Myra Golden’s Customer Service eLearning Training


We created our customer experience eLearning portal to fully prepare frontline employees to deliver friendly, empathic and personable interactions over the phone, email and chat. Delivered in short engaging modules that you pick and choose from, this is a great professional development platform to set new hires up for success and it’s a great skill primer for employees needing a warmer and friendlier touch in interactions.

Myra Golden, a customer experience keynotes speaker, trainer and author, who has worked with such brands as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Vera Bradley, Lincoln Financial, Bumble Bee Foods and Frito-Lay, helps your people with such relevant customer service training topics as:

Customer Experience Over the Telephone: From beginning to end these are the soft skills you need for the best telephone customer experience

How to Talk to Customers: Human relations skills to help your employees deliver a delightful customer experience

Empathy: A short experiential course designed to inspire a true culture of empathy

How to Handle Difficult Customers: 5 Conversational Aikido principles to put customer service professionals in control when dealing with challenging customers

Call Control: How to politely control calls using conversational Aikido

Email Writing: 3 elements of a great email customer experience

How to De-escalate: An assertive approach to pre-empting an escalation in aggression 

How to Deliver a Wow Customer Experience: 20 Ideas to Help You WOW customers

Complaint Handling: Learn to handle problems in such a way that you completely restore customer confidence after a service mishap

This customer service training is perfect for:

  • Contact Center Professionals who speak with customers over the phone, via email and chat
  • Front-desk employees in medical practices
  • Customer-facing employees in any industry
  • Training Departments that have gaps in soft skill to fill
  • Small companies that want to instantly improve the customer experience
  • Call centers

Get the full course details here.

3 Elements of the Best Possible Customer Experience (New Mexico Jeep Tours Flawlessly Delivers)

My family and I vacationed out west last week. We went to Albuquerque, spent 3 days there, then went on to Phoenix.

We took a tram up to the top of Mount Sandia, we toured Sedona, went off road in a Jeep to hike the White Mesas; we visited a museum, spent a full day at the Grand Canyon and we had some amazing food. My husband chose all of the restaurants, insisting only on local cuisine. He even made sure to select vegetarian-friendly spots for me.

Out of all of our experiences out west, my single favorite experience was the White Mesa Jeep Tour with New Mexico Jeep Tours. It was my standout favorite experience because the company, New Mexico Jeep Tours, gave me and my family a phenomenal customer experience.

If you’ve been to one of my keynotes or training sessions, you’ve heard me talk about the 3 Elements of the Best Possible Customer Experience. The 3 Elements create what I call “The Way of Harmony.”

The idea is to get in harmony with what your customers expect, need and deserve. When you’re in harmony, you are in the perfect position to deliver the best possible customer experience.

New Mexico Jeep Tours delivered on each of the 3 Elements and I want to talk to you about how they did that.

My 3 Elements of Harmony for the Best Possible Customer Experience are:

  1. Easy
  2. Engaging
  3. Enjoyable

Here’s how New Mexico Jeep Tours delivered a phenomenal customer experience using the 3 Elements.


 A crucial aspect of the customer experience is it has to be easy for the customer. It has to be easy for the customer to get their needs met. Easy for them to reach a live person; easy to complete a transaction; easy to find something on your website.

Our needs for this Jeep Tour were simply to have fun, experience something new and to experience Albuquerque in a unique way. Those needs were absolutely and easily met.

An important need I had was I wanted to take photos. Photography is my passion. Clint, our Tour Guide, quickly “got” that taking photos was the most important thing to me. He was incredibly patient with me. He even pointed out things that I would want to stop and capture. He really let me determine what I wanted the experience to be.

Sunset in Alburquerque

Rather than sticking rigidly to a plan, he let me, the customer, lead the way. This allowed me to make the experience what I needed it to be – and this allowed me to be enchanted with the entire experience.

