Word-Of-the-Week #631: Improvement

September 7, 2016 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #631: Improvement 

Improvement – a change for the better; progress in development.

Have you ever offered suggestions for ways to improve processes at work? Do you have any ideas on how your company could save money and reduce costs? How persistent are you when faced with obstacles or difficulties in getting something done?

This week is the follow up to last week’s LA Times article by Joyce E.A. Russell, “The best way to advance your career: Take initiative.” We continue on with,

“Other ways you can show initiative:

  • Be on the lookout for how to improve what you are doing. As Victor Hugo said, “Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.”
  • Offer suggestions for ways to improve processes at work. Volunteer to follow through with your ideas.
  • Offer ideas for how the firm can save money and reduce costs.
  • Come prepared. Show that you did the reading to be well-informed before you meet with a client or offer a suggestion. In those slow periods at work, read up on things, take training classes or look for ways to get more informed about the firm and its businesses.
  • Show persistence when faced with obstacles or difficulties in getting something done. A person who shows initiative rarely has a defeatist attitude.
  • Check out Bob Nelson’s book, “1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work.”

a-improveIn addition to showing initiative at work, you may also be asked about how you have shown initiative in a job interview. Be prepared to answer this question.

First, think about what employers are trying to learn about you with this question. They really want to know if you are able to identify opportunities to make improvements and then followed up on those, if you came up with your own ideas and were able to implement them, and what the end results were.

I’ve known some students who have done incredibly well answering these questions because they were very active in their programs by creating new clubs or programs when they saw needs or gaps. The same goes for employees who spotted opportunities to improve customer relations and then came up with ideas and shared them with management.

If you are one of those employees who can show initiative on the job, you will clearly stand out. As Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once said, “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.”

Which type of person will your colleagues and bosses say you are?

And this just in! My great nephew Colin wanted to be a leader at school but did not see a class office he wanted to run for. So he took initiative and went to the teachers and staff of his school and said, “I want to create a new office, Student Chairman of Academics.” They said yes. He ran and won. (unopposed) Colin thinks outside the box. Pretty cool for a 12 year-old, huh?

This week’s focus is on improvement. Do you come to work prepared and well-informed? Do you look for ways on how to improve what you are doing? Are you able to identify opportunities to make improvements and then follow up on them? Have you found a need for creating a new program like Colin?

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Testimonials: Performance Improvement

March 28, 2009 by · Comments Off on Testimonials: Performance Improvement 

“I can honestly say I have not looked at my career path the same since I went through the Success Discovery Process with Susan.”
—Nancy M. Everitt, Senior Vice President
Barron Financial Services

“I attended your program and it had the greatest effect on me. After listening to you speak I purchased your books. I feel so positive, and not a positive that fades, but a feeling I can work with and use. I feel once again that I CAN AND DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”
—Julie Goff, Lounge Manager
Best Western Marshall Inn

“Since we initiated the Spirit of Service video tapes presentation, I feel that the following improvements are a direct result of the videos: Dining room employees morale is improved
• Dining room cocktail sales are improving
• Appetizer and dessert sales have improved
• Waiter and waitress tips are increasing”
—Dennis Buffington, Assistant Manager
Best Western Regency Inn

“We conducted our first training session with the tapes on Saturday before Mother’s Day. Just before we opened for business on Mother’s Day I went to the store and got a small jar of bubbles; came back to the restaurant and started blowing bubbles in the wait station just as we were opening. Everybody started laughing and some of the servers (halfway through our serving hours) were humming ‘Tiny Bubbles’ as they came in and out of the wait station. It works! It was probably good that I was the one to do it as I am usually the “frowning” one. It broke the ice and we had a Mother’s Day that went like clockwork!”
—Jim Dietz
Smith’s Row Food & Spirits

“Just a note to tell you that I sincerely enjoyed your presentation re: Generation X & Y. Took the material back to my Staff and have instructed my Dining Room Manager (who is re-writing our training manual) to look at your videos and use them. Also, I used your “Positive Attitude” pin on my best server with the caveat that if she didn’t continue to be her bubbly self, I would take it and award it to the next server with a PMA. Boy, has this caused ripples – she shows it to all the Members and treats it as a badge of honor. Now every server wants one. Where can I get some more?”
—Tom Goss, General Manager
Rolling Road Golf Club