EDITORIAL WORK LIFE BALANCE = PROFIT RETENTION WOW! What a wonderful reception to the first Steve Crowhurst, CTC TAM Publisher issue of TAM. Over 830 readers to date. Hopefully we’ve touched a nerve. An unserved area of the trade. Thanks also for your kind emails and responses to the content. One of the main features for this issue focuses on Work – Life Balance and as women make up 80% or more of the travel trade workforce we’ll need to factor that demographic into the articles. Which we do. Managers, if they are not healthy, happy Too many “buddies” have died too early and relaxed doing their job, can, will and do through stress and trying to do it all. The cause more than a loss of profit. A manager pendulum has swung the other way my worth their credentials will strive to keep doctor told me as more women have themselves healthy and lead a balanced entered management and believe it or not, lifestyle. Then as one workshop participant those heart attacks and stress related said: “Sure that’s okay for you to say… illnesses are now seeking out women and you’re a man. You don’t have to go home, younger women at that. So you need a after a ten‐hour day and cook for the family plan. A work‐life balance plan. and prepare the kids meals for the next school day and then do laundry!” In this issue you will find a checklist that will help you plot and plan where your time I hear you. I know the situation and this is goes. It’s worthwhile printing off and why “we” need to address the issue of completing the form. It will wake you up. management work‐life balance from the male and female point of view – plus split it Delegation is also a skill that can be learned right down the line to look for generic ‘how‐ – as long as you have someone to delegate to’ ideas, tips and tools to prevent health to but not so much that you cause that and revenue loss. person an early demise! Outsourcing could work though. My wife, who started her travel career as ground crew for Northwest Orient in Osaka, Then comes the thought: what are we doing Japan and managed a travel agency would that doesn’t actually need to be done, let me know the trials and tribulations of period. There are some things we just need being a woman in management. I have to stop doing. Change the tape. Rewind the worked with and consulted to many female video. Rewrite the script. You hear your managers over the years whose titles range inner voice saying “I can’t…” and so we from office supervisor to director of sales, change that to “How can I?” – there is vice presidents and presidents of retail always a way to balance your life and keep agencies to departments of tourism to the profit balanced in your favour. suppliers. I know their challenges. Overall agency work‐life balance for the Men in management have been on a entire team is important, too. Hope you learning curve for many years now. They enjoy this issue of TAM. Live long and have learned not to attract heart attacks. prosper!
WORK – LIFE BALANCE WORK – LIFE BALANCE FOR TRAVEL AGENCY MANAGERS Some might suggest it’s all in the mind. Your mind, my mind – THE mind. But to tell you the truth, work‐life balance is a matter of how you think about time, time usage and knowing what’s important and what isn’t. Misjudging the importance of an action or the time it takes to achieve it can in some cases, be catastrophic to your agency’s profit. When upper management asks you to put your heart and soul into your job, they don’t mean dying at your desk mid booking! Although that has happened. Balance can be attained once you focus on what you should be doing versus what you could be doing. The 3Ds: Do it, Delegate it or Dump it. In Japan they call it Karoshi – death through work. In 2005’ish a total of 9,000+/‐ men, known as salary‐men, had died from work related stress. Some men were not discovered for days as departmental chiefs often had a snooze in the afternoon. Luckily in the so called ‘west’ we have no interest in Karoshi. We do however get wrapped up in being busy and that can cause poor judgement. It doesn’t matter how old you are when it comes to work‐life balance. What’s important is to find that balance for you and your agency team so that when you produce for the company you are truly firing on all cylinders and still healthy at 5pm. There was a time when being labelled as to literally find out where your time goes Type A was the route to the executive floor. and why. To help you track your time I’ve Anyone who worked for that Type A had to included a one page checklist that you can measure up. There are still a few belligerent use as‐is or re‐design to suit your own Type A managers hanging on, all puffed up needs. Completing this form will establish with their own steam – but mostly gone whether you are over or under in the from the management scene. Today the number of days required to do your job. preferred personality is a collaborative Type A. No more top down bullies, more bottom You know the industry as well as I do and it up Type A motivation and inspiration. has it’s own inherent and fundamental issues in terms of work load and when that If you sense you’re a caring Type A profile work can get done. Ask a travel agent about that’s good and it’s welcomed as long as it’s hours worked and you’ll get a number the real you and not some role you flex into ranging from 8 to 12 hours a day. I can also at the office. For a business to function report a couple of travel agents who work properly it requires different personalities only 4 days a week, open at 10am and close to do what they do well. The business needs at 5pm. They have chosen to sell upscale an assertive‐aggressive leader to manage and bookings range from $5,000 and up. with balance in mind. If everyone in the They don’t work 12, 10 or 8 hour days. They agency is customer service oriented with no make their time work for them. talent for sales, then profits will fall. A manager must become a sales manager to Now if you work for a large chain agency push the sales team but with balance. then you must adhere to the rules and hours of operation. If you manage an If we all agree that work‐life balance is very agency within a department store or much a part of managing a travel agency shopping centre as I have done, then you’ll then one of the first things you should do to be working subject to the mall hours with find your balance as the agency manager is little to no input.
