Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I agree. What does this picture of the cappuccino machine with an out of order sign tell you? StarbucksWell this photo tells me that someone is asleep at the wheel. Perhaps because they haven’t had their coffee.

This is a photo of the Starbucks at the Doubletree Hotel in Dallas where I stayed for two nights. I’m no expert in the coffee business, however I can tell you this hotel shop lost a heck of a lot of revenue with all their dreary eyed guests leaving in the morning without their Starbucks in hand. What would it have taken to prevent this service failure from happening?

I would think at a minimum, Starbucks could have Fedexed a new cappuccino machine to this location. This hotel was located at the airport, so I’m sure they could have had it there well ahead of the morning coffee rush hour crowd. But as of this writing, the sign is still up.

Companies set standards and when they disappoint their customers, whose to say these people will run back again to see if these failures have been corrected. Prevention is always less expensive than contingent action. Think about this the next time you decide to delay maintenance on your equipment or if you choose not to have a backup machine close by.




Posted in Customer satisfaction

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The Need For Speed

Excessive Speeding Careless Driving ConceptWhen it comes to hiring top talent, speed is the name of the game. Hiring managers who delay the selection process are losing top candidates to other companies. Think about it. You are a highly sought after candidate or even an Average Joe and you are in conversation with a number of companies regarding employment. One company is moving  ahead rapidly while the others are dragging their feet. You know the drill of those having a difficult time committing. It usually sounds like this:

“We have to involve John in the hiring process. He’s in China right now and is expected back in two weeks.”

“We are waiting for HR to get back to us regarding our proposed offer. Hang in there…they’re very busy and we should know something within the next week or so.”

“You’re the first candidate we’ve interviewed. We can’t possibly decided until we see everyone.”

These responses are  fine and dandy, but not in a market where speed matters. Even a day’s delay can make a difference between hearing the words, “Yes, I’d love to accept your offer,” and “Sorry, I just accepted a job yesterday.”

So the next time you enter the hiring highway, remember to keep your foot on the accelerator and move full speed ahead and don’t hesitate to run over anyone or any policy that gets in your way.


Introducing my  new Talent Magnetism Boot Camp, for those organizations looking to accelerate their ability to hire and retain top talent! Contact me for details.


Posted in Hiring and Recruitment

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It’s Time To Get Your Head Out Of The Sand

denialThis morning I had a conversation with a young woman who was responsible for two significant areas of HR in her organization, yet had no authority to make any changes. How would you like to be that person? She shared with me that she was struggling to fill a revenue producing position in her organization and asked for my advice. I gently pointed out to her that the solution was out of her pay grade as she didn’t have the authority to improve the company’s employment brand, nor could she increase the rather insignificant employee referral bonus.

So here you are, the CEO or business owner of this organization and you are wondering why revenues are flat or declining. You can’t understand why people aren’t lining up at the door to work at your organization and why people are leaving. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and grab a dose of reality.

If you want the job done right then hire people with experience and give them the authority to do their jobs. I’m all for giving people a chance to grow in their jobs, but not at the expense of your organization. If you want to groom people, then at least provide them with an internal or external resource that can help accelerate their ability to give you the results you expect.

Ask questions and then demand action. I recently encountered a senior member of a leadership team who spent hours telling me what was wrong with her organization, yet didn’t spend a minute telling me what she was going to do to fix things. She’s a VP for goodness sake. It’s her job to fix things. If someone like this is working for you, then it’s your job to do something about it. Otherwise you’ll wind up just like her.

Invest in online presence. You have less than 30 seconds to make a good impression with a prospective candidate. Sorry, but a picture of your two-story building on your career page isn’t going to strike a chord with most job seekers. In fact, it may very well repel them. Wow me people! Don’t know how. No problem. I do so give me a call.

Develop your leaders. You know you have them. They are in every company. Poor leaders. Most don’t aspire to be crappy. It just happens because no one has taken the time to invest in them and to work with them so they can improve their leadership style.

I’ll make you a deal. Invest $499 and in two days I will transform your people into magnetic leaders. Here’s how to get started:


Posted in Leadership, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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Why Bother to Hire Talent If You Aren’t Going To Use It?

