Xvxryonx makxs a diffxrxncx

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In some organizations, there is an appearance that certain job roles matter more than other job roles. Employees in these work environments may feel judged based on their department, job title, tenure, shift, uniform/attire, or other differentiating factors. In such work cultures, it’s not uncommon for cliques to form that undermine camaraderie, productivity, and product/service quality.

Exceptional customer service, whether provided to coworkers or paying customers, cannot thrive in workplaces that assess a single job role as inconsequential – as though the unique contribution made by the employee(s) occupying the role doesn’t matter. Employees, especially those who work in less visible positions, will appreciate hearing (maybe for the first time) the connection between their job roles and the finished product or service.

Make this connection as concrete as possible. Use a whiteboard or flipchart paper during a pre-shift or department meeting to illustrate the connection. Remind every employee that the quality of her work influences the overall product or service quality enjoyed by the customer. Maya Angelou got it right when she said, “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.”

Here’s another creative way, from the book Inside the Magic Kingdom by Tom Connellan, to drive this point home:

Hand employees a two-sided card, instructing them to only look at the sentence on the front side of the card that reads:

Xvxryonx makxs a diffxrxncx.

You can expect to see some puzzled looks and furrowed brows. And you can also expect to have everyone’s undivided attention as you instruct them to flip the card over to reveal the following paragraph:

Somxtimxs I gxt to thinking that what I do doxsn’t mattxr. But whxn I start thinking that way, I rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. Most of thx kxys workxd finx most of thx timx. But onx day, onx of thx kxys stoppxd working altogxthxr. And that rxally mxssxd xvxrything up. So whxn I’m txmptxd to say, I’m only onx pxrson, it won’t makx much diffxrxncx if I don’t do this quitx right, I rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. And I say to mysxlf: “I am a kxy pxrson and nxxdxd vxry much.”

It’s a great illustration that reinforces the importance of every employee’s unique contribution to the success of the entire team.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Curtin
Steve Curtin is the author of Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary. He wrote the book to address the following observation: While employees consistently execute mandatory job functions for which they are paid, they inconsistently demonstrate voluntary customer service behaviors for which there is little or no additional cost to their employers. After a 20-year career with Marriott International, Steve now devotes his time to speaking, consulting, and writing on the topic of extraordinary customer service.

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