WORK – LIFE BALANCE Where Does Your Time Go? When it comes to managing your time , the your days have moved ahead and your first thing you need to know is where your other projects now require time, so what time goes. That’s been stated and you have was a 2‐day event has become 8‐days. a mission to complete the one page form. Worse case. That is the truth of time usage. So learn it now. You must be a quick study Next you must be aware of how long things re good case and bad/worst case timing take to do, accomplish, start and finish. scenarios. Only when you know how long things take to do, can you plan and budget your time The question: ”Hey Steve, how long will it like a professional. take you to interview and hire for that senior consultant’s position?” Good case Time Trap Words (with all planets aligned and a Double Shot One thing I’ve learned along the way is to Grande Gently Whipped coffee in front of refrain from using time‐trap words. You’ll you) 2‐days. Worst case: six months. recognise them as “just a minute…”, “be there in a sec’…”, “sure, I’ve got time…” Project Management Is Your Friend These are all time killers. Once said, you In the time management programs I deliver, have set yourself and the other person up we review Project Management. Not going to fail. Nothing happens in the travel trade too deep. Just enough tips and tools so you or in the role of manager in ‘a sec…’ – it’s a know the fundamentals and how to use nice thought, but it’s not the truth. The them. professional way to respond to someone requesting your presence would be: “I’m Managing is project based. Purchasing a on a call that will take me 30 minutes and new printer. Collect information. Sift and then I have a meeting to attend… I can see sort. Study features. Match features to you in one hour from now / at 2pm this future agency needs and so on. Team afternoon / tomorrow at 9am.” huddle – which one? Decision made. Purchase. Project timing: one week. The reason this manager can make that statement is this: they know where they are Here’s something no‐one will like but it on their schedule and they know how long works. A client of mine did this. He ran a things take, or the time they have allotted very large firm with say 15 managers. There to their current task. This is a skill worth seemed to be too much duplication. For learning. one full month he asked each manager to record in their daily planners where their Good Case – Bad Case time went. He meant every minute. So if When you study how long things take, you’ll you stopped by my office to say hello and be amazed at how much you under budget ask how things were – I made a note. your time. Hence you might always be Nothing to do with you – all about my time playing catch up and stressed to the max. and where it went. Long story short. He There are two elements to timing – good analyzed the reports, found the duplication case and bad case. If you had all the and wasted effort. He had found the decision making information for instance argument to hire a trainee to take on some you could produce this year’s sales budget of the non management tasks his managers in two‐days. Good case. If someone is sick where involved in. End result which was his and they hold the key to the information goal – was to have his managers out the you need, or they are just slow, not helpful, office door by 5pm. Which is what then your bad case timing is looming – PLUS happened. This might work for you too.
WORK – LIFE BALANCE A Fable: The Rat Race will bring, you can buy a second one and a A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. A third one and so on until you have an entire high profile travel executive on a 3‐day visit fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish complimented the Mexican fisherman on to a middleman, you can negotiate directly the quality of his fish and asked how long it with the processing plants and maybe even took him to catch them. open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, "Not very long," answered the Mexican. Los Angeles, Toronto or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge "But then, why didnt you stay out longer enterprise." and catch more?" asked the travel executive checking his iPhone. "How long would that take?" Asked the Mexican. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those "Twenty, perhaps twenty‐five years," of his family. replied the executive. The travel executive looked up and asked, "And after that?" "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "Afterwards? Thats when it gets really interesting," answered the travel executive "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my laughing. "When your business gets really children, and take a siesta with my wife. In big, you can start selling stocks and make the evenings, I go into the village to see my millions!" friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I have a full life." "Millions? Really? And after that?" The travel executive interrupted, "I have an "After that youll be able to retire, live in a MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play should start by fishing longer every day. You with your children, catch a few fish, take a can then sell the extra fish you catch. With siesta, and spend your evenings drinking, the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger playing guitar and enjoying your friends!" boat. With the extra money the larger boat Hey boss… that’s some serious work‐life balance you’ve got there! You know it! Keep a cold one for me. Just off to the board meeting… get it!? Now where’s my beach boy… err towel?
TIME MANAGEMENT WHERE DOES MY TIME GO? HOW MUCH MORE DO I NEED? Based on a 365‐day year work by yourself and calculate the amount of time you need to do your job. What you do with it, how you manage it, invest it and whether or not, from the agency point of view, you do this wisely, is most important. It’s how you spend your time that counts. Generate your chart below by writing in your own data. Add up your hours and days, deduct from the available work days of 238 (change to your own total). If you need more time in your year then you are probably spending your weekends at the office, or taking time away from your family life or social activities. Can you do your job in the days left after deducting weekends, vacation and fam time? Change the form and format to suit your needs. ACTIVITY Days Used Days Available 365 Weekends 104 261 Statutory Holidays 8 253 Vacation 14 239 Other Other Average Number of Job Days 239 Social Media: Drive Time to / from office: Lunch / Coffee: 1.5 hours/day: Daily Chit Chat: Daily interruptions / spontaneous meetings: Staff Meetings: Divisional Meetings: Meetings Other: Serving Clients: Follow‐up reports: Paperwork: Email: Voice Mail: Planning / Scheduling: Reading Time: Business Travel Time: Business Events / conferences / trade shows: Sports / working out: Family (other than weekends): Sleep: 8 hours / night? TOTAL HOURS / DAYS USED DEDUCTED FROM 239 DAYS IN‐HAND / NEEDED
This manager is suffering from severe monkey‐on‐your‐back pain!