I just received a call this morning from a talented individual who, had been diligently job searching for the past several months, saying that she just left the company she was recently hired to work for. Why? Because upon arrival at her new job, they had nothing for her to do. That’s right. They spent time and money looking for the ideal candidate and when they finally did find this person, they were unprepared for her arrival.

Great people don’t want jobs with fancy titles and nothing to do. They don’t want to waste their time twiddling their thumbs nor do they want to remain with an organization that is disorganized as this company was.

So before you go out there locked and loaded and ready to hire, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What exactly will this person be doing and is our organization ready to absorb a high caliber employee?
  • What are the 30-60-90 day objectives we will ask of this person?
  • Is our timing right to bring this person on board or are we better off waiting?

It’s hard enough to find great people. The last thing you want to do is to tarnish your employment brand as word spreads quickly about workplaces where employees come to work and companies have no idea why these people are there.

Posted in Creating Exceptional Work Places, Employee Turnover, Hiring and Recruitment

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Why Bother To Hire Great People If You Can’t Keep Them?

New Start!What’s the point of hiring great people if you can’t keep them? Here are some tips that I included in my latest book, Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Work Place That Attracts and Keeps the Best.

Pay people based on the value they bring to the organization – Money does matter. In other words, at the end of the day people still need to be able to feed their families. But it certainly isn’t the only thing that will keep great talent in your organization.

Give them the gift of great bosses. Yes, it’s true. People don’t leave their companies. They leave their bosses. Make sure your bosses are worthy of having great people. Select these people carefully and invest in their development, as leadership is a skill that requires continuous improvement.

Say thank you. Simple, yet ask an employee to tell you the last time they received a thank you at work and you’ll most likely have a few moments of silence while he or she tries to recall this event.

For more tips on how to retain great people, download a copy of Talent Magnetism.

Join us for a free webinar on how to turn your workplace into a talent magnet. Be one of the first five people to register who mentions my blog posting and receive a complimentary 30-minute talent magnetism consultation. Register here.

Posted in Employee Turnover, Retention, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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What’s Love Got To Do With Productivity And Profitability?

Plenty! It has everything to do with keeping employees engaged, customers content and loyal, and the bottom line growing strong. Like many of you, I go out of my way to do business with companies where I’m treated like I matter. For example, look at food retailer Trader Joe’s. Can’t find an item? Simply ask, and you’ll receive an .escort right to the product you’ve been searching for. Feeling a little squeamish about trying something new? No problem. A friendly Trader Joe’s teammate will gladly open a package so you can try it in the store, or will tell you that you can bring it back for a full refund, even if the item is opened.

Trader Joe’s is as picky about the employees they choose to work in their stores as they are about the products they offer. That’s because they know their front line is the key to their bottom line.

Trader Joe’s is one of a handful of companies that I cited as being magnetic in my latest book, Talent Magnetism. When a new store opens, there are lines of applicants who can’t wait to be awarded a Hawaiian shirt (the store uniform). Employees I’ve spoken with love what they do, and it shows.

Now think of an organization where it’s pretty clear that employees are there for one thing only; a paycheck. These people do the minimal amount of work that is required, and nothing more. They’re not in love with their employers, nor do they care about customers. Their feelings show.

These companies tend to view their employees as disposable. They believe they can easily replace those who choose to leave, and in most situations they can. But then the cycle never ends. They hire people who will put up with the work conditions, and continue to treat them the exact way they treated those who are gone. And what about the customers? Oh, they get treated the same—poorly.

If you want your employees to love their work, and your customers to love doing business with you, then start by taking responsibility for the relationship. Treat your employees with the kind of respect that will ensure their commitment for years to come.

Posted in Creating Exceptional Work Places, Customer satisfaction, Employee Engagement

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The One Thing You Need To Improve When Interviewing Candidates

iStock_000018967481XSmallPeople ask me all the time what questions they should be asking when interviewing candidates. Let me be clear. There are no right or wrong questions so stop trying to create the perfect interview and instead focus on what matters.

