Concierges are the season’s magical elves committed to making every customer’s dream a reality and this season was no exception. From collecting enough pine cones for a client to write a marriage proposal in the snow to making custom gift baskets for a someone described as, “strongly self identifies as a Jewish, Chilean Vegan”. We are the ones convincing the salesperson at a discount retailer to hide the designer handbags when they arrive and call us immediately as a matter of national importance. We include notes in our contacts with the names of our clients’ relatives and what we bought for Aunt Edna last Christmas. Please don’t get offended when we remind you of your spouse’s birthday or email you a simple, make ahead recipe for your neighborhood potluck. We just might keep you out of the “dog house” or save you a couple of frantic hours in the kitchen! We are the ones who drive across town for a friend who is under the weather, because we know that nothing has more healing power than receiving your favorite soup and a thoughtful note. Of course, we always include a small box of chocolate …. for medicinal purposes. We are driven to make the magic happen. I use the word “driven” because it is a calling. It is something deep within a true concierge. There is a delight that we feel when we make even the smallest dream come true. So, hug your concierge. This time of year, they are easy to spot. They are exhausted but have that satisfied look of a job well done plastered across their merry little face! We look forward to making your life better in 2019! http://TimeSquaredConcierge.com
Laura Vanderkam’s article “This Is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)” states, “The math is straightforward. There are 168 hours in a week. If you work fifty and sleep eight per night (fifty-six hours per week in total), that leaves sixty-two hours for other things.” Of course, my first thought is that she was remiss in not mentioning the imperative that you outsource your personal errands to TimeSquared Concierge. My second that was the realization that my opinion on this matter changes with the day and, if I am truly honest, the difference is the lens through which I am viewing my life. If I allow myself to be hyper critical, I see the inside of the refrigerator that could benefit from a thorough cleaning. However, most of the time, I see the smile on my daughter’s face or hear her utter a clever statement that is decades beyond her years or catch the reflection of the two of us attempting to imitate dance moves that clearly should be left to the professionals. Sure, I could benefit from some “me” time and I have my share of “first world” challenges, but I am tremendously grateful for the life I have and the people I share it with! https://verilymag.com/2015/09/working-mothers-i-know-how-she-does-it-laura-vanderkam?utm_source=Verily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=8bb79406ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e08a3e62a0-8bb79406ca-88944549
Recently, I attended a speech on the topic of parenting. The speaker was great. I agreed with the majority of what he said, but his suggestion that parents increase the amount of time we spend with our children rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, it all sounds good on paper, but the reality is that most of us are trying to cram 30+ hours into a 24 hour day. If we plan to spend more time with our children and then fail to do so, it creates guilt or anxiety which is no good for anyone. With all the expectations put on us in our professional and private lives, we don’t need any more reasons to feel inadequate. I thought long and hard and, after much deliberation decided that it’s just not possible. I do my very best and give all the attention that I can to my family. In my opinion, what’s most important is the quality of time spent, not the quantity. Being extremely present in the limited time you do have with your family can go a long way. And if they could be doing something better with their time, who am I to prevent them? For example, I love spending time with my daughter Charlie, but I can't teach her how to do a pirouette. She must spend time with her ballet instructor to learn that. Its best to use your limited time together giving what only you can - unconditional love. The most memorable moments with my daughter happen when I am present enough to recognize and seize the opportunity. For example, one morning while driving my daughter Charlie to school, we saw a red fox dart across the road. I
The answer to “Sandwich Generation” retention How do you retain your valuable employees who find themselves in the “Sandwich Generation” - a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children? Imagine an employee who leaves work 30 mins early to pick up mom’s prescription, then fights traffic for another 45 minutes to get to the daycare on time and avoid the exorbitant late fee. Once they are home, they whirl around the kitchen, trying to whip together a healthy meal for their family while struggling with the guilt from missed time at the office. I’m sure this is all too familiar for most of you. After all, the Pew Research Center, reported just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between seven and ten million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance. These individuals are at war with themselves - struggling with demands from so many with so few hours in the day. They know the importance of putting family first, but they also know what is expected of them at the office. For the ones I know, their professional life is a safe haven. It is the place where they can give 100% and reap tremendous rewards with often quantifiable measures of success. It feeds their sense of accomplishment, pays their bills and hopefully allows them to financially prepare for their own “golden years”. That is unless it is totally derailed by the competing factors previously mentioned. Do you doubt for a minute that it happens? You know it does. The question isn’t IF it happens, but rather how frequently.