Hey don’t blame the monkey or shoot the we have a problem on the file and I’d like you to messenger. If you identify with this poor have a look…” monkey driven manager than you too must learn the answer to this ailment and You didn’t hear it, but Steve said “we” have a problem. That’s a monkey getting ready to leap. here it is: You are so focused on your day, and drinking that coffee that you respond this way, “Okay DON’T FEED THE MONKEYS! Steve, put the file on my desk and I’ll take a look… gotta go.” The monkey has landed. You There you have it. The answer to winning back have it on your back. Steve is now chillin’ – no your time. Yes that’s right, your management worries. He’s waiting for you. time goes to feeding all those monkeys on your back. I bet you could stop right now and count Time goes by. You were very busy. In meetings them. How many? Two, three… five, ten? Well, too. Your partner called and hey, we’re going it’s about time you got rid of those critters or at out tonight for dinner. Steve emails you, “Have least reduced the feeding time. you worked on the Carlton file yet?” You reply, “Sorry Steve, no time and I’m out tonight… will Managing The Monkey get to it in the morning.” Many years ago, back in 1974, there was a time management program called Managing That monkey is now turning into a gorilla. You Management Time followed by the question, can feel it. You know it. You are thinking about “Who’s got the monkey?” The article written by it all through dinner and you know your William Oncken Jr., and Donald L. Wass Tuesday is jammed. appeared in Harvard Business Review and proved to be one of HBR’s best selling reprints. Here’s How You Do NOT Feed Monkeys The article shared that there are three kinds of 1. Ask Steve to meet you at a set time and he time management: Boss Imposed Time, System is to be ready to explain the problem in Imposed Time and Self‐Imposed Time. Then and detail. as much now, many managers work under the Boss Imposed and System Imposed challenge. 2. You counsel Steve and advise him what to Leaving the manager with precious little Self do and how to solve it. Imposed time. 3. You advise Steve you can see him at a set time and date when he should come to you On the other hand if you are a liberated and report in with his progress. manager and your company works in accordance with collaborative and bottom up 4. You repeat 1,2 and 3 until Steve has management versus top down, then chances handled the file to your satisfaction. are you are in full control of your time. Still, even if you are, you are sure to be losing some time when those monkeys need feeding. You never accept the monkey. You always push it back to the rightful owner. You always set a The monkey is usually sitting on someone else’s time and date for Steve to come to you, you back. Perched right there, although as the never got to him. Your job here is to transfer manager you don’t actually see it, yet. When initiative back to Steve, your subordinate, and you walk into the agency let’s say Monday to claim back your Self Imposed Time. morning with a full calendar of meetings and reports and even files that need to be closed Here’s a monkey for you: sit down with your ‘today’ there is a monkey just about to leap. fellow managers to discuss how they handle the Let’s move you to the kitchen area where you monkeys that come flying in their direction. Jot are about to pour yourself a much needed down a company wide method for transferring coffee… as you do, Steve saunters up and says, initiative and win back your time. Add a sign “Hi Lisa, hey you know the Carlton couple, well that says: feeding time is over!
