What is your biggest pet peeve at work?
This morning I came across an article at INC about how pet peeves could lead to your biggest idea. Honestly after reading the article the best part was the headline.
But I got to thinking about this idea that pet peeves lead to great ideas. I know that as I write, many of the stories are the fruit of annoying problems I see in business or the senior living industry. Troy Griffiths, the CEO of Vigil Health Solutions knows only too well that I am an unending fountain of ideas about how we can make emergency call systems better . . . .
Your Pet Peeve
I have no idea if this will actually work, but I have believe we should work on each other’s pet peeve together. So I have a request: 1. If you took a pet peeve and figured out an elegant (or inelegant) solution to that problem share it here. 2. If you have a pet peeve, how about posting it here and maybe another reader will come up with a great solution.
My Pet Peeves
I will start with my two biggest senior living pet peeves. One big and one fairly trivial: 1. If you are a regular reader, you will know what my first pet peeve is. I find it annoying and stupid that too often front desk people in senior living communities are so anxious to get rid of anyone who walks in the door and is not an immediate prospect. 2. Too often I will pull into the parking lot of a senior living community and will find a parking shortage but a reserved space for the executive director just outside the front entrance. Now your turn.
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When I arrived at my current community, first act was to paint over the “reserved” space by the door and change it to “visitor”. Reserved spot for the Director sends the wrong message to staff and residents alike.
Pet peeve? One-sided name tags for staff – the back always seems to end up facing out!
Dave those are both pet peeves of mine too.
I’m a sales/marketing director. At my last community, I would hate it when other managers would constantly refer to any outreach event as “April’s event.” It is never MY event! These events are for the COMMUNITY, to increase awareness and keep us full! I also hate it when staff blames me for new residents they may not find particularly appealing (gee, you really know how to pick ’em).
Great pet peeves April. But do you get the credit when a new resident turns out to be a great resident?
They don’t say too much, Steve. I take it to mean “no news is good news!”
That’s not so fair . . .
Steve, it’s a great idea to throw out there! As to your first pet peeve, I think the problem is that the folks in those positions are not invested in their jobs. It doesn’t take a lot to help people feel more invested. Maybe there could be a small reward for the team, receptionist included, for a certain number of site visits conducted by the community, a certain occupancy rate, etc. It wouldn’t have to be expensive. Something like a pizza day at the end of the month if we achieve a certain number of visits. Of course, you’d use whatever metric would most be impacted by friendly, helpful, first impressions. I also know that language can make a difference. When I worked in the legal field, I used to hate hearing the attorneys talk about “my” client. By just using the word “our” client, they would send a message that everyone at the firm serves the client. Those who insisted on using “my client” were sending a clear message that the staff were not a part of the big picture – and therefore had no personal investment in the client. Maybe there is similar language used in senior communities and people don’t realize how damaging it can be. Do the folks at the front desk feel like the visitors are “their” potential new residents? Just my 2 cents!
Your comments are right on. So often it is the little things that can make such a huge difference.
My pet peeve as an independent resident in a CCRC is not being asked “What features/policies/practices do you consider hindrances to your recommending this place to your peers?”
Marketing is quick to ask for and often reward referrals, but we’re NEVER asked for our input. Does Marketing find out what residents had a career in Marketing themselves, and maybe ask them if they’d like to serve on a Focus Group? No.
Jennifer you touched one of the most powerful measurements for any business. It is commonly referred to as the “Net Promoter Score”. While a referral is great as you mention, but the input to that referral is crucial. Would you highly recommend your community? Then if the answer is no, any community should want to know why. So at the end of the day it is not about the marketing person asking for referrals, but many residents and families willingly telling their friends to come here. Failure to listen to your customer..well just a sign of deeper issue maybe.
Glenn great observation.
Jennifer this is a huge problem in the industry. We forget that residents represent a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that could be tapped into and would make the communities they live in much much better.
My biggest pet peeve was also receptionist and front desk staff not appreciating the visitors and inquiry calls. Lack of training and leadership.
The solution for my community was implementing the “MVP” program which gave rewards and recognition to team members who went above and beyond in their jobs. I found that it took consistent, daily, instant employee recognition for the top down. For example, if a housekeeper introduced themselves on a tour or a server showed exceptional customer service then the same shift (same day) they received a MVP card and a small gift. I also sent out a daily email to all department heads and team members announcing “MVP” winners.
Then once a month when we had a drawing for a large prize and if you received a MVP card then You would bring the card to the payday meeting for the drawing. I gave away gift baskets, $100 gift cards, gas cards, etc and at each meeting recognized the MVP’s.
At first, it was very hard to implement because I was a bit annoying. But I wanted to change the culture of team members running away and hiding on Tours rather than being proud and not embarresed to greet touring guests.
After a few months then people started to really go out of their way to show customer service. I also made it a point to recognize cooks (great service and food on a lunch tour) and my lunch tours improved with service and food quality. The servers were on point in the dining room, and even the dishwashers, salad bar staff, all were recognized as MVP.
From nurses, maintenance team, beauty shop, department heads, and receptionists. Caregivers, housekeepers, custodians, you name it! When it comes to first impressions in a community EVERYONE matters.
The other change that was made was getting the receptionist out of the habit of not booking tours because they needed a “marketing director”. I implemented “reception perfection” training.
Our community started having the receptionist book tours by using a shared calendar on outlook and utilizing it! Being organized, including everyone on the appointments and not turning away a potential move in because of not knowing a schedule. Also, I had the receptionist team send out the initial emails when we received an internet lead.
Once this was implemented, I am proud to say our community had the fastest response time in the company to online leads! An average response time of under 2 minutes! 2 minutes!
The MVP program also helped with this, because I would give “shout outs” and MVP cards for employes keeping on top of this. Because of the volume of internet leads this community had, it was impossible for 2 people to manage all the leads! (Well over 400 residents)
Hope this helps!
Former CRD of Grossmont Gardens – Elmcroft
Kris this is really great stuff. Probably ought to be it’s own article.