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Archive for the ‘employees’ tag

Anger management

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We’ve all had a bad day at work. Sometimes it’s so bad that you may want to punch something. Next time this thought crosses your mind, remember New York Knicks Amare Stoudemire. The power forward was so angry about something, possibly losing game 2 of the NBA Playoffs to the Miami Heat, he punched glass surrounding a fire extinguisher, lacerating his hand. The move not only hurt Stoudemire, but also his team. He most likely won’t play the rest of the series, and as the team’s second best player, he is needed.

So just remember, your actions can have a huge affect on the people around you. If a client is giving you a hard time or a foreman is making mistakes, take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, listen to some Yanni and address the situation calmly.


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May 1st, 2012 at 2:48 pm

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The best places to work

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Every company – well, every good company – strives to be a top notch place for employees to work. They know profits are important. But they also know profits are earned by a good, hardworking and dedicated staff that performs because of the company culture created around them. We’re putting together a feature on the Best Places to Work in the green industry. Tell us why you should be one of them and click here.

While you’re thinking about what makes your company standout, check out Outside’s list and the ideas from companies most of us outdoor-loving people know well.


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January 17th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

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You’re gonna like the way we constantly badger you…

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I guarantee it.

So, I dread going into Men’s Wearhouse. Aside from my overall hatred for clothes shopping, I also can’t stand over-zealous retail employees. And Men’s Wearhouse combines those two entities better than anyone.  I don’t even have my second foot in the door, and I have someone in my face, “How can I help you?” I know what I’m looking for, so I say, “Just looking, thanks.”

I head for the rack of discount shirts, and peruse for, oh, two minutes when I hear “Can I help you find anything, sir,” asks a different salesman. “Nope, I’m good.”

A few more minutes dissecting which bargain-bin shirt I’ll wear to my next formal event,  I decide to look up and see if they have any other shirts around the store that might be up my alley. “Sure I can’t help you find anything buddy,” the second sales associate inquires. “No, I’m still OK, thanks, though.”

I’m trying like hell to get out of this store as fast as possible, but I won’t let their anal sales practices drive me into a shirt purchase even I won’t wear. So I pick up a couple of shirts and hold them up…”Hi, have you been helped,” the polite, teenage girl asks. Yes, she’s the third different employee within a 7-minute period to ask me if I need help. Oh, and there are about 6 employees working, and only about two customers in the store.

Finally, I pick out two shirts that will hopefully last me 20 years so I never have to do this again (I had a gift card and it was buy one, get one, which is why I was there in the first place.)

I get to the checkout counter and hear, “Did you find everything OK?” And I’m thinking to myself “What do you think?”

Listen, I get it. You want to have great customer service and be attentive. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Now, Men’s Wearhouse line is apparently nowhere to be found. Hopefully, you aren’t running your business like this. It’s one thing to be attentive, it’s another to be ridiculously annoying.



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November 7th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Trade in the rule book for guidelines

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Do run your company with an iron fist? Berate employees for every little mistake? Live and die by the rule book?

A laundry list of rules isn’t practical and it’s not good for a company’s culture. Mike Figliuolo, founder of thoughtLEADERS recommends trading in the rule book for a judgment-based approach that can be applied to any situation. Not only is it more flexible, but more applicable because every tough decision, every broken rule involves different factors and circumstances.

So what should you think about? Figliuolo says:

How do you articulate performance standards in your organization? Is it a long list of rules, standards, metrics, and infractions or goals? Or is it a set of behavioral guidelines you want your team to adhere to?

I’d submit that the former is particularly difficult to manage and you might want to ask your team members how they feel about working in such an environment.

The latter is harder to manage because you *will* have people who deviate from the guideline (because it’s not overly specific and it’s subject to interpretation). In the long run, though, you’ll create a culture where those standards become the norm. People feel empowered to act within those guidelines and their sense that you trust them goes up dramatically.

Take some time to evaluate how your team functions and how you set standards. If you can loosen the collar a little for your folks, they’ll operate more freely and the environment of “gotcha!” can eventually disappear.


You hired employees because they demonstrated they have certain knowledge and/or experience in the green industry or in sales, marketing, bookkeeping. As long as they’re not harming other employees or harming your bottom line, allow them to flexibly do the work for which you hired them. With a solid set of guidelines that let employees work within certain boundaries, you may even discover better ideas and more efficient processes.




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May 19th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

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