April 2021 Newsletter

How are You Treating Your Employee Alumni?

by Tim Fulton
As a university alumnus, how often do you hear from your alma mater?

I receive some type of communication from my alma mater almost weekly. It ranges from timely updates from the Tulane University president, fundraising solicitations from the development office, and frequent invitations to attend a variety of university alumni events both here in Atlanta and in New Orleans. There's no shortage of effort on Tulane’s part to stay in touch with me as a loyal graduate.

Imagine for a moment a different scenario. I graduate from a four-year university where I had a great college experience. I love my former school and they seem to love me. Then I move onto a new career, start a family, and.... never hear another word from my alma mater. Not a peep.

Have they forgotten about me? Do they not care about me anymore? How strange it would seem to be cut off from all communication with my favorite school. Over time, my love for that institution would evolve into uncertainty and maybe even anger.

While this scenario is very unlikely to happen with your former school, it happens all the time with former employers. Companies spend a tremendous amount of time and resources onboarding new employees and keeping them, and then very little effort toward offboarding them when they leave.

I think this is a huge mistake for companies big and small.

Jeff Cunningham works with entrepreneurs and visionaries to help them design and achieve ambitious deals and build and sell profitable companies. He created a business model for developing a Proactive Legal Plan™ to make the legal relationship predictable, efficient, and affordable for businesses who watch their cash flow first.

A Partner at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Jeff coordinates the legal and compliance operations for entrepreneurs, newly formed enterprises, emerging growth, and established, growing companies, allowing them to focus on the things that they do to make money. Jeff earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University College of Law, an MBA from Georgia State University, and a BS in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Think Again by Adam Grant

I believe I spent roughly the first two-thirds of my life thinking and learning. Gaining intelligence. Thinking about sports and learning Algebra as a teenager. Thinking about work and learning a trade in my twenties. Thinking about family and learning to be a good dad and husband in my thirties and forties.

And then there was a shift. In my fifties, I began re-thinking and unlearning. I began re-thinking my career and unlearning what I thought I knew about success and happiness. This has continued into my sixties as I rethink my life purpose and unlearn my assumptions about health and fitness. As a result, I feel like I have now gained wisdom.

I believe that re-thinking and unlearning, as a practice, is much harder, as explored in best-selling author Adam Grant’s new book Think Again. Grant is an organizational psychologist at The Wharton School, where he has been the top-rated professor for seven straight years. His books have sold millions of copies, he has done several very popular TED talks, and he has a great podcast.

A simple example of rethinking that Grant cites early in the book involves test-taking. You are taking a multiple-choice test. You've finished the test with time left and you question some of your answers. Should you go back and change them? Seventy-five percent of us learned that revising our answers damages our grades. Are we right? A comprehensive review of 33 studies found that most answer revisions went from wrong to right.

Of course, it’s a good idea to rethink!

One of the most effective ways to differentiate your business is by consistently providing an unparalleled level of service that keeps your clients coming back. This was the topic for our March SBM @Lunch with guest speaker and customer experience expert, Theo Gilbert-Jamison.

For those of you who missed it, Theo explained the importance of elevating the customer in order to grow your business. Recent customer experience trends show that seven out of 10 customers will pay a premium to do business with companies that deliver exceptional service. Certainly Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Disney are familiar examples, but this level of customer loyalty is possible for small businesses as well. You don't need a complex, strategic plan to make this happen. In fact, keeping things simple helps develop consistency. With that in mind, Theo introduced these proven tips to increase your customer service level.

Five Tips for Elevating Customer Service

1). Define your brand promise. What do you want to be known for? Identify the three or four words that describe what a customer can expect when they do business with you, i.e. Accurate, Anticipatory, Excellent, Fast.

2.) Create a strategy for consistently achieving your promise. Institute processes and internal training to help reinforce your three or four brand identifiers with your employees.

-Available on Amazon-
I have never been a cat lover. I always had dogs. But this short YouTube video has given me a whole new level of respect for cats. Can your cat do this?
Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Remember, small business does MATTER.

President & CEO
Small Business Matters
(678) 427-9436

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