Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

4 Lessons in Staffing From the Apple Store

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The post below is a guest blog from Kyle Lagunas.

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for HR and talent management software buyers guides, demos and more. He reports on trends and best practices in human resources technology.

Apple is running a seriously smooth operation in their retail stores. Each employee has a distinct role to play, understands that role, and does his/her part to deliver the level of service we’ve come to expect from this powerful brand. All of this requires serious alignment of brand, business goals and people process.

Finding the right people to work in the stores is half the battle. There are things that Apple’s retail arm does particularly well in organizational development–things any organization could learn from:

  1. Make Work Meaningful. When your employees know that what they’re doing matters, it’s easier to inspire them to do their best. And no one appreciates this more than the employees staffing the stores, who are on the front lines of the customer relationship.
    Apple would be hard-pressed to deliver their standard of service in retail unless their employees were satisfied with the level of employee engagement.
  2. Free Up Your Leadership. When your workforce is deployed effectively–with minimal room in the process for bottle-necking–managers spend less time wondering who should be where and more time keeping the machine in ship shape. Apple Store employees are busy delivering Apple-grade customer service, so it’s up to leadership to maintain the same level of awesome day after day. They’re doing more than managing the operation–they’re coaching staff, leading training, and driving sales.
  3. Know your roles! Tightly-defined roles ensure that your employees knows exactly what he or she is expected to do, what others do–and what other roles they could move into.
    Those boldly-colored tees Apple Store employees wear aren’t just for looks–they designate the distinct role each employee plays. From Experts who assess visitors’ needs, and direct them to the right place–to Geniuses who speak your language when something’s wrong with your precious MacBook–everyone in the store knows his or her place.
  4. Retain With Growth Opportunities. Many organizations are struggling to retain top talent, but how many offer a great opportunity for college grads to make something of themselves? Despite having a great job portal on their site with multiple open positions, Apple prides itself on promoting from within. For the twenty-something Expert with a Master’s degree who’s manning the entrance to an Apple store today (I could name more than one), that’s pretty encouraging.


A Lesson for Your Grinding Gears
Organizational development at this caliber doesn’t just happen–but it’s a necessary part of a thriving company culture like Apple’s. Getting to that level requires open dialogue between senior leadership and business partners–and human resources and recruiting. You’ve already got Experts, Specialists, Geniuses and Creatives in your organization. It’s up to you to find them, engage them, and let them know you want them to grow with you.

Photo Source: nechbi

4 Leadership Concepts to Bring Your Company Success

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO, writes a bimonthly newsletter that features advice for a variety of topics affecting high-level executives in the workplace.  In his latest Executive Scan, Bruce discusses leadership styles. He doesn’t believe there is one leadership style that all executives should assume because workplace conditions change and leadership styles should be adapted to an organization’s current needs.

Most business leaders can’t envision, develop and achieve a successful business initiative without help from their team. Because of this reason, Bruce asks employers to not view leadership as their personal style, but as the ability to get the most out of themselves and their workforce. Below are four leadership qualities that will guide you to success:

Big Picture

Strong leaders do not act in their own self interest. They understand that an organization is comprised of many individuals who also want to see their organization succeed. Effective leaders base major decisions on what’s best for the entire company, not what’s best for themselves and their reputation.

Clarity

Great leaders are excellent communicators. The first time they assign a project, they communicate their expectations clearly so all team members are satisfied with the end result. Additionally, strong leaders value transparency and keep their staff updated on important company news and decisions regularly.

Debate

Successful business leaders are not afraid to be challenged. When employees feel that a company process is ineffective or that they can provide a better solution to a problem, effective leaders want them to speak up.  These leaders understand that disagreement can sometimes spark innovation.

Recognition

One of the best qualities of good leaders is their desire to give credit when it’s due.  Praising employees for the hard work they contribute is an action that strong leaders execute frequently. They also know each of their staff members’ names and learn the characteristics that make each employee unique.

Employees who have effective leadership feel valued at their organization, which keeps their levels of engagement and productivity up. Include the concepts above into in your approach to leadership to create a more productive and enjoyable workplace.

For more information and practical strategies on leadership, please call a CAI Account Manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746, and ask about CAI’s multi-series leadership training program, The Management Advantage.

Photo Source: Victor1558

The Under Management Epidemic

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

In the second video of a three video series on corporate under management and the importance of strong leadership, Bruce Tulgan discusses how under management leads to poor services and products and what it means to be an effective boss.  Bruce heads up Rainmaker Thinking, Inc. and will be a keynote speaker at CAI’s 2011 HR Management Conference, scheduled for February 23-24