The questions you ask are the means to an end. You are trying to determine if a candidate is the right fit for your organization and the position that you are trying to fill. Therefore, the focus should be on what you observed during the interview and what you do with this information. Here’s what I mean by this. Most interviewers go through their list of questions like they were on a ride at an amusement park. They never go off track, regardless of the response they receive. So instead, they simply use their questions as a check list and are delighted when they get to the end and all the boxes are ticked.

How a person answers a question is usually more important than what they say. For example, if you are interviewing for a delivery person and he tells you in a pretty lethargic way that he handled more volume than any other driver then one has to wonder if he was the best of the worst people in that organization. I talk about this in detail in my book, Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Top Talent. I suggest you download a copy and read this today and I guarantee you will immediately improve your ability to assess candidates.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment

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Let’s Send the Royal Caribbean Executives Sailing

We all know that front line employees can damage a company’s brand with just one bad interaction with a guest or client. But what about the executives? Can they do similar damage? Well apparently the answer is yes.

Cruise ship.Royal Caribbean cruise lines just made it into the history books for what health officials are calling the worse norovirus in decades. Last reports indicate that nearly 700 people fell ill on this ship. This isn’t the first time guests and crew members have gotten sick on a cruise ship, nor will it be the last time. The executives at Royal Caribbean have had plenty of time to think about how to compensate those on board for what must have been a very uncomfortable sailing. Yet the best they could come up with is providing all sick guests a 50 percent refund of their cruise fares and an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. It’s also reimbursing airline change fees and accommodations for guests who had to change plans for traveling home.

Really? Is this the best Royal Caribbean can do? What if after this experience you never want to set sail again? Are you supposed to be satisfied with a 50 percent refund and a credit that you’ll never use?

Come on executives. Use your head. This is how you further damage a brand that is currently in the headlines, and not for a good reason. Nothing less than a full refund is in order.

If I were running this company, I would put every executive involved in this decision on board this ship and send them out to sea. I bet they’d quickly come up with a more compassionate offering to those who fell ill on this ship. That is if they could stay out of the bathroom long enough to reach consensus.

Posted in Management, Public Relations (PR)

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What I Remember About Last Night’s Grammys

I watched the Grammys last night because I was excited to see Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr play together. Their individual performances and song together were certainly memorable. So were all the network bleeps that seem to mute half the songs that were sung. I seriously had to ask my 13-year old daughter if the CBS was having some broadcasting problems. She just smiled and said they must be bleeping out language they considered inappropriate.

I also remembered thinking that Beyonce looked pretty darn good for a woman who had recently had a baby. I also thought that her opening act was a bore. Even with Jay Z along for the ride.

I remember thinking, when are they actually going to give out a few awards. Every now and again they managed to slip a few in between long sets. Some artists gave nice speeches and others like Lorde were painfully out of their comfort zones. Lord help me was the only thing I could think of as they announced the winner of Record of the Year. Thankfully it was Bruno Mars and not Lorde again.

The last thing I remembered  thinking was, when is this show going to end?

What were your thoughts about last night’s show?

Posted in Current Affairs

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Who Is Auditing The Auditors?

Depositphotos_Stage with hook_mYesterday at 11:35 AM, I was notified by the Institute of Internal Auditors that I had been selected as a speaker for their upcoming conference in London. Now I understand that most of you don’t read my blog to hear about all the wonderful moments in my work life, so before you decide to exit, please read further.

At 12:21 PM, I received another e-mail from the Institute of Internal Auditors notifying me to disregard the previous e-mail sent. The e-mail read, “We are currently experiencing an error within our system.” The e-mail went on to say that the conference was full and that my services would not be needed.

I understand that mistakes happen, but blaming the system itself is a bigger mistake than human error. Someone had to program the system, which means that someone at the institute made a mistake. Why not own up to it? That’s what exceptional leaders do. Quite frankly I’m glad the offer was rescinded, as they made no mention of compensation nor airfare for having the privilege of delivering high value content to an association who is clearly in need of help on matters related to leadership.

Posted in Dumb Stupid Sh**, Leadership

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