This article was written by Barry McKinley, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor
We have all walked into a business where staff members go out of their way to make us feel welcome and to be helpful. On the other hand, some businesses we have entered made us feel that we finally have discovered how to be invisible as we are ignored, or you go into a store and the customer service person asks to help but you immediately see their mind is not on their job but somewhere else altogether. In making a buying decision we will always select the company who made us feel important and needed.
Set the Tone of Your Company
All employees need to know the values and ethics of your company. Your sales and customer service personnel are the eyes, ears and voice of your company. You need to train them properly and constantly remind them and your customers via advertising, slogans and taglines how important they are. Your employees must understand that the customer and his or her needs come first. Be sure to teach your staff probing skills, using sample questions.
Set Goals Routinely
It is impossible to hit a target without knowing where to aim! Set goals, whether they are dollar goals, percentage of growth, profit or product and service focus. Set expectations that everybody is aware of. Create a monitoring system and ranking. Provide adequate training and tools that will help them obtain the goals. Remember not everybody will respond in the same way. Some may require more support, training, and guidance. Keep the goals fairly short term. Remember how proud and excited you feel when reaching a goal, help your employees to have that same feeling. They win---you win!
Communications- The Key To The World
Regular sales and training meetings are important. You must communicate to each team member how they can reach their goal and where they are. Ongoing communication keeps the team focused and heading in the same direction. Knowledge is power, and clear communications and effective education on company procedures is essential to success.
Building The Team
Teams are built on trust and positive input. Constantly evaluate your staff to be sure that you have the right people doing the right jobs. It is important for the team members to feel that they have the ear of management. Since they are the eyes and ears to your customers, it is very important to listen closely to what your staff have to say and encourage their suggestions and comments.
Maintain High Morale
Most important to your growth and survival is a motivated team with a positive attitude. Positive attitudes become infectious. Deal with negativity immediately, find the root of the problem and resolve it. Remember the old saying, “One bad apple can spoil the whole barrel!”
Encourage Friendly Competition & Give Rewards
Make it fun, offer gifts, run contests, the gifts can be as simple as movie tickets, or Starbucks for a week. People want to be recognized for their accomplishments.
Success Breeds Success
Success and a positive attitude at work will spill into your employees’ personal lives. You will find your employees are happier when they are challenged and they will look forward to coming to work. As the leader you must be the most positive person and your employees will follow your lead. You are the Orchestra Leader. It’s up to you to help your staff play the music!