New Mexico Jeep Tours White Mesa


The customer experience needs to be engaging. Clint was definitely engaging. He took the time to establish rapport, he talked to us; he showed genuine interest in each of us.

Most of all, Clint was passionate. He truly loved the mesas, the ancient ruins, and the fossils. He loved what he did. And in his passion, he pulled us in; engaged us. This gave us a great experience.

Clint of New Mexico Jeep Tours


I enjoyed this tour! It was scenic, majestic, breath taking. We hiked through sandstone cliffs, ancient ruins, and painted deserts.

We were in a Jeep Wrangler doing some serious off-roading! Me and my son loved that; my daughter, not so much. We were on the lookout for rattlesnakes, we learned so much. The tour was private, just my family. I captured some amazing images. The sunset was stunning. I enjoyed every second of this 3-hour tour.

New Mexico Jeep Tours.jpg

When customers enjoy their experience with you; you’ve tapped into their emotions. This is what makes the customer experience remarkable and memorable.

The Bottom Line

Focus on the 3 Elements of the Best Possible Customer Experience. Be easy to do business with; make it easy for your customers to get their needs met. Engage your customers through warmth and friendliness and passion. Make the experience enjoyable.

When you do, you’ll be in harmony with what your customers need, expect and deserve – and you’ll be perfectly positioned to deliver the best possible customer experience.

Myra Golden is a customer experience keynote speaker and trainer who travels North America looking for great stories to share, and new ways to help her clients deliver the best possible customer experience.




Myra’s “The Way of Harmony” Keynote

New Mexico Jeep Tours website





Contact Center Training Events with Myra Golden

Three Unique Professional Development Events for Customer Service Professionals

Created and Facilitated by Myra Golden

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How to Handle Difficult Customers Using Verbal Aikido

5 Aikido Principles for Creating Calm, Defusing Anger and Moving to Closure with Difficult Customers

August 10, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET

Creating calm with difficult customers is not a matter of using aggressive tactics. It’s also not about letting the customer vent until they cool off or you being a doormat. There are definite tactics, deployed strategically, that will position any customer service professional to create calm, defuse anger and assertively control conversations.

In this special online workshop Myra reveals the 5 Conversational Aikido principles she has adapted from her 15-year study of the martial art Aikido. Employees will walk away from this workshop with specific Aikido techniques and tactics to create calm, take control of the call, defuse anger and move the call to closure. Myra’s Aikido principles have earned rave reviews from such clients as Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Ally Financial, Nationwide, the Insurance Consumer Affairs Exchange and more.

The outcome of this web training event is customer service professionals who walk away understanding exactly how to create calm; how to find resolutions that balance the interests of the customer and the company; how to reduce escalations; and how to create a positive conversation.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Discover 5 Aikido practices that I promise will make you more effective in handling difficult customers.
  • Explore the psychology of customer anger so that you understand what is going on in the mind of your upset customer.
  • Understand why ignoring the customer’s expression of anger is the WRONG thing to do– find out why you MUST assertively acknowledge your customer’s anger.
  • Find out how to strategically create calm with aggressive customers.
  • Examine the communication chain and learn how it gives you the edge in communicating in conflict situations.
  • Learn why you should see your difficult customer as a “partner” and not an opponent. Aikido masters always consider their opponent a partner and you’ll learn why.
  • Discover how to communicate assertively, create calm and take control with difficult customers by using conversational aikido. 

A tip discussed in this training is “Acknowledging customer Anger” See Myra discuss this tip below in this 2-part video.


Another point Myra makes in this webinar is the Aikido principle of “Don’t push.”

This training is perfect for:


  • Customer service professionals who deal with difficult customers on a daily basis
  • New hires who are inexperienced in handling aggressive and difficult customers
  • Employees who come across as aggressive or blunt with difficult customers
  • Contact centers experiencing a high rate of call escalations due to employees’ inability to handle difficult customers


How to Handle Difficult Customers Using Verbal Aikido

5 Aikido Principles for Creating Calm, Defusing Anger and Moving to Closure with Difficult Customers

August 10, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET

$299 per organization. Registration is FREE to Members. Registration includes

  • Unlimited logins from your organization
  • Comprehensive Handouts
  • Digital copy of the webinar – you can download it, save and have it forever!

