First as a quick reminder, there’s only a few weeks left to purchase the “My Best Year!” bundle – which includes 2 pre-recorded videos courses “Designing the Design Process” and “The Art of Pampering” and the downloadable guide “Have Every Client Love You.” It really is the complete package on how to take your client experience from 0 to 100 in 2020. So get it here before the time is up!
And here’s a review from another attendee of “The Exceptional Experience” as “Designing the Design Process” is adapted from 2 of the 6 classes of “The Exceptional Experience.” I’ll be coming out with a pre-recorded version of the other 4 classes later next year.
Lori Ramsay of Lori Ramsay Design – “Ashley’s course on The Exceptional Experience is even more comprehensive than the name implies. It provides a guide and template to designing and reviewing the whole client experience from initial contact through implementation. Including the Design Process itself and how it is communicated to clients.
I’ve a lot of homework to do to implement all that Ashley taught, but I already see a leveling up of my service commitment and how I communicate that to my clients.”
So if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on how to create the foundational systems and processes needed to confidently lead your client throughout your entire design process, “Designing the Design Process” is for you!
And then once you’ve done that work and are ready to take things up another notch, you’ll already have “The Art of Pampering” which is how you REALLY make your firm stand out. Check out the entire bundle here and the list of all the offerings here.
My Appreciation in the Form of Sugar
Now onto this week’s post! So first of all, as promised, a couple more holiday recipes to continue sharing my gratitude for all that you’ve done to support my business throughout this passing year! First, a family recipe. This recipe comes from, well, I honestly don’t know! I’m not sure if it’s from my mom, her mom, or somewhere else entirely. And because of my mom’s mental state she unfortunately isn’t able to tell me. But I do know that it’s been around for as long as I can remember and loved for just as long!
It’s a recipe for Chocolate Turtles. Now, as it’s a family recipe, it lacks a bit of precision which I do apologize for. But this recipe doesn’t take much talent, only time (all in all you will need to be at home for at least 7 or so hours to create this amazing confection – but most of that time is spent simply pouring water into a pot). And I assure you it’s worth it.
These turtles have just as many fans as the pumpkin cookies I shared, if not more. That’s because it’s like no other chocolate turtle out there. Instead of the typical caramel center, its center is filled with a homemade dulce de leche – a Latin American style sweetened milk that does have a caramelly like taste, but is a thousand times better because of its soft texture. And side note you can purchase dulce de leche, but we’ve never done that so I can’t vouch for its taste.
The other recipe is for candied pecans and is adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. Now if you met me at LuAnn Live and got your hand on the bags of these that I was handing out, you know they’re fantastic. They were a huge hit at the event and I had people requesting the recipe left and right, coming back for more, and asking if they could buy them. And the best part? You can make these tomorrow and they’ll last well beyond New Year’s Day. Well, at least theoretically. They’re likely to be eaten up far before that but they do keep well for around three weeks.
How to Give the Perfect Gift to Every Employee
Now, onto finding the perfect gift for any employee!! How do you get it? How do you find it? And how do I know what they want, maybe more than anything? Maybe even more than a Christmas bonus, or the goodies listed above? Well, because they’re human. And there’s one thing we all crave more than just about anything else – appreciation.
Now if you’ve followed me for any time at all you probably know that I’m a huge fan of Dale Carnegie and the book “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” I’m such a fan that I even spent part of my career there – taking part in their courses, selling them, and understanding their principles. And one of those principles that is the most influential, and impactful, is this “Give honest, sincere appreciation.”
The Written Word Never Goes Out of Style
Now how does that translate to a holiday gifts for your employees? It comes in the form of the written word. It comes in the form of you taking time to write each and every one of your employees a card telling them exactly what they’ve done to contribute to the team, the firm, to you, and to your clients this year. It’s about recognizing their unique value, their unique contribution, and their unique abilities – and then showing your genuine and sincere appreciation for them.
99% of employees will never get anything even close to something like this and they never will. Most managers don’t think of it, don’t have time to write it, or just don’t know what to say. But I can assure you, it’s a worthy effort. And employees the world over would be much, much happier if only managers would.
People need to be appreciated. People need to not just hear it, but also see it – written down, by you. They need something to refer back to on their tough days, on the days when they’ve made a mistake, or when they wonder if this is where they should be, or if this is what they should be doing. They’ll keep it stashed in their drawer somewhere and pull it out just when they need it the most – when they’re breaking down, and they need a pick me up.
A Simple Task with a Huge Impact
Here’s how to go about it. Start writing down everything that they mean to you, everything that they contribute, every unique perspective they bring, everything you’re able to achieve because they’re there with you. Maybe at first it won’t sound coherent, maybe it will be a little bit rambling and maybe it’ll come out as a bulleted list, and that’s ok. Right now it’s not about how wonderful it sounds. It’s about just getting out what you want to say.
So just start out with writing it all down on a piece of paper. Or even on the notes section on your phone. Move things around, cross them out, write them and rewrite them, and then when you’re ready, just rewrite the final edition on a simple note card.
Then package it up along with the actual, tangible gift you’ve chosen or the Christmas bonus you’re giving, leave it on your employees’ desk before they get there, and walk away. Leave them to find it on their own, first thing in the morning, when they’re not expecting anything other than to start yet another day. But instead, they find your gift and your note.
They find your note that shares your honest, genuine, and sincere appreciation. They find your note that shares just how much they mean to you. Then maybe, they cry. And that’s why you leave them to find it on their own. So they can take it all in on their own time, and if your note does bring a tear then, they won’t feel so silly. Instead, they read it, re-read it, and re-read it – as many times as they want, feeling proud, happy, and oh so glad that they work for someone like you. And because you’re not there to watch them, they do.
Give the Gift that They’ll Never Forget
So if you’re still frantically dashing around from store to store, whether brick and mortar or online, wondering what to give them, choosing something, stuffing it in a bag, and crossing your fingers that it won’t be money put to waste, stop and take a moment. Then sit down, get out a Thank You card, and start writing. Write until you’ve really encapsulated what they mean to you. Write until you can really see your heart in it. Write until you know it’s just right. And then, give the greatest gift they’ll receive this holiday season or the next – honest and sincere appreciation.
Write in the comments below, do you include a note of appreciation with the gifts you give your employees? If so, how do your employees react?
And if you want to give the gift of a spectacular experience to your clients next year, and give yourself the gift of greater confidence and profitability, check out the “My Best Year!” bundle here!