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Text Messaging For Work – 7 Guidelines For All Employees

Your Words Matter Training Video on Electronic Communications

Increasingly employees are using text messaging to contact coworkers, managers, customers, and vendors.  In general, there is no problem with this – texting is fast, easy and works to get quick messages across.

Recently, when I was on a video shoot. I was able to quickly handle questions and communicate a change of plans through text messages to the crew. It got the change of plans across quickly and efficiently.  So, I know it’s a huge help.  At the same time, text messaging (like e-mail and social media) can cause problems if handled incorrectly in the workplace.

Here are some guidelines that can help avoid pitfalls.  Think about these when you text customers, coworkers, and vendors:

  1. Make Sure It’s OK Before You Start:  Some people are more comfortable with texting for work than others.  Make sure it’s OK to send them a work-related text.  They may prefer an email or a call.
  2. Avoid Emoticons and Abbreviation:  Work-related text messages should be more factual and more formal. It’s safer for you and avoids confusion.
  3. Check Spelling (and watch out for AutoCorrect):  It’s not a big deal if your text has one or two typos if you’re sending it to a friend of a family member.  It can be bad for you (and your company) if it happens with a customer, boss or coworker.  So, check your messages before you hit “send”.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this fun clip from “Ellen”:
  4. Respond:  Since texting is immediate, people will want to know if you’ve received the message.  Make sure you respond to their text promptly.
  5. Think About Your Tone: Sometimes your humor or your message might be misinterpreted.  Make sure you’re clear.  Avid humor and sarcasm as it may be misinterpreted.
  6. Pause and Reread: It's always a good idea to check your text before you hit sent.  Read the text to make sure that AutoCorrect hasn't changed anything and that the tone is OK.
  7. If Your Message Is Complicated, Don’t Send A Text:  Think before you start a text message.  Is your message long or complicated?  If so, maybe a call or an email would be more appropriate.

We have a new training program that can help employees navigate texting at work. It’s called “Your Words Matter.”  This program provides practical advice on Test Messages, Social Media and emails.  There’s a free preview at our website – so you might want to check it out.



Posted under Lists, Management, Social Media, Etiquette by Stewart on Nov 04, 2015 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

15 Reasons You Should try Trainflix®: THE Online Training Library

Trainflix logo

  1. One Low Price:   Whether you purchase the "basic" package which offers over 350 programs for $16.50 per employee per month (annual plan) or the "Complete" package which offers over 1,800 programs for $24.95 per employee per month (annual plan option)  Trainflix® has an answer for you.
  2. Hundreds of Courses:   You can choose from over 1,800 courses. 
  3. Unlimited Access:   Each employee will have unlimited access to all the programs on Trainflix®.
  4. Watch from Anywhere:   With Trainflix® you can access programs from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet using our iOS and Android applications.  Start the course on your laptop and finish on your phone!
  5. FREE One Week Trial:   You and two of your colleagues can try out Trainflix®. for free.  Sign up - there's no credit card required.
  6. Improve Customer Service:   Motivate each member of your team and improve their customer service skills – in person, on the phone or via email.  It's all available to you on Trainflix®.
  7. Improve Communication:  Learn how to communicate more effectively.   With the programs on Trainflix® you'll improve listening skills and learn how to delegate and make meetings more efficient, productive and effective.
  8. Develop Skills:  Whether you are a manager, supervisor or an employee who is seeking to improve your skills, Trainflix® has a video to meet your needs. You can learn new selling skills or gain insights into self-improvement and personal productivity.  You can find out how your team can perform better or learn how to deal with organizational change.  It's all available to you – immediately on demand. 
  9. Find Solutions for Workplace Problems: Do you have to deal with a problem employee?  Do you need to discuss a delicate topic like an employee's attitude, tardiness or personal hygiene?  You'll find programs to help you deal with all these issues plus many more on Trainflix®.
  10. Motivate Your Team:  You can motivate your team to higher levels of success with our motivational videos.  See how Sam Glenn can give your team a "Kick in the Attitude" or make the office more positive and productive with "The Happiness Advantage." 
  11. Learn From the Best: Trainflix® has some of the world's leading experts.  You can learn from "In Search of Excellence" co-authors Tom Peters and Bob Waterman, Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter, or best-selling authors Shawn Achor, Lou Holtz, Dewitt Jones, Jennifer James, Morris Massey, Loretta Laroche, Laura Goodrich, Joel Barker, Paul Timm and many more.  All these experts are available to you at any time!    
  12. Energize your Meetings:  Do you need to sparkle up a meeting?  Try the Muppet Meeting Films, The Barkles and many others! Make any meeting more fun and exciting.  All these are available to you on Trainflix®.  
  13. Learn How to Comply with Government Regulations:  Whether you're trying to meet standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or trying to reduce sexual harassment claims, you can find programs that will help everyone in your organization.  
  14. Healthcare: If you're looking for specific programs that contain healthcare training for customer service, safety and patient care we have it on Trainflix®.  
  15. Safety: If you are looking for compliance programs with safety instructions we have them! Keep your staff and your workplace safe.