TIME MANAGEMENT THE PROFITABLE STAFF MEETING Everyone loves a staff meeting. You know that to be true. Where else can you meet your buddies, have a chat, drink coffee and perhaps nibble on some oh so good donuts? After the chit chat “we” get down to business, the manager talks for an hour or so but the context of what’s being said is obviously not for us, so we hold side discussions and look up once in awhile to make sure we’re counted as listening, on the team and participating and then we get back to planning our after 5pm activities. Staff meetings are fantastic and it beats working all day, too. So there it is. One point of view as to how decide as a group, what it is we want to well the staff meetings go. There’s more to achieve in the next hour. What do we want running an effective and profitable meeting to leave with? Would it be a list of and this is something not taught in travel candidates for the cruise counsellor schools or generally offered in travel trade position? A list of skills? Or…? training. If it was a mandated management skill and treated as such then chances are The topic should be: Hiring a Qualified corporate profit would be up a few more Cruise Counsellor to Increase Our Cruise notches then they are about now. Sales. Now you have a definitive topic to discuss. What do we want to leave with? The Topic We want to leave with a list of There are a couple of reasons why meetings qualifications that will ultimately be used in do not work and one very important thing a recruitment ad. Plus, we need to know to mention is the topic. The reason for the before we leave how much in sales or meeting. Get the topic wrong, and that’s it. revenue this new hire is required to close. Might as well go home. Wrong topic, wrong We also need to know the salary and bonus discussion, wrong outcomes. Very simple. program and what else in terms of benefits Except 9 out of 10 meetings are meeting for the new hire will receive. the wrong reason. The topic is wrong. Timing and Responsibility Let’s meet and discuss hiring a new We now know what has to be done. We counsellor. What’s the topic. What are we need to set a time to start – always the start going to meet about? Is it how we hire that time BEFORE the deadline. Let’s give Steve new counsellor or when, or is it about the the job to hire this counsellor – and now we skills we need in that new role which is to ask, “Steve, when is the first date you can focus on selling cruises. When you spell it attend to this…?” Next question: “… and out, the focus of the meeting changes. when do you feel we can close on the new We’re no longer discussing hiring, we’re hire?” discussing increasing our cruise sales and the skills we need to hire to get the job If Steve is smart, he’ll park his answer and done. respond once he’s checked his schedule and planned his actions. The Outcome ‐ The Take Away Prior to the meeting getting underway, Review: So we met for the right reason, we although this rarely happens, we need to decided what we needed to achieve, leave
TIME MANAGEMENT with and we did that. Then we appointed What is the protocol to attend one of your someone to make this happen and he will meetings then? Tell me now. Write it down. get back to us with the next steps and the Let everyone know that from here on the timing for advertising, interviewing, expectation is: assessing, second interviews, reviewing, selection, on‐boarding and training. q In the meeting room 5 minutes before start time. Did someone think this could happen within the week? Well perhaps that part of the q To have read the required documents conversation didn’t happen. and to have formed responses, comments and ideas in advance. There’s much more to running an effective q To be prepared to offer their thoughts meeting as you can tell. Starting with the as we go round the table – and no one is topic as mentioned is at least one way to allowed to hitch hike on the previous reduce the time wasted in meetings. persons input such as “I support Steve in what he said… that’s exactly how I Change The Name of the Meeting saw it.” LIAR! They didn’t think diddly This can be a quick win and reduce the time about anything. That’s when you ask spent waffling about in the boardroom. A this hitch hiker to truly explain their staff meeting ‐ what is that anyway? A ideas. group of 10 staff sitting round the table all with nothing to say. Who Should Be In The Room? Do you really need to pull everyone away Should this be a Sales Meeting? I would say from the front line / selling line to sit in this yes. That’s precisely why everyone works at meeting? Chances are the answer is no. To the agency – to generate sales. do so would be a total waste of time and a very expensive meeting when you total up You get the message. Tell it like it is. the cost of everyone’s non‐productive time. Remove the waffle and reduce the time. Ramp up the definitions of why we are The Key Players meeting and then set the protocol. You’ll need a meeting facilitator, a scribe and a time keeper. Sounds old fashioned Setting The Protocol but it’s not. Each one is charged with doing This refers to what we need to do PRIOR to their duty and doing it well regardless of the attending the meeting. No one from here personalities in the room. The bullies and on is allowed to rush in three minutes after the talkers etc. The facilitator must keep the start time and plop down in a seat and stop meeting on track and be skilled at closing the meeting with a “Where are we?” down the president when he or she goes off question, or worse. “Hi everyone, sorry I’m on a tangent. The scribe must make sure he late, the traffic was terrible… was it for you or she is recording the correct words, too? Oh and what were we supposed to meaning and intent. The time keeper must read… I left mine at the office last night…” keep the meeting on schedule. I don’t think so! That’s an instant boot out Meetings MUST happen, however they the door. Come back when you’re serious should be adding to the profit picture, not about working here. reducing it.
PROFIT IMPROVEMENT TAKING THE CURVE As a manager one of your roles is to watch the curve and know when to take it without crashing into the barrier. That curve is the Bell Curve and every agency or department will reach it at some point in time. The ‘curve’, that bend in your business road comes at a time when your business has peaked and you stand at the crossroads wondering what to do next. Here’s the graph: You will be very familiar with the start up and growth phase if you were the original manager who launched the agency for yourself, or the company that you work for. Somewhere along the way your agency will max out, the sales flatten. At this point in the life of your agency you have one or two options. At #1 you could re‐think your business and decide to change, add, subtract or merge what could keep you profitable, or what could make you more profitable. Once you initiate a ‘more profitable’ plan you will endure the start up and growth phrase once again PLUS somewhere along that new line, you will flatten out and at #2, you will need to once again, rethink your business model and what you are selling and to whom. Both 1 and 2 moments in time, require new ideas. A new plan must be written. That new plan may not be too ambitious other than “to train all staff in how to sell more cruises…” and that could be the turning point. You might decide to sell luxury travel, however if you do not have a luxury client base established, then your business will curve towards #3. To stay ahead of the curve you should meet often with your team to discuss the ‘where are we going next’ topic and how you could all get there. Keeping the curve going in the right direction does not have to be expensive either. A little training, a decision to charge fees, a move to a social media platform, writing a blog or hosting consumer events – all of these are ideas that can keep you profitable and on the right side of that upward trend. Study now when that curve will swerve for your agency and plan ahead.
