes medication, counseling, and,
in some cases, behavioral therapy. While the exact cause is not clear, researchers have found that
ADD tends to run in families, so a genetic factor is likely.
In the RxSales Expert Performance System, we examine sales professionals for signs of a disorder that
is specific to their profession. Instead of a genetic cause, research shows that Attention Deficiency
in sales is often linked to length of time in the business. It is people, not tasks that do not
receive the attention they deserve. And the results can be devastating. Sales professionals pay
a high price to engage in a behavior that the rest of our society condones: multi-tasking. They
often miss the most important thing that the potential client says - the buying signal. While
Jim was mentally landing in Jamaica, did his prospective buyer say The One Thing that would cinch
Lack of attention is one symptom. Another is impulsivity, defined as "acting before thinking."
This happens when the sales professional is taken off guard and loses control temporarily. A
potential client says something or does something that has the effect of a curve ball in baseball
or a tough shot in tennis. Every sales professional has a different list of tough shots. One says,
"Oh, I hate it when prospects say 'All right, show me what you've got,' and I feel like I must
perform on cue, like a wind up toy." Another says, "I get annoyed when people take phone
calls or other interruptions when I have an appointment with them."
Despite the nature of the tough shot, a salesperson's response is often impulsive and ineffective.
Sudden moves are common for sales professionals whose style is alert, fast-paced, eager, and change
oriented. However, in sales as in sports, sudden moves can lose the game.
For attention deficiency in sales, treatment involves behavioral conditioning. Part of the prescription
lies in learning time-honored ways to achieve the state of concentration - or "one pointed-ness,"
as the definition suggests. Many top producers' results improve dramatically when they perfect the
art of staying in the moment. Some realize that both their personal and professional lives have been
running on automatic pilot. They get serious - Yoga classes, books and tapes help them regain focus
and control. The second part of the prescription involves developing a response sequence that allows
sales professionals to move through their tough shots and regain control of the process once it enters
more comfortable territory.
Since Attention Deficiency often plagues the seasoned professionals in a sales organization, Jim
Kinney was wise to authorize a Group Diagnosis of his agents. In the first group, we discovered
that Attention Deficiency was a major problem. Fifty-percent of the agents showed some evidence of
the condition and, for thirty-six percent of the group, Attention Deficiency had become a critical
problem. Their leader, Jim Kinney, could have basked in the glow of a record year in 2004. He could
have, but he did not. With an eye to the future and a track record of investing in advanced learning,
Jim convened a group of agents for lunch one day and recommended elective "surgery" (The
Clinic for Sales ProfessionalsTM) for this and several other early warning signs.
With proper treatment, sales professionals enjoy Attention Proficiency. They successfully perform
their essential role - expert facilitator of decision-making. Anything that takes professionals or
their prospects and clients off the natural path of decision-making is an obstacle. That is why
Attention Deficiency takes a place, along with Decision Making Dysfunction and Enlarged Approval
Gland, as a Killer Condition.
To learn more about RxSales: An Expert Performance Systemô, visit the Guest section at www.rxsales.com or contact Charles Loew at Charles.Loew@masetllc.com
COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:
- Many more "Tips for New Employee Integration".
- Future tips from Our School for Managers will include topics in coaching, goal setting, time management, communication, delegation, and others.
- Many new ideas and concepts from "RxSales: An Expert Performance System"
- A new course offering on Finance
- Online method of conducting an employee satisfaction survey
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