Thank you for your feedback from last week’s column about bad customer service. As people shared their woes about their own negative experiences, one common theme emerged.
Most employees need to be managed.
So much for stating the obvious! Seriously, we all love those scenarios of highly motivated self-starting employees, but unfortunately, these people tend to be the exception.
Moreover, staff management or supervision has deteriorated with the long tail of the pandemic. Yes, it would be fabulous if everyone was self-starting and did great work all the time, but that isn’t happening.
So what do you do about this?
+ Identify where supervision has slipped in your organization and prioritize the areas that need to be tended to. Come up with a plan and implement it.
+ Talk to the employees in these departments. Learn what challenges they have been facing and what may be impeding good service. Coach them to change one or two key things as a starting point for improvement.
+ Don’t play the blame game. Fixing the supervision problem isn’t about pointing fingers at your employees. Regardless of how their performance may have slipped, you can’t fix it by blaming.
+ Engage everyone. As people start to feel better about the job they’re doing, they will become more engaged. Welcome their suggestions and use them when appropriate. They will begin to “own” the positive outcomes.
+ Follow up. This isn’t a “one and done” fix. Management needs consistency for improvement to be steady and measurable. Praise people for implementing changes that result in positive improvement.
Sometimes it may feel like nothing comes easily. This may certainly be the case, but leaders who initiate action and inspire their people to better results will experience rewards – even from the process itself.