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SPARKS! Blog

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4 Things to Consider Before Bringing Employees Back to Work

Mike Donnelly | September 9, 2020

A COVID-19 Checklist ☑️

Consider these post COVID-19 return to work guidelines for employers to ensure your workspaces are...

Online Learning Workshops for Your Next Customer Service & Leadership Training

Mike Donnelly | July 30, 2020

Businesses can’t afford to push the pause button on critical workplace training. The future belongs to online learning....

Why You Should Welcome Difficult Conversations at Work and How to Learn from Them

Mike Donnelly | June 9, 2020

There’s no denying it has been a heavy year. But times of high stress and emotion are not unique to 2020. In these...

[NEW VIDEO] LEADERSHIP GAME CHANGER: Welcoming Employees Back to Work After COVID-19

Mike Donnelly | April 6, 2020
There’s a glimmer of light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel and now is the time for smart leaders to craft their...

How Customer Service Can Help Your Business Survive Coronavirus

Mike Donnelly | March 17, 2020
Just the word “CRISIS”  spikes human emotion like few words in the English language.  We know that when emotion is high, it...

REWARD AND RECOGNITION: All it Takes is a Little Effort

Mike Donnelly | January 28, 2020
I’ve got a bone to pick with the “certificate of achievement” -- you know, the fancy print-out paper personalized to...

Saving Signs Around the World...It's #NationalSaveASign Month

Mike Donnelly | November 21, 2019

It’s #NationalSaveASign Month!

One service-related concept we referenced a lot during my time as a leader at Walt Disney...

Great Guest Service is a Continual Process [VIDEO]

Mike Donnelly | October 10, 2019
When it comes to customer experience, complacency can be a silent killer. On the flip side, continuous improvement generates...

From ME to WE: Generosity as a business strategy [video]

Mike Donnelly | September 10, 2019

What if instead of saying, “what can THEY do for ME?” we asked ourselves, “what can I do for THEM?”

As leaders, it’s time to...

CONTRACT VS. CAREER EMPLOYEES: GUESTS DON'T CARE [VIDEO]

Mike Donnelly | August 19, 2019
When it comes to who is serving them, your guests don’t know (and frankly, don’t care) whether that person is a contract...

Shaping Guest Experiences: Your Best Employees Are Your Greatest Asset

Mike Donnelly | June 26, 2019
Customer expectations are continuing to rise. When bombarded with countless businesses and brands all fighting for their...

Spark Customer Loyalty in Seconds: The Art of Efficient POS Transactions

Mike Donnelly | June 4, 2019
Modern day point of sale (POS) transactions take too long. Long gone are the days where you can walk into a store, pay for...

#WORK HAPPY SERIES: Happiness is an Every Day Choice

Mike Donnelly | May 16, 2019
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

#WORK HAPPY SERIES: HARNESSING ANGER TO WORK HAPPY

Mike Donnelly | March 26, 2019
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

#WorkHappy Series: Can You Train for Genuine Happiness?

Mike Donnelly | March 1, 2019
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

#WorkHappy Series: Can Happiness Minimize Difficulty?

Mike Donnelly | January 22, 2019
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

#WorkHappy Series: It’s Time to Get Serious About Humor in Business

Mike Donnelly | December 11, 2018
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

#WorkHappy Series: Happiness Purposely Inspired

Mike Donnelly | November 20, 2018
Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of...

The Holiday Season is Coming in Hot. Will You Embrace the Challenge?

Mike Donnelly | October 9, 2018
By the tail end of summer, most things start to creep back to normal. Kids return to school, summertime vacations are in the...

SIMON SAYS: Lead Service With Intention

Mike Donnelly | February 6, 2018
When a service misstep occurs, it’s easy to place blame on front-line employees. After all, they’re the ones with direct...

Spark #17: Misery Does Not Love Company. Happiness Does!

Mike Donnelly | December 29, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #16: Part 5 of Organizational Communication: Make it EASY!

Mike Donnelly | December 27, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #15: Part 4 of Organizational Communication: Customized Messages

Mike Donnelly | December 14, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #14: The 5 C’s of Organizational Communication Part 3: It’s Time to Get in a Rhythm

Mike Donnelly | December 12, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #13: The Second “C” of Communication: Consistent Communication

Mike Donnelly | December 6, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #12: The 5 C’s of Organizational Communication Part 1: Are Your Employees “In the Dark?”

Mike Donnelly | December 1, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #11: Monster Service Ideas for Halloween and Beyond!

Mike Donnelly | October 26, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #10: Leaders Create Leaders, Managers Produce Followers

Mike Donnelly | October 11, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #9: Salvage Disastrous Experiences by Offering Alternatives

Mike Donnelly | August 28, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #8: Plant the Seed of Loyalty with a Fond Farewell

Mike Donnelly | June 29, 2017
Remember that old adage “If you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all”? If your employees aren’t committed to...