Because they confound the leadership so much, leaders will say “what do you want?” And millennials will say “we want to work in a place with purpose, we want to make an impact, we want free food and bean bag chairs.” And yet when provided all these things they are still not happy. ~ Simon Sinek’s interview on Millennials Millennials get a pretty bad rap. This generation—defined as the group born between 1982 and 2004—have been labeled as lazy, entitled and overly obsessed with their smart phones. Simon Sinek added insecure and monumentally depressed to the list. Even so, Millennials are the leaders of the future. What these future leaders want most is change. I know what you are going to say. They just want everything handed to them. Participation trophy syndrome! Well, a recent study conducted by Gallup.com shows evidence that Millennials may be more like you than you think. As a matter a fact, the scores for employee engagement and workplace satisfaction were pretty even across the board. Based on the 200,000 Americans surveyed only about 1/3 of people are engaged at work. This number includes all generations currently in the workforce. So the real question is, if everyone feels that they are waiting for employers to provide what they need to keep them engaged, how do Millennials differ from the previous generations? The difference is, Millennials aren’t willing to wait. This dissatisfaction results in the job hopping that Millennials are so famous for. At TimeSquared Concierge it is our job to make sure your employees are well taken care of so they can stay focused at work. That is why we created a survey to find out exactly what millennials really want in
The September 2014 Robert Half article titled, “9 Low-Cost Ways to Keep Employee Retention High” reminds us that it is often the small gestures that are important. But, isn’t that usually the case in life? Men, don’t get me wrong, expensive jewelry is always appreciated! However, dare I admit that remembering my favorite dessert or finding a message on a Post It note when I open my laptop can mean almost as much. This concept reminds me of the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither is your company’s culture. The foundation may be your Core Values and Mission Statement, but you have an opportunity to lay bricks each day with the small gestures and initiatives that are in complete alignment. An example of one small initiative at TimeSquared Concierge is that we gather personal information during on-boarding and you never know when that information may be used to surprise you. For example, your favorite ice cream flavor may be purchased for the office when you make a big sale or your favorite type of flowers might be sent to you when you are out sick. We are in the business of anticipating needs and making our clients feel special. Why wouldn’t we do the same for our valued employees. After all, without them, our company simply couldn’t succeed. I’d love to hear some of your signature small gestures that shape your corporate culture. https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/9-low-cost-ways-to-keep-employee-retention-high
“New Tech employees may not be looking for another job right now, but they are not necessarily committed to staying with their company in the medium to long term.” CultureAmp.com 2015 New Tech Benchmark report A key driver of Employee Engagement: Leaders who demonstrate that people are important to the company’s success According to CultureAmp’s 2015 NewTech Benchmark report, Having Leaders who demonstrate that People are important to the company’s success is one of the top 5 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement in New Tech. That begs the question, “What are you doing to send that message loud and clear to your team?” Does your team feel that the leadership within your organization directly correlates the firm’s success to their valiant efforts? Does your leadership speak to their valued contributions? More importantly, what are you as a firm doing to demonstrate this to your people? If you are stumped by this line of questioning, don’t feel bad. You are in good company with the majority of firms throughout the US. But not for much longer, because you were smart enough to read this post! The solution is not only easy, but it pays for itself time and time again through increased employee productivity, retention, and of course, employee engagement! Are you ready?! Give your employees what they value most – TIME. TimeSquared Concierge is the personal errand service that corporations offer as an employee benefit. We handle all of their running around so they can spend their limited amount of “free” time doing what they value most…and I guarantee you it is NOT battling the weekend crowds at Costco, WalMart or even Target as great as Nate Berkus’ home collection may be. We will stock their refrigerator, take their vehicles in for service, meet contractors at their homes; the
