JIM Arenovski, longtime resident and president of Island Training Solutions, spoke about community and economic development at the Rotary Club of Saipan’s weekly lunch meeting at Hyatt’s Giovanni’s restaurant on Tuesday.
With wit and humour, Arenovski underlined the link between economic development and individual attitudes.
At CNMI, he said, the economy relies heavily on tourism and tourists have customer service needs.
“Let me connect the dots,” he added. “I believe that having staff, a community and an island with a good attitude will lead to friendly people and better customer service and help our economy grow.”
Arenovski said a positive attitude is important and “can work for you and me.”
All the great businessmen, salespeople and notable professional development people, he said, have spoken or written about attitude and its importance in professional and personal success.
He recommended books by Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, John Maxwell and Jeffrey Gitomer.
“Time to go to the library. You have some good reading to do,” Arenovski said.
“So how’s your attitude?” He asked. “I assure you that it can probably get better, including mine. Essentially, it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you. You always have a choice on how to react, negative or positive.
Arenovski believes that attitude is 50% of a person’s personal and professional success.
So “why aren’t we more focused on attitude? Where are the courses on ‘Attitude’? Why don’t HR and hiring managers emphasize soft skills (attitude) more than hard skills and experience? »
Arenovski noted that people are usually hired for their hard skills and fired for their lack of soft skills.
“If you have a business, are you confident that your staff provide a 100% positive attitude, excellent customer service and go the extra mile for your customers? What have you done this week to improve your attitude staff? How do you think the attitude of your staff is right now? Are their interactions with customers good or indifferent or worse causing customers to look at your competition? Oh my god I made you think about the importance of attitude now,” Arenovski said.
He said: “No employee wakes up saying, ‘How could I be wrong at work today?’ Or ‘what can I do to get my boss to yell at me?’ Or ‘how can I upset a customer so much that he looks at the competition?’
Arenovski said he continues to see supervisors, managers and owners fail to encourage and motivate employees.
Instead, they provide negative feedback and criticism when their employees make simple mistakes. “It’s hard to have a positive attitude when the boss belittles the employees. You do not think ?
He said there is an instant negative attitude, but not an instant positive attitude.
The pre-verbal attitude, he added, “degrades and whatever management comes up with [to an employee] will be served directly to the customer. Companies need to take a close look at management, staff and their attitude.”
Arenovski said a positive or “yes” attitude allows people to be friendly and open, not defensive.
“And ‘friendly’ is the foundation of great customer service. Grumpy people don’t provide great customer service, period. I never have and I never will. Yet companies are still hiring them and doing little to improve their attitude,” he said.
In contrast, people with a positive attitude will look for ways to help a colleague or client.
“Kind of like a firefighter – the ‘yes’ attitude people run towards the problem, not away from it,” Arenovski said.
“When people say they’re bored at work, it’s mostly ‘no’s. ‘Yes’ are never boring. They’re too busy creating loyal customers…customers for life. They work with the intention of resolving customer issues effectively and with In the unlikely event that the “yes” cannot resolve the issue, they offer alternatives and work with their team to achieve a successful outcome. no” are pretty self-centered. It’s all about them. “Why did this have to happen on my shift? My boss is going to get mad at me.” The “no” staff would rather the customer disappear than to have to explain there was a problem to management or to work to resolve it.”
People with bad attitudes like to blame others, which is the opposite of being responsible, he added.
Arenovski said CNMI has an economy based on services and tourism, “and will remain so for the foreseeable future.”
To improve tourism, he added, “I hear a lot about improving destinations, and that usually comes in the form of [renovations] or cleanings, etc. I agree, but in my opinion, not everything can be related to infrastructure. I’ve been around long enough to know that painting isn’t the whole answer. People are the answer. They always have been and always will be. Rarely do I hear of efforts involving “people improvement”. Have you ever been to a nice shiny restaurant that had great food but crap service? »
He said businesses and government could put some of their time, money and effort into people.
“Painting Mount Tapochao’s railings or having shiny trash cans isn’t going to overcome the poor service tourists get at a restaurant or the lack of friendly greetings when checking in to a hotel,” Arenovski said.
“Have you ever gone on vacation and said, ‘Wow, they really have a great paint job on that fence and that cement wall! Instead, you talk about your most memorable experiences, and they usually involve people. Looks good – your staff paints and cleans. Yeah, community service. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s ironic that companies don’t spend so much time and money improving the service and attitude of those same employees.
“If we collectively spend more time improving service attitudes and knowledge with the people who represent the image of our business/community/island, this will help make the guest experience enjoyable and in turn , our community will have better jobs, better opportunities, and if they are great at customer service – great upward career mobility. We need to remind everyone of the importance of our tourists having a great experience. And we just need a better attitude. It would be a good start,” Arenovski said.
He said that greeting people better or offering help with a smile are the things people do with a “yes” attitude. “And those who don’t, can be taught,” he added.
“I believe in people and especially in the people of the CNMI. I have trained, employed, developed literally hundreds of people. There is huge raw talent in our local workforce just waiting to be tapped, they just need to grow. Many people I’ve worked with have achieved success, whether by graduating from college, working their way up to a great job, or opening their own businesses. These people didn’t always start out with good attitudes, but they got it eventually,” Arenovski said.
Providing workers with customer service/attitude training and awareness will help tourists and residents alike, he added.
“When a tourist comes back to Korea and sits around the table with his friends and family and talks about his experience in Saipan, we want him to mention how friendly and helpful the people were,” Arenovski said. .
It’s the same with a Kagman resident talking with his family about a new restaurant.
“We want them to share a great positive experience. Could having a great service experience attract more residents to employment in this industry? I can tell you that a bad one definitely won’t be.
Arenovski said we should “choose to help ourselves and help others have a better attitude. A “yes” attitude will improve one’s prospects, the prospects of a business, the prospects of an island.
And that, along with more traditional destination improvement efforts, will help transform CNMI into a premier tourist destination in our region, he said.