Spark #7: Stack The Deck: How To Create Awesome Arrivals

Mike Donnelly | June 7, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #6: Think Bigger! Service is Universal

Mike Donnelly | May 11, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #5: Calling All Leaders! How to Make Your Message Count

Mike Donnelly | April 11, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #4: Tell A Story: The Power of Narrative Leadership

Mike Donnelly | March 16, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #3: Help Grumpy Find His Happiness...Even If It Is Not With You

Mike Donnelly | February 24, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #2: How to “Lead in 3’s”

Mike Donnelly | February 7, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

Spark #1: The Power of a Pre-Shift Huddle

Mike Donnelly | January 24, 2017

Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee...

A New Year’s Resolution That Benefits You, Too!

Mike Donnelly | January 10, 2017
While December is a time for reflection, January is a time for ACTION. Like many of you, I’m reflecting on the amazing...

First Comes Loyalty, Then Comes RESULTS!

Mike Donnelly | December 14, 2016
Have you ever been to the food court at the mall and noticed how long some of the lines are at the restaurant windows?  How...

Employee Care = Customer Loyalty

Mike Donnelly | November 30, 2016

How Much Do You REALLY Care for Your Business?

As leaders, we spend so much time focusing on how to improve our bottom line...

Customer Loyalty is a Process Worth Defining

Mike Donnelly | November 15, 2016
We’ve all seen those storefront signs urging us to “Come back soon” or “See you again”.  But what does it take for a...

Wait, what? Everybody doesn't do this??

Mike Donnelly | March 7, 2016

Looking back, growing up professionally at the Walt Disney Company was more of a privilege than I ever realized.  Until very...

Customer Experience Vision 2016: A step by step guide

Mike Donnelly | December 28, 2015

As a leader, the new year is the perfect time to amp up your customer experience expectations. 

The Disney leadership Difference: Involve

Mike Donnelly | October 22, 2015

 

This is the 3rd in a series of 4 blog posts about how Disney leaders go from good to great.

Last week we discussed the...

The Disney Leadership Difference: Reward and Recognize

Mike Donnelly | September 30, 2015

This is the 2nd in a series of 4 blog posts about how Disney leaders go from good to great.

Our last blog post The Disney...

The Disney Leadership Difference: Listen

Mike Donnelly | September 9, 2015

 

This is the 1st in a series of 4 blog posts about how Disney leaders go from good to great.

I’m often asked about the...

Wondering If You Should Outsource Your Training?

Donnelly Effect | July 23, 2015

Training and devlopment of your people is vitally important to your organization's success.  

Your people are your greatest...

ROLE 360: Is This Missing From Your Employee Onboarding Process?

Donnelly Effect | June 3, 2015
What is a ROLE 360?  

ROLE 360 is a best practice during the new employee onboarding process where new employees are...

Leadership and Organizational Storytelling

Donnelly Effect | May 15, 2015
Storytelling is an essential leadership skill to shape behavior, improve employee engagement and gain customer loyalty.

New Hire Orientation Toolkit: 8 Essential Resources

Donnelly Effect | May 12, 2015

NEW HIRE ORIENTATION TOOLKIT

Having designed new employee onboarding and new hire orientation programs for clients across...

Shape Your Service Culture With Inspiration From The U.S. Constitution

Mike Donnelly | May 6, 2015

 

The U.S. Constitution is a timeless culture-shaping guiding light for our nation.  Do you have a similar guiding light...

Service Culture Tip #2: Backstage Areas Fit For a Customer

Mike Donnelly | May 4, 2015

Kermit the Frog hanging out in his theater-what message does this backstage area send?

“Our people are our most valuable...

Service Culture Tip #1: Do You Care?

Donnelly Effect | April 30, 2015

It is impossible to create a thriving service culture unless the people within the culture are genuinely and authentically...

Are Bad Habits Hindering Your Service Culture?

Mike Donnelly | April 20, 2015

"How can I create a culture of service in my organization?"

When working with clients intent on improving customer loyalty,...

Customer Service Is NOT...

Mike Donnelly | April 14, 2015

"Customer service" is the ultimate buzzword. 

It conjures up various meanings in the minds of consumers, employees, board...

How to Sell Senior Leaders on Executing New Employee Orientation

Mike Donnelly | April 1, 2015

You see the value and benefit of world-class new employee orientation and onboarding for your organization. You know the...

Does Organizational Storytelling Replace Abstract Analysis?

Donnelly Effect | March 19, 2015

The greatest leaders in the world- religious, corporate, political, familial, educational, etc. capture the hearts and...

6 Secrets to a Winning Employee Onboarding Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

Donnelly Effect | March 16, 2015

Does your organization know the secrets to executing an effective employee onboarding program?

Whether you are creating a...

Narrative Leadership: The Magic of Organizational Storytelling

Donnelly Effect | March 12, 2015

Walt Disney- perhaps the greatest storyteller of all time- has entertained millions of people of all ages throughout the...

3 Tactics You (Likely) Aren't Using In Your New Employee Orientation

Donnelly Effect | March 10, 2015

The goal of a new employee orientation program is to welcome your new-hires in a manner that makes them not only convinced...

