Thursday, September 15, 2011

Your Shoes Don't Matter

It's one of the most frustrating behaviors out there.  Lots of employees do it; but when leadership does it too it sends such a terrible message.  It needs to stop, which is why I talk about it every month with the new team members who join my organization.  In fact, I've been on somewhat of a soapbox on this topic for a long time.

Scared, Confused...and Annoyed
I've worked in health care systems practically my entire career, and one of the most important issues that employees in my industry must remember, particularly leadership, is that the overwhelming majority of our customers do not want to be here.  Think about that for a second...the majority of the customers do not want to be here.  How's that for a business model?  Add to that the specialty organization I work for which only serves pediatric patients and the model gets even more complicated.  Kids would rather be healthy and playing outside than being an inpatient or receiving services at a hospital.

So when I've seen employees, but especially members of the leadership team behaving this way over the years it drives me crazy.  Our customers are often worried about what is going on, and the last thing they need is to see this.

So get your head up, stop staring at your shoes and say hello.

It's Not About You
There is a reason eye contact is brought up again and again as a critical component of any meaningful service excellence strategy -> because it's important!  Sure, we're all allowed to have bad days, but your customers don't care.  Think of it this way:  when you visit a store and need help, do you want the staff to walk by you with their head down; or, would you like to see a smiling face that at the very least acknowledges you?  Your employees want you to be available too.

So get your head up, stop staring at your shoes and say hello.

How About You
Are you committed to connecting with your customers, your employees and your peers?  Prove it.  Keep your head up, greet people, and let them know that you actually are present in the moment.  You certainly expect your employees to be, don't you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of askandyaboutclothes

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