Posted under What’s New, Customer Service, John O’Hurley, John Kotter, Tom Peters, Training Ideas, Sam Glenn, Morris Massey, Leadership, Management, Shawn Achor, Enterprise Media News by Stewart on Aug 04, 2015 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Four Reasons Why Etiquette Matters in the Workplace

My friend Robert Dimmick has been writing about Etiquette for years under the name "The Etiquetteer."  I like his wit and humor (as well as his sensible advice).  I also think that etiquette may be a surprisingly powerful resource for HR professionals...

You're probably asking why am I writing about etiquette?  Isn't this a concept that has gone out with powdered wigs and the Model T?   The answer is simple: I believe that most of the principles of etiquette can help you in your workplace - today's workplace.

Here are some of the ways in which Etiquette can help:
  1. Etiquette helps with customer service: Let's face it, good customer service comes from politeness and genuine interest in the needs of the customer.  Improve the level of etiquette and you'll improve your service.
  2. It helps build respect in the workplace:  When we look at harassment in the workplace, much of the problem seems to stem from a lack of, well, politeness.  If you look at the scenarios that are shown in our respect and harassment prevention training videos, you'll see scene after scene of bad, boorish behavior.  Maybe, if we all tried to be a little more polite, then the incidence of harassment (and the attendant productivity reductions) would diminish. 
  3. It can be a way to reduce workplace conflict:  Workplace conflict can and does happen.  But if your team exhibits respectful, polite behavior, the likelihood of this happening is reduced.
  4. Good behavior also is a boon to business:  You can achieve more if you have good and positive working relations with colleagues, vendors, and customers.

Here are a few great articles from The Etiquetteer for you:

Thoughts on Customer Service.

Thoughts on Office Etiquette.

I encourage you to poke around the website.  You'll find lots of insights and quite a bit of humor as well!

Posted under Miscellaneous Thoughts, HR and Training, Management, Respect in the Workplace, Etiquette by Stewart on Feb 01, 2013 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Out of Orbit Catalog!

Enterprise Media Training Video Catalog

We have completed our new catalog! As always, our design team has come up with a fun cover. But, the material inside is really exciting too. We have a lot of terrific new programs - and also classic bestsellers. You can view the catalog online by clicking here. Or you can request a copy of the catalog by visiting our catalog order form.

Posted under What’s New, Customer Service, Management, Fish Philosophy by Stewart on Aug 19, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off

In Customer Service, Small Things Matter

I know I’ve written about customer service in the past. Well, this time, I want to speak about small things. In particular, how welcome a company makes you feel. I have two examples (one positive and one negative) that come to mind.

This past weekend, I went to a gas station near my parent’s home to fill my car up. I decided that this would be a good opportunity to check to see if I had won "Mega Millions" at the lottery and to put down another dollar for a new ticket. (I am pretty sure that I will never win the lottery, but it’s kind of fun to give it a try and I know the money I spend supports cities and town in my state, so I get a ticket now and then).

I waited in line for a little while and presented my ticket. The sales clerk looked at me with a big frown on his face and said, "You know, you can check to see if you’ve won this on the web." Unsaid was, "Why are you bothering me with this, I don’t like you." Now, I know I can check the winning numbers online, but I wanted to get a new ticket (and a bottle of water). The sales clerk make me feel unwelcome. As I left the station, I asked myself, "why should I shop at this gas station? There are lots of places to get gas, water, and a lottery ticket." I was made to feel unwelcome and as a result, I think I’ll avoid this gas station in the future.

Now, on the other side, I went to a different gas station a few days earlier to get my inspection sticker. I pulled up to the garage and waited for the man who does the inspections to come out. When he arrived he gave me a big smile and, anticipating my questions, asked if I needed an inspection. He thanked me for coming to the station and told me it would be a few minutes and pointed me to the waiting area. When the inspection was done, he thanked me for coming and asked if he could help me in any other way - and he mentioned that as a customer I could get free air for my tires at any time. I left this station feeling welcomed and wanting to give this gas station my business in the future.

It is interesting how important your welcome can be for a customer. Think about it: A smile; a few friendly words; a thank you. That’s all it took to make a huge difference. With one encounter, I left unhappy. With the other, I had a smile on my face - and a resolve to come back.

Business is tough enough for all of us. Remind your team about the importance of a genuine welcome for customers. It will make a difference.

Posted under Customer Service, Management by Stewart on Jul 19, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Comments Off X

Fresh, delicious, crisp...

Yes, we do still include a popcorn package with each DVD purchase. It’s our way of saying "thank you" for being our customer!