From Julian Campbell –

There is no doubt that the key to survival of all businesses in the 21st century will be a direct result of the emphasis placed on their attitude to customer service. With the effects of change, finding those key elements for survival are becoming paramount for many businesses. However, if a team of staff members supports you it is their attitude to your customers that is vital.

Yes, the success of your business is totally dependant on the quality and attitude of the people you have working for you. The perception of your business in your market place is the direct result of everything your company says or does which in turn is a direct reflection of your attitude and that of your staff. What reflection is your team currently giving?

It has been said that you should treat your worst team member better than your best customer, because when you are not around, they will treat your customers the way you treat them. Yet, while shopping in a large supermarket recently, I overheard a manager chastising a supervisor for being too kind and caring to the staff, “You're not here to be liked” was the comment “just make them get the job done”. Unfortunately, this manager had a similar attitude to the customers. No wonder they are loosing market share!

I constantly hear employers blaming their lack of business success on poor quality staff. But who really is at fault? Many managers try to run their organisations under the illusion that people work for money alone. Whilst others are still in the dark ages and try to control with a master/slave approach. In most cases, these people have been put into supervisor roles without receiving any training at all in motivation, people skills and how to gain co-operation.

A survey was carried out a few years ago to determine the most important features of a job. Managers considered good wages to be number one, whilst the employees polled stated that appreciation for good work was the most important. In fact, they listed good wages as number five. This survey has been backed up with subsequent surveys that show attitudes in the workplace really have not changed. But this really points to the cause of the problem a total lack of communication and understanding. The Golden Rule was espoused in the Bible some 2000 years ago and reconfirmed by Dale Carnegie in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” over sixty years ago yet few managers and supervisors recognise the real power of the sentiment contained in these principles.

Do you show your staff appreciation for a job well done? Do you realise that showing your appreciation to your staff has a direct effect on your bottom line? Acknowledgment can develop and improve attitude, which significantly increases productivity, job satisfaction and customer service.

But what if a team member does not deserve a pat on they back? What if their attitude is always poor? Again, the way we handle the situation will determine if a change of attitude can be produced. I find that in many cases the employee is not given any clear direction as to what is required of them or any firm milestones to report against and therefore has to do the best they can. This situation often exists for years in some companies leading to growing staff friction that obviously has a negative impact on the company's image and working environment.

What ever business you are in, make sure each of your team knows you really care about them. Listen to their needs, give them clear, meaningful direction and watch those positive attitudes grow. Then you will truly have your best asset working for you and your business success will be assured.

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