PROFIT IMPROVEMENT ARE THE IDEAS OF YOUR TEAM BEING HEARD? The information I’m about to describe here is old news, however if you do not have such a plan in your agency, old news could be good news. It’s a matter of farming the business ideas that your team have in their heads. Depending upon how well ideas from the floor are treated and respected will determine whether or not you’ll hear of them. Head office will sometimes put the feelers out re any new ideas from the front end. The ideas are collected and that’s it. No one ever hears back about what happened to their idea. Not good for agency morale. It’s here that I’ll mention the company Jumeirah and their program called VOICES. The acronym VOICES stands for Very wide variety of departments: finance, Original Ideas Can Enhance Success. There housekeeping, food and beverage management, is a plan to review each idea as they come sports and leisure and human resources. in and take them through a full and Of the 210 ideas in the innovation pipeline, a complete business plan process. Here’s the tangible value to the company of over article: US$500,000 has been calculated, resulting in improvements to processes relating to customer WE LOVE TO HEAR YOUR VOICE service, operational excellence, colleague Jumeirah Group, the dynamic and rapidly satisfaction and morale, communication, health growing luxury hospitality management and safety, the environment and new business company and member of Dubai Holding, has opportunities. launched VOICES, a colleague innovation programme where colleagues can VOICE their VOICES is one component of the wider approach ideas, see them implemented and converted to innovation that Jumeirah is committed to, the into cash rewards of up to US$8,000. ideas generated challenge conventional thinking, improve our processes and innovative Following an extensive, fun and engaging business practices to help build on our success internal launch campaign, VOICES has now been and core essence to Stay Different from our implemented in all of Jumeirahs Dubai‐based competitors. hotels and resorts. The company‐wide initiative is intrinsically Over to you. It doesn’t matter how small linked with the core guiding principles of the Jumeirah brand and provides a focus for your agency is. Make sure you tap into the colleagues creative and innovative ideas by ideas of the people who work for you and fostering a culture of continuous growth, reward the ideas that work. You will need a effective communication and teamwork within process that allows the idea to be the company. developed into a business plan format, costed, budgeted and reviewed. If it works Ultimately, VOICES is a tool to ensure each on paper, then try it. As you know, you colleagues ideas and their successes are being should also have a Plan B if Plan A misses supported, recognized and rewarded. the mark. In it’s first year VOICES has generated over Let your team help you grow the agency 2,000 ideas, 210 of which have been identified for implementation and 40 already business, reward them and your profits will implemented. Ideas are evaluated by peers and improve as will agency morale. A win‐win. colleagues across all business units working in a
PROFIT IMPROVEMENT EVERYBODY SELLS – ADD IT TO THE JOB DESCRIPTION Here’s one way to boost your sales and who knows you might find your accountant to be a rain maker, a super sales person hiding in the back office. The title is a truth. Every person in the company is in sales. That doesn’t translate as responding to the “What do you do?” questions with a faint, “Oh, I work for a travel agency as their accountant.” Nope. That’s got to change. How would you want your employees to answer that question? down so that everyone Well that response understands how the should go something new idea that everyone like this: sells is supposed to work. “I’m an accountant for a travel agency here in Another level of staff town…” now here who should be trained comes the transition, to utter sales type “… and let me tell you, verbiage are those who we do have some work on the upper floors wonderful trips to or who happen to be on anywhere in the world the board. I have you’d want to visit…” personally witnessed a and now the sales senior executive unable question, “… so tell me to articulate what it is as I’m always interested to know, where “we” actually do, what we sell and so on. A would you want to go, money no object, situation you would not want to witness. what would be your dream trip?” You must make sure everyone from the CEO That was easy! down can actually talk about the business of travel, what we do and where we go and What do you think? Could you turn all your sell the talents of the front line sales and non sales people into sales people, or if management team. that’s too drastic to a “travel mentioneer” – a new word for you… mentioneer, someone Your supplier BDMs should also know how who mentions travel to others when they to talk about your agency when they are get the chance. Surely your non sales discussing you in their sales meeting. You people could mention what your agency don’t want to be “Oh they’re great…” you does, sells, where they go and what they want to be, “Wow, they are on the ball, do do. Answer: yes. you know they have the most fantastic approach to selling, let me tell you…” Next, Here’s the challenge: some people will feel your top clients ‐ they also need to know they are now in sales and if that’s the what you do, where you go, so that they accountant, don’t bet on the books being too can truly be an ambassador for your up to date ‐ that accountant is out there agency. How about you? Can you articulate mentioning travel to everyone. The rules of a 2 minute spiel that would WOW me? the game need to be tight and written
PROFIT IMPROVEMENT STAFF INCENTIVES, CARROTS & MORE There’s plenty of advice ‘out there’ about how you can use incentives to boost sales, service and internal happiness. The Carrot Principle is just one book worth reading or a nibble, whichever takes your fancy! I hear it often said that although an incentive has been put in place by HQ, the team are not responding to it. The main reason for this complacency is simply the fact that the HQ incentive does not address what will actually cause the team, that would be each individual, to perform better than they are or to get behind a sales push. If you want your incentive to work you’ll have to ask each member of your team, what it is that they want as an incentive. Just like developing a custom tour or an FIT the same approach applies here. Having done this for past clients and for myself here’s what happens – your team will be very quick to advise what they need in order to crack their own whip. Some of the responses might be: 1. Pay for my baby‐sitter this week. When a member of 2. Rent a car for me on this date. your team set their 3. Add an extra day to this long weekend. own goals they are 4. Buy me a new suit & tie. 5. Send me here on the next fam. usually harder on 6. Allow my partner on this special fare. themselves then 7. All I need is an iPod. you would be. 8. If I deliver double can I have an iPad? 9. How about movie passes and a $50 Starbucks card? 10. An iTunes gift card. Are you getting the message? Incentives are a personal thing. I want what drives ME, not you. It’s a What’s In It For Me situation. Mind you that doesn’t always pan out when HQ and a preferred supplier have contracted for sales of X amount at a higher commission. When that hits it’s a matter of head down and sell like you mean it. If possible allow your team to take their incentive into their own hands. Typically when a member of your team is in charge of their own incentive they are usually harder on themselves and try to prove their worth and value to the agency by stating a higher goal – and most times they achieve it, too.