Register Now



Call Control Using Conversational Aikido

September 14, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET

Research shows that the average business call lasts 2 minutes longer than it needs to. Often, we don’t know how to bring a call to closure without feeling like we’re being rude. Perhaps we’re caught up in a conversation with a Chatty Cathy, a rambler or a whiner. Maybe we’re talking to a friendly older person. How do we politely bring the conversation to a close?

Conversational Aikido emphasizes assertiveness, maintaining control and harmony – all directly applicable principles for politely getting the long-winded caller to the cut to the chase while delivering a great customer experience.

Myra Golden, a customer experience designer who has designed and facilitated customer service training worked with such brands as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, the FDIC and Verizon Business introduces the keys to polite conversation control.

The outcome of this web training is employees who are able to politely and effectively move calls to closure.

Key Take-aways:

  • Grab and flip…how to use the “Topic Grab” technique to take a caller’s rambling chatter and quickly flip it into focused forward-moving conversation.
  • Take control of any conversation in 6 seconds flat….a surprisingly simple 3-step technique you will love.
  • How to use psychology to move your customer from the talkative right-brain to a calmer left-brain position.
  • Myra’s step-by-step “Conversational Aikido” method to start taking control of calls beginning with your NEXT phone call.
  • How to deal with a confused or frustrated caller – so that you can move the call to closure.

This training is perfect for:

  • Customer service professionals who need just a little help learning to assertively and politely controlling conversations with customers.
  • New hires who need to learn call control skills right away.
  • Employees who struggle to bring calls to closure.
  • Contact centers experiencing excessive average call talk times.



Call Control Using Conversational Aikido

September 14, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET


$299 per organization. Registration is FREE to Members. Registration includes

  • Unlimited logins from your organization
  • Comprehensive Handouts
  • Digital copy of the webinar – you can download it, save and have it forever!

Register Now




How to Preempt an Escalation

September 28, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET

Your escalations have gotten out of hand. Agents are frustrated and are sometimes happy to hand calls over to supervisors. Customers feel that the only way to get the answers they seek is to speak to a supervisor. Meanwhile, supervisors are frustrated, backlogged and overwhelmed because all they do is handle escalated calls.

Sound familiar? Yeah, we know it does. Well, we have help for you.

The outcome of this training is employees who can speak with confidence, authority, and control, while still being friendly and personable. These new communication skills enable employees to reduce call escalations.

Key Take-aways:

  • Learn the 4 top reasons customers escalate to supervisors.
  • Examine why you don’t want to flat out refuse to let a caller speak with a manager.
  • Get a 4-pronged approach for preempting escalations.
  • Discover how to communicate with confidence, demonstrate your knowledge and speak with authority so that you reduce the need for callers to escalate.
  • Examine perfect phrases to use when the first thing callers says is, “I need to speak with a manager.”
  • Make an honest attempt to help the caller who wants to escalate using 3 sure-fire steps for responding to the caller who demands to speak with a manager.

See Myra speaking about how to preempt an escalation

This training is perfect for:

  • Customer service professionals who need just a little help learning to assertively and politely controlling conversations with customers.
  • New hires who need to learn call control skills right away.
  • Employees who excessively escalate calls.
  • Contact centers experiencing excessive call escalations.

How to Preempt an Escalation

September 28, 2016 1:00pm ET – 2:00pm ET

$299 per organization. Registration is FREE to Members. Registration includes

  • Unlimited logins from your organization
  • Comprehensive Handouts
  • Digital copy of the webinar – you can download it, save and have it forever!

