Organisation

Do you ever get the feeling of being overwhelmed by the task(s) in front of you? Like there’s no way you can get through all your work?

I had one of those days recently where everything just seemed to be mounting up in front of me, and for a moment I panicked. Have you ever felt like this? Like there’s no end in sight?

I’m getting a little better everyday at recognising the reasons for why my mood changes, which means I can react quicker and get better at dealing with it. I thought to myself…

“Stop for a moment, breathe and think rationally about how to get these tasks complete”

Become an expert in your own life

I have my journal which I can go to and write down why I feel like I do, and try and work out how I can move forward. The journal is a great tool for studying your own life, I suggest you try it. You can begin to track your behaviour and how you react to situations. Here’s a great tip from a very wise man…

Become an expert in your own life & stop studying other people’s lives

– Jim Rohn.

6 Tips for getting rid of that overwhelming feeling

Here’s a few things you can do to make that overwhelming feeling a little more manageable: –

  1. Write down all the things you’ve got to do;
  2. Figure out what the most important task is, and do that first;
  3. If it will only take 2 minutes to do, do it right now;
  4. You could also just start working on anything. Just starting will make you feel a lot better;
  5. Delegate tasks to other people – recognise that you may not be able to do everything yourself;
  6. Out of all the stuff that’s not vital or important, decide whether you need to do it at all. Sometimes there are tasks that just don’t add value – trash these!

How do you get things done?

It would be great if you could share your own stories and tips for getting things done and making your life more manageable. What works for you? Why?

As you probably know, there are many different techniques that can be employed to collect customer feedback.

Ideally you want to collect constructive feedback that you can use to improve and develop your products and/or services.

There are several benefits for constructing and implementing a feedback system for your business, including: –

  • Your customers know that you are prepared to listen to them;
  • You can improve and tailor your service to the needs of your customers;
  • You can strengthen your relationship with your customers;
  • Your team know what decisions are being made; customer feedback can be used to strengthen your business decisions.

I have detailed in a pdf file many ways to collect and use customer feedback, which you can download here for FREE!

Assumptions

I have made some underlying assumptions for the implementation of a customer feedback system, in that you know:

  1. Your objectives for carrying out a feedback process;
  2. What you are trying to find out (which will guide the technique and questions you ask);
  3. How to implement the techniques effectively to get what you want (ethically and morally).

You may have to do a little background reading and some studying to find out how to use each method and ensure you get the best results from your efforts.

Involve Your Team

When it comes to collecting customer feedback, get your team behind you 100%. Your front line staff will be able to encourage your customers to complete feedback slips, questionnaires, etc. Also, your team are more likely to engage with the customer and have the ability to collect verbal feedback.

Never Miss an Opportunity

Gather as much information from your customers as possible with they are consuming your products and services. To do this effectively you will have to give them a few different options and different stages of the process.

Mix it Up!

It is important to not rely on just one channel and that you give your customers feedback choices at different stages. It is likely that different techniques will appeal to different customers at different times.

Anonymous Feedback

Make sure there is at least one option to give feedback anonymously. Sometimes you are more likely to get a honest response this way.

Closing the Feedback Loop

You will see this in the document that you can download.

To explain further…in your organisation there is a system in place for systematically collecting and collating customer feedback. The feedback is then reviewed and quickly responded to. This is a great system to have in place; your customers will know that you listen to the feedback you get and you will in turn begin to build and strengthen your relationships with your customers.

FREE Download

Download the pdf file and have a good look at it. If you have any questions or thoughts regarding the document please get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.

I know that I haven’t covered everything regarding customer feedback and if you have any comments or feedback please do not hesitate to comment below or contact me privately.

Thanks,

Chris.

First of all…HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, I hope you have all enjoyed the holiday season!?

It is a great time of year to think about all that you have achieved in the past year and what you want to do in the new year. New year resolutions are a great way to think about what you want to achieve over the next year, and we all know what the common ones are 🙂

I have read a few Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts today from people posting their resolutions. Writing down your resolutions is a great thing to do as it gets you committed, sharing them with people is also another great way to commit. From what I have seen so far I feel that structuring them in a slightly different way will help to think about exactly how you are going to go about achieving what you want and also help you realise why you are doing it in the first place.

I previously talked about SMART goals from a management perspective, and we can adapt this to structure personal goals and new year resolutions.

Each goal should be descriptive in nature and include the following elements:

Specific Be very specific about what you want to achieve – what it is and why.
Measurable Make sure you are able to measure it, so you know you are working towards your goal.
Achievable Make sure you have the ability to reach your goal. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are not achieving anything – but this is not an excuse to make it easy.
Realistic Similar to above; make sure the goal is realistic. You may want to increase or adapt your goal as time goes on, as you get better/used to it. Initially, make sure the goal is within your grasp.
Time bound Give yourself a target, a time in the future when you want to be at a specific level or position.

