Keinian ideals – Showing appreciation for good work

This is a real-life application of a previous post titled 6 important management qualities, a practice-what-you-preach kinda post if you will.

A customer dropped an email off the other day to compliment one of my guys (Let’s call him B) on his excellent customer service. The customer didn’t exactly request that B be rewarded for his good work, but I thought a little token wasn’t unreasonable. Complaints are all too common in the service industry, and positive feedback comes pretty much on the infrequent end.

Point #1: Management blindness is such that good work tends to go by unrewarded. The worker feels dissatisfied despite the good effort, and eventually becomes indifferent.

So I lightened the wallet a little and got two movie vouchers; one for B (the commended fellow) and another for W, my engineer who handled daily operations. I thought it was fair that W got something for his consistent work so far, and he sure has worked harder than ever after I took over.

Point #2: People who have been performing well should be rewarded too, not just those who have had positive feedback. It may be a small touch, but I believe this makes them feel appreciated. I know I would : )

Summary: they were happy with the free movies, and I feel good that I made their day a little brighter. At least they know good work = appreciation (and possibly rewards!).

And hopefully, they’ll understand that going the extra bit for customer satisfaction reaps positive results, which is the kind of image a service-oriented company should always strive to cultivate. IMO happy customers make good referrers, and nothing beats word of mouth marketing.

*It sounds incredible, but I am still way behind my photo sorting. Will update the post-dated entries when I’m done.

Keinian ideals – Outsourcing your tasks, regaining your life

Just a short blurp on something I have been talking about recently.

Disclaimer: I am writing this post towards the people who can reasonably support themselves, not those who are working their asses off just to get three meals a day and a roof over their heads. Not to be brutal, but the hierarchy of needs imposes itself at this part. One can only dream of idealism after they have fulfilled their baser physical urges.

All of us have limited lifespans, and of course limited time in this reality. We often bog ourselves down spending time on mundane (and all too often, so very dreary) chores like cleaning and tidying the house, grocery shopping, or doing the laundry. Add our day jobs to the equation, and we come up fairly short on personal time. I don’t know about you, but I’m running pretty short on leisure time at the moment; until a couple of days ago, my PS3 was gathering a fine coat of dust from weeks of neglect.

It all depends on our priorities in life of course. If your aim is to save money no matter what the costs, then it’s probably a good idea to stop reading at this point. If however, your goal is to achieve work-life balance then you’re on the right page; this means keep going.

One thing to remember: like what NZ mentioned recently, money is always there but time never comes back.

The question is: how do we avoid wasting more time than we absolutely have to?

Outsourcing is always a good way of saving time, check out this article titled Outsourcing Life. What we are trying to achieve here is to create a rule that helps to decide whether you should outsource your tasks. So the trick is to set yourself a rule, and stick to it.

The cardinal exception of course, is enjoyment of the activity. I hate to sound obvious, but something you enjoy should never be outsource.

For example, cooking.

If cooking dinner everyday would cost you:

  • 2 hours of grocery shopping per week
  • 2 hours of preparation and cooking every day = 14 hours per week
  • 0.5 hour of washing up = 3.5 hours per week

We would arrive at a total of almost 20 hours per week! Imagine what you could do with all that time.

You might save money, but look at the amount of time (not to mention energy) that is consumed. Would it be better to simply “outsource” your cooking and eat out then?

The Rule might look like this: I will spend a maximum of $20 for every hour of my life regained.

I have not reached the stage whereby I would actually spend on domestic help or eat out everyday just to save time, so my one rule is limited to freelance work. There is no way I will sacrifice my personal time on work unless the money is worth the time, therefore..

The Rule: I am willing to lose $50 for freelance work for every hour of my life regained.

This post is pretty vague, but I hope it helps in helping you to understand the value of drawing a line.

Life is short, treasure it!