If you ever start thinking that you are bigger than your people – stop! You’re not. I have written about companies who say “their people are their biggest asset” and then proceed to talk about the bottom line and guest complaints with no mention of their people (remember that oh so valuable asset we just talked about?). I have been in way too many of those meetings.
You can’t manage what is inherently within someone. Yes people who are passionate about what they do and “live” customer service on a different frequency than us “normal” people often do things that we don’t understand and that is alright. It is not fair, right or really even acceptable to expect people to think act and deliver like “you.”
There are companies out there who are brave enough to let people be themselves, make decisions and empower them to do what they believe is right. And guess what – they are generally very successful businesses. The truth is your people know what your guests want – not the people who sit in an office all day and create policy around what they think the guests wants.
Has anyone been watching “Undercover Boss?” There was one episode where they CEO of 7-11 worked in different aspects of the business. He chose to go into one store that has the highest coffee sales in the company because he wanted to see what they were doing to drive the business. What he discovered was that it wasn’t what “they” were doing to drive business but a “who!” It was one lady who had been there for over 10 years. She knew every person who came in by name, offered hugs and made it a real experience for everyone. She was the only reason for that particular store’s sales – full stop. It was not a head office policy; it was not the training or even the special blend of coffee. It was her.
If she left the sales at that 7-11 would plummet and where ever she went, well their sales would go up – in a hurry. And head office would talk to the franchisee and ask what happened, how can we get that business back, where did we go wrong? The answer is simple – go get that employee back!
Your people are your biggest asset. Treat them like your prized possession. How do you treat what is important to you in you life (even when it acts up)?