Podcast 61: Managing Anger in the Workplace

Resentment, aggression, angry words and bullying – strong emotions show up in many ways at work, and the effects are felt by everyone – even customers. In this interview Ken Burgin talks about anger with Duncan Morris, an experienced counsellor and social worker who’s also been a manager in large organisations.

Duncan explains the nature of anger, what causes it, and how managers and supervisors can handle angry situations when they flare up. Our job as managers and business owners is to create a safe and respectful workplace, and when there are angry outbursts and negativity, the situation needs to be handled quickly. This is a challenge for many supervisors, especially if they are young or inexperienced. You can contact Duncan at Watersedge Counselling.

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Memo from the Boss to Employees, and from Employees Back to the Boss

Memo from the Boss:
I am sometimes under enormous pressure from upper management; pressure that you seldom see. Anything that you can do to make my job easier will be greatly appreciated.

Your interests are important, but please remember that I also have to juggle the concerns and feelings of a bunch of other people, including individuals outside of the department.

I may not have been given a huge amount of training before being named to a supervisory position. As a result, I’ve had to learn through trial and error. That’s not always bad. Many of my responsibilities can only be learned through practice.

If you are a former co-worker of mine, please recognize that supervising former peers is one of the toughest jobs any supervisor faces. The support that you give me is crucial.

I will make mistakes. Please give me the same understanding that you’d like me to give you when you blunder. If I do something dumb or am on the verge of doing so, please tell me. Don’t hint. Tell me.

I don’t like unpleasant surprises. Let me in on bad news as soon as possible. (Things that you believe are obvious may not be that clear to me. On the other hand, you’d be surprised at how quickly the latest gossip reaches my ears.)

I expect you to take initiative. If you keep bouncing things to me, I’m going to wonder why I have you around. You should ask questions if you don’t know what to do. On the other hand, you should not have to be taught the same thing over and over again.

Let’s respect each other’s time. We each have a job to do and the more we can reduce unnecessary interruptions, the happier we’ll each be.

Don’t let all of my talk about meeting goals and producing results lead you into unethical behavior. You always have my permission to be ethical.

If either of us has a problem with the other’s performance, let’s talk about it.


And in return, a Memo from the Employees:
Please remember that you are the leader of our group. We expect you to lead, to communicate that leadership, and to take responsibility.

As you ask me to respect your position and skill, please respect mine. Leadership does not equate to absolute control. If I am to exercise initiative, you must to relinquish a certain amount of control. If you want me to do great things, you have to take the risk that I might screw up, too.

Welcome to the organization. Please take the time to learn what we do, and why we do it, before you decide to change it. Just because it worked at your previous organization does not mean there is a 1:1 correlation at this organization.

Communicate. Consistently and frequently. I don’t like surprises, either. If you’re aware of a change of strategic vision that will affect my projects, please tell me. Any news affecting my job should come from you first – not from an all-company bulletin or the rumor mill.

“I was wrong.” “I’m sorry.” If you can say these two things when necessary, and mean them, you’ll gain more respect than you can imagine.

We, your employees, have the power to make you look very good. You have the power to enable us to do so, and to shield us from bureaucracy and management power struggles. Quid pro quo.

>>> Thanks to Execupundit via Seth Godin.

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Podcast 60: How to Help Staff Improve their Performance

Most staff want to do the right thing, but sometimes they don’t know how – they may need more information and training. And sometimes they don’t want to work correctly – that will need a different type of strategy. Changing staff behaviour is usually at the centre of business transformation, and that’s the focus of Ken Burgin’s guest today, Kevin Dwyer of Change Factory. Kevin has worked with hundreds of teams and thousands of team members, including many in the field of service and hospitality.

podcastlogoblue80In the interview we discussed how this change should be handled by supervisors and managers – the people responsible for ensuring staff perform at their best. We discussed the three pre-conditions for making change happen, and how ‘Skill, Will and Hill’ can get in the way. It’s a great discussion and of value for everyone in your leadership team.