Register Now

How to Handle Difficult Customers Using Verbal Aikido

Myra Golden Customer Service Training Highlight

Verbal Aikido: A non-agressive, highly effective strategy for handling difficult customers

Myra Golden Slide Deck WIDE.001

Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers are more savvy now than ever before.  Although this sounds like a good thing, the net result is an increase in stress for frontline customer service professionals. According to Newsweek magazine, the stress level of consumer services professionals is comparable to that of air-traffic controllers and police officers.  In short, the role of customer service now ranks as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S.

In this keynote Myra Golden reveals that extremely difficult customers are determined to force corporations—via the customer service professional—to give in to the consumer demands—reasonable or not.  This means the customer service professional must develop a response plan.

Myra, a former global head of customer care, teaches leaders how to achieve harmony with dissatisfied and difficult customers through the use of empathy, conversational aikido and a solid recovery strategy.

The outcome of this keynote is an audience that is prepared to develop a customer-recovery plan that empowers customer service professionals to understand how to create calm; how to find resolutions that balance the interests of the customer and the company; how to reduce escalations; and how to create a positive conversation.


“If your organization’s growth relies on improving the customer experience, you would benefit enormously from an engagement with Myra Golden. Her vast hands-on experience in a wide variety of service organizations differentiates herself from many other consultants we have worked with in the past. Our organization has utilized Myra’s online webinars with outstanding results as well. Very high value for your consulting dollar.

Beth Dockins

Former Director, Customer Service, Audit, Admin at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. 


Key Take-aways:

  • Learn exactly what it takes to restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after a service failure.
  • Examine the 6 steps for a customer recovery plan that empowers employees with excellent decision-making and judgment skills, resolves problems at the first encounter and restores customer trust.
  • Discover how your employees can communicate assertively, create calm and take control with difficult customers by using conversational aikido.
  • Explore ways to build stronger emotional connections with customers through Extreme Empathy
  • Execute your new customer recovery strategy faster by using a new fiercely focused project plan that gets all of your horses going in the same direction.


“I am still receiving compliments on your polished and actionable presentation! You are a complete professional who can connect with your audience through warmth and deep knowledge. I hope to have you back again!”

Michelle Singer, President, American Marketing Association – Tulsa Chapter


Download a PDF brochure of this keynote description

Videos discussing key points from Myra’s Verbal Aikido training workshop 

This video is about the Aikido principle of “don’t push”

This video is about the Yielding technique, another Verbal Aikido principle Myra’s participants learn in the Verbal Aikido workshop


Myra Golden

Customer Experience Designer & Professional Speaker

Myra Golden Media
Phone: 918-398-9368
Fax: 832-218-8464

Visit Myra’s Keynote Speaking & Customer Service Training website:

Book Myra for a keynote or customer service training

Connect with Myra on Twitter: @myragolden.

How to Handle Angry Customers: The importance of acknowledging a customer’s anger

A common mistake I hear customer service professionals make when I perform quality checks is ignoring the customer’s expression of anger.

Great Day-2

There is something known as the communication chain. When people communicate, they expect the person they are communicating with to respond or react…this response is a link in the communication chain. A failure to respond to communication leaves the communication chain broken.

For example, If I open a customer service training with “Good morning!”…and the audience is dead silent, they’ve broken the communication chain. And that leaves me feeling awkward, perhaps embarrassed. I’d have the uncomfortable feeling that the workshop would not go well, based on the lack of acknowledgement.

If a customer expresses anger and we fail to respond to it, the communication chain is broken and the customer feels like they are not getting through. The customer might become even angrier and more difficult, as they are resorting to whatever it takes to feel heard and understood.

Man in the Rain

You can keep your angry customers from getting angrier by linking the communication chain. You link the chain by acknowledging anger.

Respond to anger with a statement like, “Clearly you’re upset and I want you to know that getting to the bottom of this is just as important to me as it is to you.” This statement assertively addresses anger – without making the customer even angrier.