We can now apply this structure to a few examples

Example 1 – “I want to get more exercise”

SMART version
Currently I exercise once or twice per month and I would like to increase that to two times per week, which I feel is realistic according to my current schedule. I will go to the gym on Wednesday evenings at 6pm (directly after work) and Sunday mornings at 10am. I want to lose weight and get fitter, so I will weigh myself once per week and measure my fitness by how long I can run for; I will aim to lose 1lb a fortnight and run two miles in twenty minutes, and increase these targets as I get better. I will review this in March and increase my cardio and weight targets as I see fit.

Example 2 – “I want to eat healthier”

SMART version
I would like to improve my eating habits and ensure I eat between 3 and 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. I also eat out far too much so I am going to cut out restaurants and take aways to once per week, with the aim to cut it down to once per month by June 2012. In order to help myself achieve this I am going to go shopping once per week, on a Sunday, and buy all the food, fruit and vegetables that I need to last me the week, which will also save me time and money. The reason for doing this is to be healthier but also to lose weight, so I will weigh myself once per week with aim to reduce my weight by 1lb a fortnight, I will increase my fruit and veg consumption to 5 portions per day by March 2012.

Helping to track your achievements

There are some great free apps available online now, which can be used on several platforms. I use all the below applications to help me keep notes and lists.

  • Commit – A great way to gamify your commitments – try it on your iPhone, I love it!
  • Remember The Milk – Great for managing several task lists at once.
  • Evernote – Can be used to keep track of your everything
  • Google Docs – Notes used for things to do lists

I hope this helps you to think about your goals slightly differently.

Please post any comments below, it would be great to get some input – any of your own examples of your new year resolutions are perfectly welcome.

Thanks and all the best for 2012!

Chris.

As a manager there is a good chance that you will be asked to write a performance review report for your relevant department(s). I have listed a few tips that should help you to structure and present a report in a professional way so that your report will be taken seriously and, if you are lucky, it will actually be read by your manager!

There are several benefits to writing management reports: –

  • Over time a collection of reports will prove as a great portfolio and growth measurement tool;
  • It’s a great opportunity to show your manager what you have achieved.

Report Preparation

The following considerations should be made prior to, and during, report writing: –

  1. Who is the report is for?
    1. How much do they already know about what you are writing about?
    2. Why do they want this information?
    3. Who else may possibly read it?
    4. What do they want to use the report for? (Consider any economic or political influences)
  2. Appeal to the stakeholders best interest, for example: –
    1. Profit
    2. Revenue
    3. Productivity/Achievement
    4. Sales growth
  3. Appropriate formatting should be applied
  4. Spelling and grammar should be checked
  5. Keep the report professional & factual as possible
  6. Keep the report as concise as you can

The Report Structure

Here is an example of what should be included in a management report: –

Front Cover
Title, author and date

 

Contents Page
Summary of contents

 

Summary/abstract
Contains a summary of the report.
Briefly comment on how you feel about the performance of the department to date.
A Small paragraph, enough to let the reader know the content and relevance of the report.

 

Expectations vs Reality
Include a comparison of your initial expectations and the most recent time frame (if it is a 3 month report then you would consider your objectives from 3 months ago and weight them against your current state)

 

Unit Performance
Provide a brief outline of the department/unit performance over the time period and provide reasoning for unexpected growth or decline/excellent or poor performance, etc. Provide charts and graphs if appropriate to illustrate your points.

 

Projection of Performance
Project performance for the next 3 months (or time period agreed by line manager) – provide reason why you believe this to be the correct projection.
Provide charts and graphs if appropriate.

 

Current Objectives
With reference to the last three months and achievement to date, what are your current objectives and the course of action toward achieving these objectives.

 

Ideas and Concept Proposals
Give indications of what changes you would like to put in place and include proposals and structured ideas/concepts, based on factual data and information. Provide a SWOT analysis of any decisions that are to be made. Provide charts and graphs if appropriate.

 

Conclusion
Provide a summary of the main report and link into recommendations. No new information or data should be included in this section.

 

Recommendations
Recommendations based on previous analysis of objectives and concept proposals contained with report. Your recommendations should be clear and concise; a summary that can be read quickly and understood.

 

Acknowledgements
Reference to other published work and credence to personal assistance.
Location of where data and information was obtained from.

 

Line Manager Comments
Allow your line manager to make comment and feedback on contents of report and recommendations you have made.

Important considerations

Providing factual information and data to make your recommendations look concrete is vital, it must be obvious where this data was obtained and that it is from a reputable source.

I hope this provides you with a starting point for writing a management report!

Comments are more than welcome!

Thanks for reading,

Chris