4 Bottom Line Reasons to Improve Your New Employee Orientation

Donnelly Effect | March 4, 2015

Have you considered how implementing a more effective New Employee Orientation program could improve your bottom line?

...

New Employee Orientation: A Key Element of Employee Onboarding

Donnelly Effect | February 24, 2015

 

What is New Employee Orientation? 

5,148,000 people were hired across the US in December 2014.  What’s more important is...

How Do You Find Employees With Great Customer Service Skills?

Donnelly Effect | February 18, 2015
We’re often asked, "How do I find employees with great customer service skills?"    

This is an excellent question- and...

This Disney Strategy Will Energize Your Service Culture

Mike Donnelly | February 9, 2015

ENERGIZE YOUR SERVICE CULTURE

Delivering world-class customer experiences is a direct result of reinforcing a strong culture...

"Jumpstart" Employee Programs Improve Talent Selection

Mike Donnelly | February 3, 2015

During my time as an employment interviewer at Walt Disney World I conducted thousands of interviews, or as Disney calls it,...

Insight Into 4 "Secrets" Of The Magical Disney Guest Experience

Donnelly Effect | January 29, 2015

Fast Company recently published an article from former Disney Executive Lee Cockerell, Former Executive Shares The Secrets...

Does Your Employee Scripting Boost Customer Experience?

Donnelly Effect | January 26, 2015

At Disney it's “Have a magical day!”

At Chick-Fil-A it’s, “My pleasure!”

If it's done well, scripting your employees can be...

Leadership Storytelling: The Secret to Going From Good to Great

Mike Donnelly | January 22, 2015

At bedtime not long ago my 11- year-old was telling me he was a little nervous about going to his first day at a new school....

New Employee Orientation: Are You Too Square?

Donnelly Effect | January 19, 2015
Seating arrangements matter- at social events, staff meetings and yes, new employee orientation.

The next time you are...

3 Ideas to Strengthen Service Culture + [Culture Assessment]

Donnelly Effect | January 12, 2015

“What can we do to strengthen our service culture?”

This is a question we're often asked by leaders who are striving to...

Change Management Communication: The 5 Essential C's

Donnelly Effect | November 20, 2014

Executing a strong communication strategy is essential for successful change management.

An effective communication...

Effective Employee Selection Isn't "Just-In-Time" Hiring

Mike Donnelly | October 28, 2014

“Just-in-time” is great for product inventory efficiency- it is NOT great for effective employee selection

Finding and...

Think Storytelling is Fluff? Think Again...

Mike Donnelly | October 18, 2014

Several members of our team just returned from their annual pilgrimage to the National Storytelling Festival in beautiful...

Who is Facilitating Your New Employee Orientation, and Why?

Mike Donnelly | September 29, 2014

Yes, please shoot the messenger...or, just replace him with someone better qualified!

Who have you chosen to welcome new...

Is There a Return on Investment for Customer Experience?

Mike Donnelly | September 9, 2014

Could customer experience actually be considered a profit center?

Often we hear from senior leaders sharing their...

Dissecting Poor Customer Service

Mike Donnelly | August 30, 2014
 
 What’s Your Perspective?

Poor customer service is often rooted in the way a message is delivered to customers. I am an...

Strengthen Brand and Customer Experience with Signage

Mike Donnelly | August 25, 2014

"Do this, don't do that can't you read the sign?"

In providing superior customer experiences, it is imperative to...

Effective Leaders Choose Control Over Concern

Mike Donnelly | August 6, 2014
 

Learning How to Win Control and Lose Concern

As a follow up to a recent post (Tomorrow is Begging You to Do Something...

How Do You Avoid Customer Experience Fails?

Mike Donnelly | August 1, 2014

What Are Your Customer Experience Fails?

Going to the grocery store- it can be an unbelievably pleasant experience, or one...

“Molding” Your New Hires With Effective New Employee Orientation

Donnelly Effect | July 21, 2014

EFFECTIVE NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION

To make candles, hot wax is poured into molds and left to dry and set into desired...

Effective Leadership: Turn Aspiration Into Action

Mike Donnelly | July 13, 2014
Turning Aspiration into Action: Almost every leadership meeting and casual conversation around the water cooler includes...

Customer Experience is a Business Strategy

Mike Donnelly | June 24, 2014

If customer experience is not part of your strategy, what are you waiting for?

We’ve all been to the doctor’s office or...

Ignite Your Customer Experience via Storytelling

Mike Donnelly | June 19, 2014

I often hear in my consulting and facilitation sessions that leaders are having difficulty keeping their customer service...

4 Roles That are Sabotaging Your Customer Service

Mike Donnelly | June 11, 2014

Non-traditional service roles: security, housekeeping, custodial and groundskeeping have more customer exposure than you...

Leadership Lessons from a Coach: 4 Easy Steps

Mike Donnelly | May 17, 2014

Leaders often end up in their leader or manager roles by default.

Let’s face it-how many organizations are working ahead

5 Effective Strategies for Change Management

Mike Donnelly | May 2, 2014

Many times you may find yourself feeling like everything has turned upside down in your world-just when you thought you

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