Your employees are a direct representation of your brand. Whether their portrayal of your company is accurate or not, it is one that is being projected out into the world. If you own a locally focused business, this is especially important, as the image your community has of your business is largely created by the people that work there. Being kind to your employees does not make you a pushover or open you up to letting them walk all over you. It creates a mutual respect that encourages your employees to do their best work while portraying a positive image of your company. Here are a few dos and don’ts for creating a positive work environment that will be reflected out into the community.
- Take the time to hire employees that share the same vision and goals for your company as you have. This may take longer and cost you a bit more, but it will be invaluable in the long run. Employees that agree with your mission will not only share that vision with your customers, but will also convey a positive attitude that can’t help but be contagious.
- Keep an eye on management. Whether you agree with their methods or not, the behavior of your managers will reflect upon your company. An abusive or negative supervisor will not stay a secret for long. Even if you’re blind to their behavior, the news will get out to your community in no time. Work to hire and maintain a good working relationship between your employees and your customers will benefit.
- Some companies are taking advantage of the current state of the economy and taking advantage of their workers. Don’t be one of those companies.
- Yelling, threatening, and passive aggressive behavior are inappropriate and should not be tolerated. Ever.
- Take some time to say thank you to your employees (and your customers). It is a small gesture that can go a really long way. People want to know that they are appreciated, even if you don’t have the budget to offer bonuses or raises.
- One bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. Often, an overall feeling of negativity or hostility in an office environment is caused by one disgruntled member of the staff projecting their negative feelings onto the rest of the group. It is even worse if this “bully” has the ear of management and uses their powers for evil. Keep an eye on the dynamic in your office. Do you have one person that is often complaining about others? It may be time to take a look and see if they may be the problem. I’ve seen office environments where this one bad apple causes a lot of great employees to lose their jobs, and management can’t figure out why the problems continue. This is a problem that eventually will affect the reputation of a business.
- Who is answering your phone? A customer’s first contact with your company is one of the most important. Make sure that the person that answers your emails/phone calls/front door is one that is kind and polite. Being greeted by a gruff, impersonal receptionist is a great way to send a new customer running for the door.
What do you do to ensure that your employees are representing your business in the best way possible? We’ve found that scare tactics and abuse are not the best ways to whip a business into shape, so why do employers keep doing it? We’d love to hear any great customer service stories you may have, or any horror stories –maybe some examples will help whip some employers into shape. (If not, they’ll be great entertainment! 😉 )
*If you all add a few, I promise to put in a few of my own! I’ve had some… interesting.. jobs in the past!