Showing posts from January, 2008

Response Time Basics

I guess being a former retail guy the idea that non-response is even an option escapes me. Between complaints that we've heard about non-responsiveness in other parts of the organization, discussions I'm hearing from having a staff member on the Rapid Response Task Force, and getting positive feedback for responses that I took for granted as just normal business, its becoming clear to me that not everybody gets back to everybody timely. I'll readily admit that we have opportunities to improve on parts of HR, but response time is one thing we do well (or at least we hear that often). Here are some basics if you're struggling with your email and voice mail. 1. Organize telephone coverage - Each and every department in the company should identify a support staff person whose primary responsibility is to catch calls that don't get picked up by others. This is a manager's responsibility to organize , and then to call up IT to set up a rollover protocol so tha

Its High Stress Time; So What?

In times of high stress extreme language often enters the workplace. We talk about "the heat of battle", "failure is not an option", etc... and the impression that enters the psyche of some of our co-workers is that we're dealing with life and death. Add to that the feeling that failure to hit numbers may mean their job, and the pressure that mounts is significant. In the past three weeks I've probably done as much pastoral/parish-priest type of counseling than in any period in my career. Its a time of high stress while we still have a closing window to impact Q4 and therefore FY '08, and in such periods stress cracks start to show. If this is you, let me tell you about my week and weekend. While I was in Texas last Wednesday (and thank you to all the Plano staff for your hospitality, by the way) my good friend of over 20 years John Kennedy of Russellville was killed in a single vehicle accident. John was a plumber, and riding with him in his service tr