Autonomy in the Service Industry

Autonomy is a risky part of any business. It has been a part of many successful businesses throughout the last 20 years, notably IBM. IBM has had tremendous success with allowing their staff complete autonomy. Staff are only required to report into the office once a month for a team meeting. As long as assigned projects are completed on time and up to standard the company, employees are free to complete their projects whenever and wherever they please. The almost limitless autonomy has been really well received with the millennial generation as they thrive on creativity and working on their own terms. IBM has seen consistently strong productivity numbers from staff members and continues to ‘lengthen the leash’.

The concept of completing a task on your time whenever you feel like only works in specific industries. One industry that it does not work well in is the service industry. Staff members need to show up to work everyday, on time, and ready to serve. Business hours are set in stone and customers expect service during those hours. The idea of serving customers at 3 a.m. because you just crushed a Vodka Redbull and cannot sleep does not fly. This may work in a development firm where you can work at any hour as long as you are done your work by the project deadline but not in the service industry.

The service industry has room for creativity within the marketing side of the business but little room to play with in the front line service position. Being creative within a customer service position will likely get you fired for not following company standards and set policies. Staff with a customer service title need a creative outlet to keep them motivated in their repetitive job. This is an opportunity for service companies to maximize productivity within their staff. Companies need to offer creativity sessions, which allow staff members to brainstorm and share ideas on how to operate the business more effectively on a day-to-day business. A single afternoon every couple of months, where staff can step back from their daily service jobs and evaluate what could be done better on an ongoing basis.

Give it a try; what’s the worst that can happen? Your company will increase productivity and staff members will feel valued because they got to contribute to the business’ success.


Encouraging Performance vs Encouraging Heart Disease

Meyer Friedman, the guy you have never heard of, was a curious cardiologist. He documented his patients and divided them into 2 groups, Type A or Type B. Type A’s are people who are always in a hurry, overall more stressed, and at a higher risk of being diagnosed with heart disease. Type B’s are the complete opposite as they tended to be less rushed and affected by the stresses of everyday life. Type B’s were just as ambitious as Type A’s and were diagnosed with heart disease dramatically less than Type A’s. I like to consider myself a laid back person that doesn’t let the stressors affect my health or everyday activities.

Daniel Pink has divided humans based on the their motivation, Type X or Type I. Type X stands for extrinsically motivated and I stands for intrinsically motivated. We exhibit specifically as one type the majority of the time and can sometime exhibit the other type. Type I individuals tend to perform better in the long run over Type X individuals. This is not to be confused with turning down a paycheck or refusing recognition as Type I do need this aspect as well.

The hardest part of building a workforce for your business is finding a Type I and keeping them working for you. Type I’s can be trained and Type X’s can be converted to Type I’s. Once money is no longer interference, Type I’s can thrive in your environment and perform up to their potential basis.

In my opinion, getting Type I’s onto a service team and keeping them there is the hardest job of all. Finding an individual that wants to deliver high quality service for near minimum wage is extremely difficult. In the real world, it is tough to get a business owner to pay enough to attract Type I individuals to your business. Training your staff to become Type I individuals can be done and it is a valuable practice.

No matter if you are trying to avoid heart disease or looking for the perfect employee, it all starts with understanding what motivates each of us. Remember to be calm, cool, and collected, as the stresses will disappear eventually and the financials will sort themselves out.

International Flair with a Local Touch

As a world traveler I have experienced a wide variety of cultures and norms. I have enjoyed Parisian baguettes in the gardens of the Louvre to dining on cottage pie in the north of Scotland whilst sipping on 20-year scotch in a rickety old pub. I am open to trying new cuisines from the around the world and trying new traditions from foreign countries abroad. I have long considered the idea of working abroad and spending a fair amount of time away from the Canadian tundra. Many people share this ambition to travel and work abroad to gather new stories, adventures, and knowledge.

Globalization is the increasing connection of business and cultures the world around through many different forms of communication. Globalization is a common factor in international businesses that are successful. Our need for foreign resources and investment has never been higher. The importance of dealing with our foreign neighbours in a respectful manner is a prominent part of modern business and necessary for success.

A form of globalization can be found in most local golf clubs. As professionals in the golf industry, we are always trying to offer the best product at our club for the members and guests. It is commonplace for golf clubs to search similar golf clubs the world over and hand-pick the best attributes from these clubs and bring them together at their location. The intent is to create the ultimate experience, best product and service all at one location.

Member retention is a constant challenge for every club across the country and around the world. By offering globally tested product of a high level of standard, quality, and service, each club will be able to keep the members spending their disposable income at the club for many years to come. The opportunity to offer international flair with a local touch at your club could bring in new customers and keep long-standing customers with your club. An example of this is theme nights at the club. Throughout the golf season the food and beverage department would put on various culture nights offering the corresponding cuisine and entertainment for the members. This helped to keep members spending their money at the club whilst educating them on various cultures from around the world.

There are many different ways to be a part of globalization but the most important aspect of globalization is to be a part of it.