Stressed Out Employees Can Ruin Your Business

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Yesterday a Dunkin Donuts employee slashed all four tires on a customer’s car. Apparently, the customer felt the employee was taking too long to prepare his coffee so he walked out of the store. The employee followed and got in a verbal confrontation with the customer. Then the employee lost it, pulled out a knife and proceeded to slash the tires on the customer’s car. He got arrested and the customer got a memorable customer experience.

Many would say that this employee is the exception, let’s hope so. However, today Gallup released data on the well-being of people in a slumping economy. The number of people who believe they are thriving has steadily declined since August of 2008. The numbers who are struggling has gone up.

The ones who still have a job are employees and their stress levels can dramatically impact the quality of your customers’ experience. They don’t have to go so far as to slash tires, they can simply become less engaged. The evidence is clear, disengaged employees undermined customers’ experience, reduce productivity and lowers profitability.

John Harter, Ph.D., one of Gallup’s chief scientists says, “In good times, employee engagement is the difference between being good and great.” “In bad times, employee engagement is the difference between surviving and not.”

Business managers can’t impact the economy in general, but they can make sure that they don’t exacerbate the stress they bring to the workplace. There is no magic bullet but if there were, it would certainly include being open and honest. It would also include recognition and praise.

John

John Todor
John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of the MindShift Innovation, a firm that helps executives confront the volatility and complexity of the marketplace. We engage executives in a process that tackles two critical challenges: envisioning new possibilities for creating and delivering value to customers and, fostering employee engagement in the innovation and alignment of business practices to deliver on the new possibilities. Follow me on Twitter @johntodor

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