From nonprofits and associations to retail and the private sector, an organization’s employees are most often the first impression to their customers, guests, patients, clients, vendors, etc.
We have come a long way since an employer told the employee to come to work on time, tuck their shirt in, do their work, and be nice to the customers.
Today’s competitive marketplace demands (and our customers deserve) the full attention of everyone on your payroll when they get the opportunity to communicate with your customers.
Weekly staff meetings are a great venue to take comments from each employee and discuss how each improved our service and attention to those that chose to do business with us.
I’d like to share a team building exercise I have used over the years that was embraced by each part- and full-time employee.
I would take the “Top Ten Golden Nuggets of Customer Service” that I wrote (you can find these at www.davidkaaker.com) and put each nugget on a piece of paper. A staff person would pick out one of the ten from a bowl, and that staff person was the “Nugget Supervisor” for the week. If he/she picked, for example, “Enthusiasm”, they were the cheerleader for that topic for the entire week.
They would observe each employee with walk-ins, phone calls, and even ask if letters and emails were enthusiastic if applicable. This person would then give their report the following week at the staff meeting and highlight the value of enthusiasm in the office and share a few positive examples of the staff using enthusiasm. A different employee would pick the next nugget for the following week.
I had a part-time employee who did a great job, but did not interact as a team member until they were the “Nugget Supervisor,” and they shared at the next staff meeting how important it was to the product we all produced that we were a team, worked as a team, and enjoyed the success as a team.
I remember one of the best staff meetings I had, and it was so simple, but so profound for the staff. I simply asked each of the 11 employees to respond to this statement: “My position allows me to contribute each day to the success of the organization in the following 3 ways…”
As we went around the table, we had an overwhelming appreciation of each employee and how each fit into the team, and how each valued employee contributed to the success of the organization.
So next staff meeting try something new, something fresh. Invite a staff member to write the agenda and conduct the next staff meeting. Vote on the best idea of the week that benefited the organization.
Your employees are your first impression with each walk-in, phone call, and email. Building a better staff is an ongoing process that produces ongoing success, and one more reason that each customer, guest, patient, client, and vendor will contact your organization and not your competitor’s as a result of your staff’s past interaction with them.