PROFIT IMPROVEMENT CREATING A GREAT PLACE TO WORK A new coat of paint on the walls, a little interior design work and your agency could look brand spanking new. Why would you do this? Well the outcome of an agency makeover could be business building. For a start, when you brighten up the agency with pleasing colours your staff will in fact brighten up their sales and sell more plus the new look and “feel” of the agency will attract more customers. It’s just the way it works. The Law of Attraction at work. The exterior should also be updated with a gorgeous blue. You can Google all sorts of coat of paint, and you should conduct an websites related to colour and what they exterior review each year as many times invoke in human response. we’re so busy, wrapped up with what’s happening inside the agency, we forget the Fragrances are now off limits in the work outside, which is what a walk‐in prospect is place, given the variety of allergies and I see going to see first. more signs asking to: ‘keep our store free of fragrances” – mind you, a nice clean smell Check the signage and make sure there are should be okay. no cracks or holes, that all light bulbs work and that the imagery is current in terms of If you run a niche based agency that deals in what you are selling. let’s say India, then chances are you and your team and your client base actually Think about today’s technology, too. Be enjoy the smell of incense. In this case that sure to list your email address on the fragrance actually stimulates the clients window, your website, mobile numbers, need for travel. They want to experience Facebook URL… even a QR Code so that that aroma ‘for real’. those with smart phones can shoot and surf to your website. The idea behind an agency makeover is to increase your profit potential by making Check what’s “playing” in the window of your agency a terrific place to do business, the agency and then check what you are taste the exotic, see wondrous images of promoting online, on your website. They destinations that a person can travel to and should match. feel relaxed as they purchase their travel from you. An old tattered poster from 1972 Feng Shui – I know you’ve heard of it, and won’t invoke too much enthusiasm, it does you might know something about it, too. however tell a story about your agency. The concept is simply all about placement as in the correct place, design, angle, There was one cruise agency that actually colour, position and so on, that will, once all had the agency built out as a cruise ship, things are in order, create harmony, portholes and all. It might work for you. balance and for what we target here in TAM, profit improvement. Invest $200 in paint and start there. It might increase your profit potential – but best to Energy flows from all things, yes even that check if anyone on the team is queasy dark gray wall! Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it – a about a certain colour. If so, white is good – dark gray interior. What a feeling that will add colour through imagery on the wall. invoke as opposed to white, off white and a
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION THE JOHARI WINDOW The Johari Window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others. Using the Johari Window as a discussion point in your agency will disclose how well the team is aware of each other, you as the manager, the company, the corporate plan and direction and then, as a group you will also discover what you NEED to know in order to keep the business edge you have developed and keep it sharp. In the first graph 1 KNOWN TO ME UNKNOWN TO ME all elements are even. There are 1. 2. things we all In this box we all know In this box everyone else know and things what’s going on. knows what going on, we don’t know KNOWN but I / we don’t. and things we TO OTHERS should know and have yet to find out what they 3. 4. are. In this box I/we hold the In this box there are things UNKNOWN trump card. I know we should all know, TO OTHERS something that no but we don’t. In the second one else does. graph you can see that Box 1 has shrunk in terms of what 2 KNOWN TO ME UNKNOWN TO ME we all know and Box 4 is now 1. 2. suggesting as a In this box we all In this box everyone else team we have a know what’s going on. knows what going on, lot to learn IF we KNOWN but I / we don’t. knew what it TO OTHERS was. Box 3 is the 3. 4. danger zone as it In this box I/we hold In this box there are things is here that information is the trump card. I we should all know, withheld and not UNKNOWN know something that but we don’t. always for the TO OTHERS no one else does. good of the agency. The best of all worlds would be to have Box 1 large, indicating we, as a team are operating openly and with all or most of the information we need, known to all. Box 2 should be reduced, Box 3 should be reduced and Box 4 should also be reduced. Check the next page for how this desired graphic would look.