Now that the anger has been acknowledged, you have completed the communication chain. Had my audience in our example replied in unison, “Good morning” the communication would have been linked and I would have moved on feeling great about the training day. When you link the communication chain with unhappy customers, they feel acknowledged and they are more likely to move on.

Here are some phrases that you can use to help you acknowledge anger:

“I can understand how frustrating it is when …”

“We want to get to the bottom of this just as much as you do.”

“I realize how complicated it is to …..”

“I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to …..”

“I know how confusing it must be when …..”

“This is no more acceptable to us than it is to you.”

Don’t ignore a customer’s emotion of anger and don’t attempt to tiptoe around emotion. Acknowledge your customer’s emotions. When you do, you’ll link the communication chain and you’ll have a better chance of controlling the conversation and moving the interaction to closure.

This tip is taken from Myra Golden’s famous Verbal Aikido training. Learn more about this training here or Download a PDF brochure of this training description

Here is a 4-minute video on the importance of acknowledging customer anger that you can use to train your customer service team.

Q & A on Millennials In the Workplace

Portrait of a smiling business woman with an afro in bright glass office


Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are stereotyped for having a poor work ethic, being job hoppers and not respecting authority. But are these generalizations true?

Stereotypes or reality, you will have to be ready to embrace millennials because most generational researchers estimate that by 2020, millennials will make up half of the US Workforce. In this article we will answer your most pressing questions about millennials, set stereotypes aside and look at what research says about the newest and largest generation in the workplace.

Q: How long should we expect Millennials to stay on the job?

Fifty-four percent of college-educated millennials expect to work for between 2 and 5 employers over their entire career. They will change jobs every few years and this “job hopping” is beneficial to both employees and to employers. Employees who stay with a company longer than two years are said to be get paid 50% less, according to Forbes magazine. The benefit of job hopping to employers is job hoppers tend to be high performers and loyal because they care about making a good impression in the short amount of time they know they’ll stay with each employer.

 Q. Do Millennials respect authority?

Yes, millennials respect authority. In fact, the Center for Creative Leadership has found that millennials are more likely than previous generations to give respect and loyalty to authority figures. Millennials tend to respect authority based on expertise, loyalty, and experience.

Q: What does it take to engage Millennial workers?

What we know from research into people born between 1980 and 2000 is they are driven, inspired and hard working. Millennials are engaged when they feel they are making a contribution, doing meaningful work and when they feel valued by the organization. The Center for Generational Kinetics has identified 5 key drivers to engaging millennials:

  1. I feel I am valued in this organization.
  2. I have confidence in the leadership of this organization.
  3. I like the type of work that I do.
  4. Most days, I feel I have made progress at work.
  5. This organization treats me like a person, not a number.


Myra discusses her work on generations in the workplace in the video below


Q: How do Millennials like to learn?

Millennials like to proactively seek out knowledge when learning. They like getting how-to tips from YouTube, forums, blog posts and other social media. In the workplace, professional development needs to engage millennials’ preference for technology, videos and interactivity. Blended learning solutions that include highly interactive classroom training, dynamic eLearning, videos and discussions will best teach millennials.


Q: What skill do Millennials most need to learn in order to succeed in the workplace?

Millennials spent their formative years engaged with technology. Entire relationships were built over text messages and social media. Instead of hanging out at the roller rink or out riding bicycles, they were more likely to converse with friends through short digital messages. As a result, millennials need help with people skills. Providing professional development opportunities that emphasize empathy, human relations skills and public speaking will build their confidence and position them to create more value in their work.

Millennials are some of the brightest and most loyal employees you’ll ever have. Provide them the opportunity to do meaningful work, relentlessly focus on keeping them engaged and keep them learning. When you do, they will reward you with creativity and loyalty.

Myra Golden is a customer experience and diversity keynote speaker and trainer. For information on Myra’s keynotes and training sessions, please click here. 


