Uncategorized

Caring For Employees

IMG_3419 copyOne of the most rewarding experiences for me as a manager has been my employees’ satisfaction and contentment.  Seeing my treatment of a coworker bring a positive change in his or her attitude and motivation has been one of my favorite aspects of management.  I’ve had employees go from fire-worthy to being indispensable to the company.

Vast amounts of research and countless articles have been written about the correlation between employee happiness and productivity, yet so many people are unhappy in their jobs.  A successful manager needs to be focusing as much on employee relations as he does on operations.

I like to keep things simple. The simpler they are, the easier they are to remember and the more likely they are to be accomplished.  I’ve boiled my thoughts on employee satisfaction down to two points: compassion and support.

Compassion

Employees are people.  They have lives outside of work. In their lives they experiences joys and pains.  People want to know that they matter as individuals.  Getting to know your employee on a personal level builds rapport and trust.  If they know you genuinely care for and are interested in them, channels of communication and relationship will be opened up.  They will feel freer to share with you their frustrations with the job and how they could enjoy a more positive work experience.  You may be surprised what you uncover.

Support

Employees need to know that you support them.  They need their manager to trust them and advocate for them.  If they are getting blamed for a mistake, they need to be given the benefit of the doubt.  Standing up for your employee when they get “thrown under the bus” allows them to feel safe and secure in their position and job.  Mistakes do happen.  A manager needs to create an environment where it is safe to make mistakes.  Allowing employees to make mistakes reduces stress in the workplace and allows for problems to be remedied more quickly.

It is much easier to change systems, procedures and policies to affect change in a workplace than change the culture. Creating a positive working atmosphere is a challenge because it involves changing peoples’ attitudes and motivations. For a manager, achieving employee satisfaction makes management fun and fulfilling.

Sales

IMG_3043 copyBefore I got into sales I had no idea how much I would enjoy it.  I had thought that it would be stressful to try and sell a product, but it turned out to be an exciting challenge.  As I gained confidence I began to figure out what was important and universal to selling a product.

Here is what I learned.

1. Get in contact with a customer

People can’t purchase your product if they don’t know about it.  That sounds pretty obvious, but it is the basic problem that advertising and marketing tries to address.  I ask myself questions like, “Where are my potential customers?  How can I make them aware of my product?  How can I get into a conversation with them about my product?”  Putting yourself in their shoes will help you develop your marketing strategy.

2.  Know your product

There’s no point in talking to a potential customer if you don’t know what you’re talking about.  When you are confident in your product and in pitching it to customers, it gives them confidence.  Not only is it embarrassing to not know your product, but the lack of personal confidence will hijack the sale from the start.  Knowing your product is a controllable variable in the sale and there should be no excuse for not knowing it or not knowing the answers to questions about it.  Your confidence in the product will rub off on your customer as well as allow yourself to focus on your customer.

3. Know your customer

It is important to get to know your customer before you try to fit them with your product.  When you get to know your customer you are building a connection with them.  When you find out what their interests and needs are you can tailor your pitch to fit them.  You can mention the aspects of your product that will resonate with them.  In learning about your customer you may discover that your product is not a fit for them and can keep from wasting time trying to sell to them.  I find that when I am open and personable with customers they are more likely to consider buying and I am more likely to enjoy my job.

4. Ask for a decision

By the end of your time with a potential customer you have created a story with them.  You have connected your product to them.  You have described how your product fits their unique interests or needs.  After recapping this story with them, give them the opportunity to make a decision.

Bangkok Bucket List: Chinatown

Ever since I heard about the Chinatown in Bangkok, which is said to be the largest in the world, I’ve wanted to go see it.  I finally got to go this weekend with three good friends, while Ryan stayed home with the girls.  They said it was best to experience it by night, so that’s what we did.  It really was a thrilling experience.  Probably just being out past 7pm would have been thrilling enough.  But, seeing the city at night… the lights, the crowds, the aromas of every kind of street food, was awesome!  I was told that during the day, it’s the hot spot for wholesale shopping, but at night, it’s all about the food. It took us a while to get there, thanks to another thing this city is known for, traffic. After running into a few detours, we finally made it close enough to park and walk.

Bangkok Chinatown

(more…)

Flavor Explosion

Thai snack miang kham

We were recently introduced to this snack called Miang Kham, “a leaf-wrapped bite.”  I’ve tried each of the ingredients in this “bite” separately and wasn’t expecting any surprises.  When I bit into my first “bite” I was shocked at the flavors.  It is such a simple thing, but so good.  Local food is known to be delicious because of the complexity of flavor.  This bite is the perfect example of that.  It takes pretty much every flavor you can think of and packs it into one leafy bite.  (more…)

Bangkok Bucket List: Animal Edition

We had a couple of animal related activities on our bucket list and got to cross them both off in the last few weeks.

When I was around 12 years old, I got my very first camera.  I think it was a part ownership with my sister.  Anyway, the first place I tried it out was at the zoo.  I was so excited and took a whole roll of pictures of animals.  Let’s just say that I learned after receiving my prints, that dozens of snapshots of just animals aren’t so exciting.  All that to say, there aren’t very many pictures of these two outings, but we had a lot of fun.Bangkok Safari World

(more…)

Our New Thing

A few months ago, a popular weekend market moved from another area and set up in our backyard.  Once we finally checked it out, we’ve made it a point to walk over there almost every weekend.  It’s become a weekly highlight for our family.  It’s just too bad the market wasn’t here sooner or we could have had much more time to get to know the vendors.

Our market routine goes something like this: strap Elise in the stroller and head out walking around 5pm.  When we get there, we graze through the food section for a bit of a snacking dinner.Bangkok weekend market

(more…)

Ryan and Melissa Crossett Pursue New Work in Asia

During our time living and working in Bangkok, we have been expanding our professional portfolio through taking on a variety of projects related to community development. We have begun looking beyond Bangkok for the right kind of employment that majors on sustainable development.  We are aware that the Southeast Asian economy is on the rise, but there are still some real needs for development in these countries. We see some promising employment opportunities and expect to make a commitment to one of those in the next few months.

To read the entire Ryan and Melissa Crossett Press Release, click here.

Ryan and Melissa Crossett Press Release #2

Several months ago, Ryan and Melissa Crossett became aware of the needs of a small village in northern Thailand.  As winter season approached, the village, consisting of about forty families, was in need of warm clothing and blankets to last them through the season.  Without these items, these families would be very ill-prepared to face the cold temperatures in the mountains of northern Thailand in the months to come.

To read the entire Ryan and Melissa Crossett Press Release, click here.

Bangkok Bucket List: Canals

Bangkok canals

Bangkok used to be known as the “Venice of the East” because of all its canals.  Before there were roads, there were many canals dug for transportation.  Since cars have come along, many of the canals have been filled in.  However, there are still quite a few in use today.  The canal system is a big part of this city’s history and it was exciting to finally get the chance to check it out.  We checked this one off the list with the help of a couple of our Thai friends and some friends here for a visit. (more…)