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION Graph 3: Here’s the Johari Window layout you are trying to reach. Most of the time we know as a team what’s going on. As an individual on the team, there are still a few things I don’t know about and that could be solved by someone showing me how, where to access information or perhaps I just need a kick in the rear end to focus my attention and commitment to maintaining my knowledge. The danger area Box 3 has been reduced, and in Box 4 we will always need to find out what we need to know and appoint someone to gather that research and advise everyone on the key findings. 3 KNOWN UNKNOWN TO ME TO ME 1. OPEN 2. BLIND In this box KNOWN everyone TO OTHERS else knows In this box we all what going know what’s going on. on, but I / we don’t. 3. HIDDEN 4. UNKOWN In this box I/we hold In this box there are things we UNKNOWN the trump card. I know should all know, but we don’t. TO OTHERS something that no one else does. As you will appreciate I have delivered just the surface of how you can use the Johari Window. It can also be used to determine how I “see” you and how you “see” you. This is done by listing the following 56 adjectives as described on the next page. 1. able 15. extroverted 29. mature 43. self‐assertive 2. accepting 16. friendly 30. modest 44. self‐conscious 3. adaptable 17. giving 31. nervous 45. sensible 4. bold 18. happy 32. observant 46. sentimental 5. brave 19. helpful 33. organized 47. shy 6. calm 20. idealistic 34. patient 48. silly 7. caring 21. independent 35. powerful 49. smart 8. cheerful 22. ingenious 36. proud 50. spontaneous 9. clever 23. intelligent 37. quiet 51. sympathetic 10. complex 24. introverted 38. reflective 52. tense 11. confident 25. kind 39. relaxed 53. trustworthy 12. dependable 26. knowledgeable 40. religious 54. warm 13. dignified 27. logical 41. responsive 55. wise 14. energetic 28. loving 42. searching 56. witty
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION When performing this exercise, subjects are given a list of 56 adjectives and pick five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto the Johari grid. Open: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into this quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of. Blind: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of but others are who decide how to inform the individual about these "blind spots". Hidden: Adjectives selected only by subjects but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden quadrant, representing information about themselves that their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not. Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in this quadrant, representing the participants behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits. One facet of interest in this area is our human potential. Often our potential is unknown to us, and others. For more information you can search online for Johari Window. Another way to use the Johari Window is during a meeting to determine how much is known, what we need to find out and so on. You would use the one page layout as an information gathering tool and actually write down, let’s say in Box 4 Unknown – a list of what you now know you need to know more about. Everyone in the meeting should have a copy of the Johari layout and fill it in as you hold the meeting, then you can compare notes. If you work with whiteboards, smart boards or flip charts appoint a ‘scribe’ who will record everyone’s response. Print off the finished document and circulate it so that ‘we all know’ what’s going on. 1. OPEN 2. BLIND Find out what everyone knows Make sure everyone is brought up to speed 3. HIDDEN 4. UNKNOWN Possible dangers: Possible Need To Know Top agent – selfish with skills that could be Social media taught to everyone New suppliers Holding out as a negotiating edge Everyday news Latest this and that
Bring all managers together and take this two-day program and Find out what kind of ship you’re running. Are you on course or have you lost the map, need a new crew or need time to plug the leaks? This is a fun-based learning experience that uses the language of an old sailing ship as we explore every nook and cranny of your agency. We focus on the good things and set our sights on correcting what’s not working. No one walks the plank! Did I mention we work hard from 9 – 6 both days?!After taking this program you and your shipmates will have abetter understanding of what it takes to run a smooth ship,hire the right crew, carry only the best fare paying passengersand deliver everyone at your planned for destination havingalso learned how to survive squalls, storms, typhoons,mutinies and more. What you write in your log books, you’llbe able to apply the next day.For more information email me here:firstname.lastname@example.org Your Captain for this workshop…
MANAGING NEWS AND INFORMATION COFFEE AND A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD While you sip your morning coffee you could be taking a trip around the world via the many news websites so that by the time you finish your coffee you are up to speed with world events, weather, war zones, strikes and more. Your concern is anything and everything that might affect your day‐to‐day corporate, leisure, group, niche business and the clients sitting in front of your counsellors right now. It’s important that you know what’s going on in the world each morning. This knowledge will help you be prepared for when splat hits the fan. You’ll be able to Keep Calm and Carry On Managing! As you know, anything and everything that happens around the world has a cause and TNOOZ effect on the travel and tourism industry. A www.tnooz.com bullet, a wave, a wind, a change in government, a war, a strike, a crash, a Travel Mole virus… (I’ll stop there!) – whenever one of www.travelmole.net these or similar events hit the fan you’ll need to know what actually happened. Now Travel Industry Digest you can become the official agency news www.e‐tid.com channel for your clients. This is all about “Whoever owns the news, wins!” It will pay Travel Industry Wire dividends if your clients listen to you versus http://www.travelindustrywire.com the mass media channels. Your team will also look to you for answers to their “What Global Travel Industry News shall we do?” questions. http://www.eturbonews.com This daily knowledge should also extend to Business Travel News your preferred suppliers. Here’s a short list http://www.businesstravelnews.com of generic trade papers and news links that will keep you informed. US Travel Association http://www.ustravel.org/news/industry‐ news World Newspapers http://www.world‐newspapers.com/world‐ The Beat news.html http://www.thebeat.travel/Page/About‐ Us.aspx Travel Daily News http://www.traveldailynews.com Public Relations Society of America http://www.prsa.org/Network/CommunitieBreaking Travel News s/Travel/Intelligence/Resources/index.html www.breakingtravelnews.com Eye For Travel ASTA Smart Brief http://www.eyefortravel.com http://www.smartbrief.com/index.jsp Travel Research Online Global Business Travel Association http://www.travelresearchonline.com http://www.gbta.org