“Industrious” Okay, so, perhaps it is not the quality that you lead with when writing your Match.com profile. What does that mean? Can she build a Hoverboard out of an old toaster oven? Mock if you want, but it is a word I use to describe myself, and I am, personally, quite fond of it. Here is why. I always thought the World is a big place. There will always be someone who is pretty or smarter or perhaps, easier to get along with than I. Of course; you won’t have to search as long for the later as you would for the first two criteria. However, I can always find a way to get shit done. Now, it might get messy, painful, even hard to watch at times, but I Will Not, Can Not Quit….until “it” is done. People say I am “resilient” and I quietly smile. The truth is that I am not resilient. I feel every setback like it is a knife to my heart. I take everything personally. At lightning speed, I can surmise 20 reasons how I “failed” in any given situation. Then, I pick myself back up and continue the quest. Why? Quite honestly, I don’t think it even occurs to me that there is another option. What is quitting? It is not even in my vocabulary much less my consciousness. Try another way. Approach the challenge from another angle. So, “industrious” – it fits my like my favorite pair of designer jeans. I guess there is no doubt that my new company, TimeSquared Concierge, will succeed. Right? Come along for the ride. You won’t be disappointed.
As I look towards 2016, I can’t help but reflect on the many reasons why we do what we do. I wanted to share just a couple of stories that I hope resonate with you as they do with me… One very busy day, we received an urgent request to purchase and deliver a stroller. A member of the concierge team dropped everything and raced to the store. Although, we don’t make a habit of questioning our clients, the concierge admitted that it seemed odd that a stroller would be “urgent”. Did the customer’s stroller just break mid-walk? Did he/she not expect a baby to appear at their home? The concierge arrived at the client’s house a bit flustered until she saw a vision that stopped her dead in her tracks. The client, a high-powered female partner at a prestigious law firm, was seated under a tree in her front yard cradling a precious baby. Happiness radiated from the woman’s face as she looked up to see her concierge with tears streaming down her face. She proceeded to explain that she was afraid to fill her home with baby items as she waited for the call from the adoption agency. She wanted a baby so badly that the cute, cuddly reminders would simply make her too sad. The concierge promptly wiped away her tears and congratulated the proud new mommy and her new bundle of joy. Then, in typical TimeSquared fashion, she proceeded to make a list of all of the other tasks that this client needed to off-load to us so that she could focus on her important new role. We are so honored to play a small part in the most important journeys
It’s A New Day. “The concierge space is very different today. Cutting-edge companies have different expectations from the concierge industry then they did 24 years ago. Modern approaches to concierge products and services are vital for helping businesses launch into the future. I have had the advantage of combining 24+ years of experience with building fresh proprietary technology, and out-of-the-box thinking to pioneer the next gen corporate concierge service. I am hitting today’s (and tomorrow’s) vital business challenges head on!” Better Technology. “Today economic climate has raised the bar for efficiency and technology requirements for all technology-enabled professional services firms. Companies are looking for better technology to affect efficiencies of the service deliver, reporting capabilities, and accessibility. Most major players in the concierge industry are saddles with legacy technology and a mindset of business as usual.” Best-In-Class Solutions. “I still have so much passion for the industry and I started my new company, TimeSquared, with a clean slated to reach way beyond what is currently offered to build what today’s clients are asking for. I listened and responded to clients’ expectations of being able to access their site from any device without fear of personal information being compromised. Live chat is a must, and collecting feedback must be automated and reported in real time. Clients responded that these unique TimeSquared solutions are best in class since most companies don’t offer a mobile-enabled, co-branded website for clients to log into to place and/or track their preferences and request status. Often, calling in or emailing requests is the standard and monthly reports is still entered manually and reported via Excel spreadsheet.” Local Errand Running Service. “More and more customers are booking their travel and entertainment for themselves. However, they