Review an actual slide deck from one of Myra’s recent keynotes on generations in the workplace.

Myra Golden Generations Keynote Slide Deck

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Sources cited

Keng, Cameron, Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less, Forbes magazine, June 22, 2014. Retrieved from:

CBS New, Why Job Hoppers Make the Best Employees, April 23, 2010. Retrieved from:

Center for Generational Kinetics, Unlocking Millennial Talent 2015. Retrieved from:

Developing Leaders, Center for Creative Leadership. Retrieved from:

Yield to Callers (Don’t over talk or interrupt)


I couldn’t remember the last time I got a really good photo of my daughter, other than the many snaps I take on my phone, so yesterday I grabbed my camera and had Lauren join me in the front yard.

“In front of the bird bath” I told her. “That way the evergreen will be in the background and it will be gorgeous.” She’s 16 and that means she’s tethered to her phone. Instead of posing for me, my daughter posed for the camera on her phone. Her smile was real and perfect. Her eyes lit up and she was clearly enjoying the photo shoot, her photo shoot. Alas, the “Selfie Generation.”

I was just about to tell my daughter to put her phone down and to focus her eyes on my camera because, after all, that is why we are out here. But I could see she was loving the moment. I know from experience that my kids hate posing for my camera. So, instead of directing the photo shoot, instead of telling her to put her phone away, I simply yielded.

I yielded and I took photos of her taking selfies. It’s not the portrait I envisioned; yet it was perfect. I captured my 16 year old doing what she does. By yielding to her, I gave her a better experience and I got a genuine capture of who she is. I captured an image that will bring back happy memories years later.

Thinking about yielding to my daughter reminds me of a training point I will make with a client later today. When I monitored calls for this client, I noted several occasions where employees talked over customers. Frequent interruptions and not allowing callers to finish statements led to the perception of rude and over-bearing employees.

When I speak to my client, I will remind the group to focus on yielding to customers. I will tell them:

  • Allow customers to finish sentences
  • If you accidently interrupt a caller, apologize
  • Even when you know within a second or two that the call will need to be transferred, allow the caller to finish their statement before making the transfer

Yielding to my daughter gave both she and I a fun experience. Yielding to callers makes customers feel heard, respected and understood. Over talking and interrupting leaves customers with an unpleasant feeling. Don’t be overbearing. Don’t interrupt. Don’t over talk customers. Yield and the experience will be more friendly and pleasant for customers.

Here is a 2-minute free customer service video you can use to train your team on how to yield to callers.

Keep Customers Apprised – An easy way to improve the customer experience

Here’s a quick way to make life easier for your customers. Keep them apprised of next steps in their customer journey. Super Shuttle, a nationwide airport shuttle service, put a smile on my face and removed the risk of stress in my life by simply keeping me apprised.


As I was gathering my things and heading out of the keynote ballroom, my smart phone buzzed. It was a text from Super Shuttle. They texted to give me my vehicle number and a link for me to track my shuttle. I had a very short window of time to get back to the airport for my flight and it was rush hour in Austin. This text with tracking information certainly made life easier for me.

I entered the hotel lobby area and took a seat to wait for the shuttle. Another text arrived. It read, “Your shuttle driver is Yobran and your shuttle number is 539. The expected arrival time of your shuttle is 5:06pm.”  


Proactively keep your customers apprised. When you do, you’ll put them at ease, build trust and reduce customer stress.




4 Things Every Supervisor Should Be Doing to Address Unacceptable Employee Performance

Myra Golden Portrait 2.jpg

I want to talk to you about how to most effectively handle unacceptable employee performance. But before I get to that, let me tell you about a situation with my daughter.

I had to take my daughter’s phone from her yesterday. I don’t like that I had to do that, but I had a responsibility to take her phone. We have a rule in our house. Having a smartphone is a privilege and certain actions can result in a phone being taken away. One of those actions is a grade of a C or lower. My daughter’s Geometry grade dropped to a 76% yesterday. She chose to not turn in not one, but two assignments last week.

