A slightly different perspective
A group of out-of-town friends took me out to dinner the other night. During the course of the evening one of them complained about the less-than-stellar service. She knew that I still operate a limited consulting business designing quality programs, so she asked me how I would handle the situation.It was obvious to me that this was a poorly trained waitperson. Therefore, my take was that this was really a management issue. I suggested that she voice her complaint directly to the manager, which she did. But as if on cue, the manager was every bit as indifferent as the server. Later, while we were having coffee, the group groused about how difficult it is to get “good” employees these days. One member of our assemblage suggested that I write a commentary about the difficulty in finding employees who have a strong work ethic.I said, “Sure I’ll write a commentary, but from a slightly different perspective.” You see, I believe that a primary reason that it’s difficult finding “good” employees is because it’s even more difficult finding good managers. Most managers understand that the customer is always right and that it’s never wise to argue with a customer. But too often, I think, managers forget that employees are their internal customers.So for the edification of my friends at dinner that evening and the manager of that restaurant, here are a few basic principles that will help managers throughout the valley create “good” employees. 1. A manager should never criticize, condemn or complain in front of an employee.2. A manager can never allow his business to lose out competitively because s/he or his or her employees were not prepared. If someone is given 10 hours to chop down a tree, they should spend the first seven sharpening the ax. The manager must make certain that his or her employees understand that.3. If management cannot clearly write it down in 25 words or less, then management doesn’t understand the problem.4. Whatever gets measured gets done – whatever gets done should be rewarded – what ever gets rewarded, gets repeated.5. Management’s responsibility is to provide an atmosphere where PRIDE and ENTHUSIASM can flourish.6. Management must work with their people, especially new ones, shoulder-to-shoulder. Management must continually teach and train, teach and train.7. Management must have an obsession and passion for quality. A manager must NEVER walk past poor quality without doing something about it!8. An effective manager must respond personally to any employee complaint.9. Managers must celebrate success and reward innovation.10. Managers must always deliver more than expected to their customers, their employees, and their boss – it’s contagious and employees will see it.11. Good managers allow people to use their own best judgment at all times.12. This last principle may be the most important: Managers must keep their appointments with their employees, especially with respect to performance reviews. A skipped or delayed performance review tells the employee that you not only lack respect for his or her time, but you lack respect for his or her work, as well.Now it’s my hope is that a particular restaurant manager picks up the Daily, reads this commentary and realizes that A) his workers make up a team; B) like a chain, his team will be only as strong as its weakest link; and C) with regard to satisfying customers, it takes 10 good experiences to counter a single bad one. As for my friends and me, we’ll probably give the establishment another chance. But if we don’t see improvement, well, there are plenty of other restaurants in town. Happy New Year’s to all!Butch Mazzuca of Singletree, a Realtor, writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.comVail Colorado
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