Taking care of your employees results in caring for your customers

You cannot give what you do not have. Employees cannot care for their customers if they are not cared for.

Yesterday, my wife decided to treat me to dinner even though she was fasting. The event is like an eclipse. It seldom happens, and it’s even more seldom that it’s a complete Solar eclipse.

We were in Eastwood mall, and I did not want anything fancy, so we chose to eat at “D.” As we entered, we were greeted and walked to our table. There were no customers at the time, but for some reason, the server gave us a table near the end of a narrow hallway. It was far from where the servers stood.

We sat down and checked the digital menu. We downloaded the menu from a QR code displayed on the table. After choosing what to order, I turned around, and there was no server. I stood up and saw a server with her back turned from me.

I gently called her and sat down again. It took her a few minutes to come over, even though there was nobody else in the restaurant at the time. After taking our order, she asked me if I had a ‘B’ card. I had a digital version of my discount card on my phone as an app. I opened the app and clicked on the QR code of my membership. It showed my membership number. I assume that she would need to write this down to enter it in their POS.

Without hesitation or permission, server A just took my phone and walked to the POS to type in the membership number. I thought that wasn’t nice. However, considering that she may be having a bad day, I just kept watching to see if she did anything else with my phone. Like everyone else, we have confidential or personal information and photos on our phones.

When the food arrived, they were placed on our table. I called the same server; let’s call her server A. I asked server A for Tabasco and some tissue. Server A has been stoic or showed no emotions at all since we came. Not a smile, nothing.

Another server, server B, brought the hot sauce and tissue to our table. Server B had the same stoic look on her face. I’m not sure if she’s unhappy with her job or just tired. They had the same lifeless look. Not a very pleasant environment to be having a meal.

At the end of the meal, I asked for the bill. Sever B brought it over. She showed me the discount amount from my “B” card membership.

While opening up my gcash to pay, I asked server B what’s the name of the street across their restaurant. To my surprise, server B just quickly said she did not know. That was puzzling. She works in a restaurant and does not know the street across it. Maybe she was dropped to work by a private helicopter, so she did not have to see the street names.

I asked her to ask the manager standing near us at the time. As soon as she asked, the Manager just turned his back as if not hearing anything and just walked away. I did not make a big deal out of it. I needed the Information for the grab service I was booking.

This morning as I was processing what had happened in my mind, the quickest reaction would be to get upset with the employees. We experienced terrible customer service from a popular chain of restaurants. However, it’s not one-sided.

Of course, the employees can decide how they will treat their customers. We always have that decision regardless of what we are going through.

However, the more important question is how are they being treated by their company? How do their superiors manage them? How are they motivated and developed? How are they selected for their roles? All these play an important factor in customer service.

It’s not only the profits that stop at the leaders’ office. Accountability for their employees and customers is entirely theirs; that is what great leaders have.

Outstanding leadership takes accountability for their people and customers.

Are you taking accountability for your people and customers?

Super employees maintain a positive influence

The Chief HR officer (CHR) role in the company is a standalone function. The position does not have anyone directly reporting to her at the central or corporate level.

However, two HR managers are looking after the human resource operations of the three companies in the group. We also have a compensation and benefits function looking after the payroll of all employees.

Even though our CHR person does not have a direct line employee reporting to her, she still manages to get her assignments done. More so, if the work requires cooperation from other functions in the company. I was discerning her a few times as she took on new tasks.

She manages to get things done through others because she positively influences the people around her. It’s her influence on others. The following set of behaviors surfaces with her.

1. Humility. She is never rude or disrespectful when dealing with others.

2: Curious. She will ask questions about her assignment regardless of how it makes her look.

3. Inclusive. She makes sure that all relevant stakeholders are part of the discussion.

4. Helpful. When she notices someone struggling with an assignment, she is quick to lend a helping hand.

These are four simple behaviors I have noticed with our CHR that provide electricity for her magnet of influence in the company. She can get things done regardless of how big or small the challenge is.

How about you? How is your influence on your workmates? How strong is your influence in your organization?

Is there ever a reason to be rude?

How we behave in public shows people who we are deep inside.

It’s been a long time since I witnessed a public display of rudeness. The incident happened during a training program of a leadership team. The incoming President of an organization was in a breakout room discussing her proposed strategy to grow her chapter. She was sharing her Vision, Mission, and plans for 2022.

As Ms. President was sharing her plans, one of the chapter founders started shooting holes on Ms. Presidents’ plans. She did it in such a rude manner that the entire room was silent. She knew she was overstepping her role as a guest. She even acknowledged that she was overstepping. Ms. Founder has no leadership role. However, she was still invited by Ms. President as a sign of respect.

As I was about to speak, the time was over and we were sent back to the main room.

Disappointed with such terrible leadership behavior, I composed a message and posted it on the Leadership chat group. I expressed what I saw as the truth.

Hi, Let me share my two cents being relatively new in this organization. I wanted to share this at the workshop but did not have the chance. One essential element for our success is we set aside agendas and personalities. I can see it as a consultant.

We will never be able to move forward and succeed if we are not aligned. May we set aside agendas and be kind to one another. If we have differences, we can share them in private.

We build up each other. Only then can we succeed together as one. Apologies if I come as too vocal. If I can see it, others may see it and turn them off from renewing or joining our organization. Apologies if I offend anyone. For one, it turns me off—just my two cents. Let’s not tolerate rudeness. All the best everyone.

I have had my share of public displays of rudeness by leaders. Oftentimes, it’s justified for the good of everyone. A few times the preceding message was that these leaders only want to set up their people for success.

There is no place for rudeness in any organization. There is no justification for slamming someone in public. True leaders are kind. Kindness is a result of humility. Rudeness is the offspring of pride and arrogance.

Leaders, regardless of whether we are under pressure or not, let us not tolerate rudeness. It’s a barrier to physiological safety. Kindness goes a long way in building a successful organization. Even in providing private feedback, kind candor is better than rude criticism.