MANAGING NEWS AND INFORMATION Travel Pulse Adventure Travel News http://www.travelpulse.com http://www.adventuretravelnews.com Skift Travel IQ Northstar Travel Media sites http://skift.com World of Luxury Hotel & Travel Index Travel and Tour World Official Cruise Guide http://www.travelandtourworld.com/ TravelAge West travel42 World Travel & Tourism Council Business Travel News http://www.wttc.org Incentive Magazine Meetings & Conventions E Global Travel Media Meeting News http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/ Successful Meetings Travel Management Tourism Review Travel Procurement http://www.tourism‐review.com The Transnational The Beat Star Service Online That should be a good start. Explore each news site and subscribe to the sites that offer you the information you need. Let each agent take 2 or 3 of the news sites you would like to monitor and have You’ll be selecting your new channels them report internally by email or to the based on destination information, current company bulletin board on anything that local news, supplier specials, how‐to tips could impact your business. and tools. When you delegate this activity you are This daily intake of what’s going on around demonstrating trust in members of your the world will set the parameters for what agency team who are accepting you will be doing ‘today’. If the world is responsibility, accountability and quiet then you can do what you normally participating in the survival and success do. If the world is buzzing with something of the agency. important that will affect your business then you go into damage control and take Someone should be assigned to watching care of the fallout before it falls out. If television as those mass media news that’s possible. Usually, if you stay on top shows often bash the cruise industry and of the breaking news you should be able millions of people are hoodwinked into to react within hours of the event. believing what they watch on the box. If time is short for you, delegate the news watch to members of your team. “To know is to overt.”
Selling Travel supports all other travel trade magazines and encourages you to explore the following publications that deliver news, destination information and more tips, tools and techniques. Round out your daily intake of knowledge and this will help you sell more travel. The following logos appear in alphabetical order – click the logo to visit the website. Make sure you subscribe and read not only the publication but also each website as many websites offer more than just news & views – there are also Guides and Supplements that you can use for in‐house training and development.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT STOP THE LINKEDIN ENDORSEMENT MADNESS! There seems to be a lot of this going around. People you know and also strangers endorsing your skills and talents on your LinkedIn account. Call me crazy but someone I don’t know and who has never attended one of my workshops or made contact until now is suddenly endorsing me for something I’m not known for. Now that’s a little scary isn’t it? So word of warning if you operate a LinkedIn account, be very careful of who you endorse and who endorses you and be sure to manage those endorsements so that they are real time and not a joke which is what this has become for many professionals being plagued by endorsements related to skills they do not have or profess to have. The word on the street about these take the time to write a true endorsement endorsements being plied willy‐nilly is that and based on direct knowledge of that they are “irritating and annoying” – person. Do not set them up to be laughed especially when time after time the same at by their peers. That wouldn’t translate person endorses you for skills you don’t into being professional at all. rate as your best PLUS that same person has, as mentioned above, never used your On the flip side it could be a great way to services or purchased your products. boost your agency’s profile by asking your clients, the one’s who have purchased There’s a strange game going on in the travel from you and who are repeat social media world and it’s one where customers to endorse your agency. someone wants to endorse as many people as they can in order to show they know By doing this you would control the skills them ‐ as the assumption is that if you have that are listed. You don’t want to be endorsed someone then you must endorsed for beer guzzling trips when you obviously know them well enough to make actually sell spa tours. such a statement. Used and encouraged the right way, being Manage your own social media activities endorsed through any and all social media and also mention this to your agency team. will help boost your agency’s online Advise them only to endorse suppliers that presence and go a long way to attracting are preferred and of whom you have good referrals. knowledge of and actually know them for what they do well. This might spill over to Social media activity must your preferred suppliers BDMs too. Rather be kept real or you, we, me then helping them with their career will be quickly found out aspirations, the wrong endorsements would and there is no mercy for prove to be embarrassing in certain circles the person that proves as the BDMs immediate circle of trade false or seeking personal contacts would know what they are good at gain from someone else’s talent. If you sell and would therefore be surprised at some a niche product for instance link only to of the claims that are so easily made by those niche clients and suppliers. Then others. If you would like to endorse a BDM you’ll be linked to those who affect your for instance or anyone else for that matter bottom line.