From the day we bought her phone, my daughter has always known that anything less than a B will result in loss of phone privileges. My daughter can see her grades daily online, as can her father and I. The expectations are set and clear. She has every possible opportunity to keep her phone, simply by maintaining excellent grades.

Online Chat Customer Experience Myra Golden

So, I don’t have to feel guilty about taking her phone away. There’s no benefit to her for me to go soft and let her slide. For what would I be teaching her if I let her slide? I’d be teaching her that she can slack and get away with it. She’d learn that my word is not solid. The focus and determination in academics I’m trying to instill in her would be harder for me to teach. So, the consequences stick and it is indeed for her best.

As a supervisor or manager, can you easily set expectations and deliver consequences?

If you are a parent, you likely can easily set expectations for your child, issue consequences and not feel guilty about it. You know what you’re doing is best for your child. But, can you behave the same way at work?

Can you follow through on consequences, knowing employees were clear on your expectations? Can you discipline your employees without feeling guilty?

My daughter knows I’m not made at her. Because I have always been clear on expectations and because I always follow through with consequences when expectations are not met, my daughter knows the discipline is not personal. She knows she made the choices that led her to the consequence of loss of phone privileges.

When you set crystal clear expectations for your employees and you ensure that they fully understand those expectations, it’s easier for your employees to accept any consequences their choices may bring.

Here are 4 Things Every Supervisor Should Be Doing to Address Unacceptable Employee Performance

So, you’re here so we can talk about how to most effectively handle unacceptable employee performance. Here are 4 Things Every Supervisor Should Be Doing to Address Unacceptable Employee Performance.

  1. Set Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations makes it easier for employees to meet those expectations. Set clear expectations and check with your employee to make sure they understand them. Here’s an example of a manager setting clear expectations for supervisors.

“I need you to monitor 5 random calls per agent per week. At the end of the week I want you to sit down with each agent to discuss the call and your rating of the call.”

And here’s another example for clear expectations for supervisors:

“All emails must be responded to within 6 business hours without exception. If your team is experiencing an overload, work with another team for support of your backlog.”

two women at computer clasroom looking in monitor

2. Get Agreement From Employees On Expectations

I fly a lot and on every single flight I observe a flight attendant going to the passengers seated in the exit rows and saying something similar to this.

“Are you aware that you are seated in an exit row?” She or he always waits for a verbal “yes.” “In the event of loss of cabin pressure or an emergency, are you willing to assist?” Again, she waits for a verbal “yes.”

Getting agreement on performance expectations is literally this simple. State your expectations and get a verbal confirmation from your employee that they understand and agree with the expectations. If they don’t agree or understand something, it is up to them to ask questions and to seek clarification.


3. Explain Consequences of Not Meeting Expectations

The thing that makes removing my daughter’s phone privileges easy, and it happens regularly, is that she knew upfront what the consequences would be. Make sure your employees know the consequences up front.

I am working with a client to gain adherence to the attendance policy in a call center. The attendance policy was already quite clear. The problem is, the consequences were not consistently applied. So, I coached a supervisor on how to establish consequences for attendance problems. I suggested the supervisor say to a particular problem employee:

“This shift is from 3:00pm – 11:00pm. I need someone who will be here no later than 2:55pm to start the shift daily and I hope that person is you. If you are not able to immediately begin getting to work on time, discipline will follow and it may include termination.”

4. Follow-through on Consequences

The key to employee discipline is follow-through. If you are inconsistent, you send a message to employees that they can push the limits – and some will do just that.


The Bottom Line

When you establish clear expectations, get employee agreement on expectations, and you ensure consequences are revealed up front, you can address unacceptable performance assertively and without feeling guilt. It’s up to you. Good luck.

You might also like:

4 Pain Points of Coaching Employees and How to Handle Them