It also connects with the previous interview Ken did with Kevin Dwyer on How to Be a Better Leader – well worth checking. You can also find a wide range of articles and resources in the Profitable Hospitality Staff Manegement Dept.

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Creating More Openness to Improve Productivity [video]

How can we get people more engaged, more productive, and happier at work? Compare the openness and frankness of social media communication, with the stitched-up and closed ways restaurant owners, managers and staff share ideas about business development, problem-solving and change – what a contrast!

In this short, interesting video, Dave Coplin thinks about what could be possible if teams started to really communicate differently. It could be in a private Facebook Group, or on a private project management website like Asana or TeamworkPM – wherever ideas can be shared openly for all the team to see. Exciting, and very different…

Podcast 59: Better Cost Control and Bookkeeping with Online Services

‘Cut costs’ are the magic words – they get most operators paying a lot of attention. But first you need to know what your costs are and how to access the figures. Not just a pile of invoices or POS print-outs, but detailed weekly and monthly totals, organised logically and connected to your bank account.

podcast80That’s where bookkeeping comes into the equation, and there’s a revolution underway with how this can be done online. Instead of locked away on a PC, new cloud-based accounting services like Xero put the power and information in your hands – it’s no longer strange and mysterious.

In this interview Ken Burgin talks with Amanda Fisher, CEO of Connected Accounting about the advantages of ‘moving to the cloud’, and the ways that management services like rosters, invoice processing and POS can be connected to a central cloud system. More control, more information and many more ways to watch your costs and profit margins.

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Podcast 58: How to Sell More Wine

What makes a wine list profitable and popular? Where there’s a good margin on wine sold by bottle or glass, and the list does a good job at ‘selling’ when there are no servers around to assist. Jennifer Anderson of IamWaitress.com is an experienced sommelier and restaurant server – you may remember her from Podcast 32 on How to Build a Strong Front-of-House Restaurant Team.

podcastlogoblue80In this interview Jennifer talks with Ken Burgin about the elements of a successful wine list, the math of wine by the glass and bottle and why a ‘progressive’ list makes choosing easier for customers and staff. We also discussed the language of wine descriptions and how to give service staff more skills and confidence to recommend wine and make more sales. Lots of juicy content here to make your wine list a real profit driver!

On Profitable Hospitality, check 8 Ways to Boost Bar Profits and the wide range of bar management downloads.

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Podcast 57: Cost Control and Menu Development in a Large Club

Paul Rifkin is one of Australia’s most experienced executive chefs. For more than 13 years he’s been running the foodservice at Campbelltown Catholic Club, a large social and recreational club south of Sydney. The club has a wide range of food outlets: casual cafe and gelato, a food court, grill and special dinner events, plus extensive function facilities.

headphonesRed80In this interview, Ken Burgin talks with Paul about how he manages cost-control, purchasing, food safety, choice of equipment, workflow, staff and innovation. His menus appeal to a wide range of people, as the area has a broad demographic. Traditional food is always popular, and modern choices influenced by media and food festivals are well received – this is a business that’s always developing! In the discussion we refer to Paul’s costing method using primary and secondary costs, wastage and wages. Download the worksheet to see examples of how this is used.

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Can you survive and prosper with 1000 True Fans?

The ideas in this famous article have been shared widely since it was first published in 2008:

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, designer, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff … They have a Google Alert set for your name…They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work.

I can see direct application of this for restaurants, cafes and bars, and definitely for chefs who want to promote their careers and publications. And there’s an important point the author makes:

Not every artist is cut out, or willing, to be a nurturer of fans. Many musicians just want to play music, or photographers just want to shoot, or painters paint, and they don’t want to deal with fans, especially True Fans. For these creatives, they need a manager, a handler, an agent – someone to manage their fans.

The article is well worth reading and discussing with your team… your thoughts?

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