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How Do I Connect with 20- and 30-Somethings Dominating the Current Workforce?

This and more of your questions answered.




How do I connect with the 20- and 30-somethings dominating the current workforce?

Let’s face it, print isn’t exactly the sexiest industry on the planet, says Brian Adam, president and owner of Olympus Group. We aren’t developing flying cars, the latest tech gadget, or the next renewable energy source. We’re putting ink down onto a variety of materials and often working on the same types of projects every single day. Don’t get me wrong – I love and take a ton of pride in what we do. PSPs have done some pretty amazing things, but unless your shop is loaded with the latest 3D printers or AR technology, we have some work convincing millennials that the print industry can make for an exciting career.

Here are some tips for engaging millennials:
  • Ask your employees if you have dumb rules.
  • Practice meritocracy by rewarding performance over seniority.
  • Understand what benefits your employees value.
  • Stop calling them millennials.
  • Don’t skimp on the praise.
Is the customer always right?

From a business viewpoint, we think it’s a good idea to take the view that every customer service problem starts with you (“take extreme ownership” as former Navy SEAL trainer and business book author Jocko Willink puts it). But in reality, “the customer is always right” adage is poppycock. A more helpful saying is that the market is always right. When it decides you must change your pricing or business model or whatever, then obey. Or perish.

What’s the best approach to take with employees who show up and go through the motions? They don’t do anything wrong, they’re just not excellent.

Sounds like it’s time for a chat. Call the employee in, outline your concerns or hopes, and explain that you’re setting new and higher expectations, says Kerry Patterson, co-author of Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High. Tell the employee you want him or her to show more desire, initiative, skill, whatever, and provide specific instances where he or she fell short. Make it clear you’ve raised the bar and then jointly brainstorm on how he or she can accomplish the goals you’ve set. You’re also going to need to make yourself responsible for follow-up. This means being on the lookout for positive behaviors, even the most incremental changes, you can recognize and reward. If all goes well, the result should be increased productivity. If not, you’re going to have to make a decision whether to let go of that employee. Average performers make for an average business.

How do you know an online review is sincere?

We’ll assume you’re asking because you suspect a rival is padding its Yelp page, not because you’d ever consider do anything so unethical (and illegal in some states).

Based on Yelp’s own data-driven research, fake reviews tend to stand out because of the following:

  • The glowing testimonial belongs to a newly created account with no history of reviews.
  • There’s an overabundance of first-person pronouns or mentions of who the person was with (“my husband,” “my family”).
  • The review features strings of empty adjectives extolling the general unadulterated awesomeness of the store.
  • The reviewer goes overboard with detailed descriptions of product or service features.
  • There is the existence of terms and phrases that business owners, rather than shoppers, would likely use, such as “great customer service” or “their industry-leading prototype display.”

Bottom line: It’s surprisingly difficult to fake sincerity.

Are there any business questions that are too stupid to ask?





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