We hear about it so often. Don’t take care of the customers, take care of your employees. Then your employees will take care of the customers. In similar light, Richard Branson has been credited with saying “Don’t build the business. Build staff who will then build the business” or words to that effect. Check that out if you like. Isn’t that true? Think about it! What makes your customers happy? What makes them come back for the next buy, and the next, and the next? Great customer service! “Wow!” customer service. And who gives them that “Wow!” customer service? You, of course. And those of your staff who deliver unusually great customer service. It’s so simple, so why do we see so little of it? Let me offer a tongue-in-cheek solution. The word “unusual” might scare some people off. “Why do I have to be unusual?” they might be asking. So, let’s introduce another word that might help bend their thinking back a little. Let’s call it “Upusual.” Upusual Staff Performance as your Unique Selling Point. How about that?
You see, the word “unusual” implies something that is not done very often, ja? In fact, it implies that whatever “unusual” is describing is actually quite rare or uncommon. Most people I know don’t want to be unusual. Those that want to be unusual have joined the crowd of other “unusuals.” Think about that for a while! Everybody wants to be special and strives to be so. Then they do become special and discover that everyone else is special, too! Don’t bog yourself down with those kinds of burdens. Haven’t you understood by now that all of us seven billion are special, each in his own way? Forget about chasing after “unusual” or “special”, since you already are! Put your mind to applying your own specialties to life. If you think in terms of “upusual”, then improvement becomes a daily thing. We’d all stop celebrating mundane things like birthdays, and start celebrating how far we have come when we adopt concepts like “upusual” instead of hankering after the unusual. Game to try that out in your company?
Staff performance would be greatly enhanced if we do two things. One, stop pressing people into your corporate moulds. Blenders and similar machines are meant for food and beverage processing, not for your staff. You want each and every member of your staff to be whole and integrated, not macerated, diced, chopped up and blended. Treat each one of your employees as they are – persons! Second, encourage, exhort, nurture their personal growth on a daily basis. It doesn’t take that long – someone said fifteen minutes per day is good enough. Is every one of your line managers coaching their people? How much time and effort are YOU putting into YOUR managers? Is there a mentoring program throughout the company? Face it, unless you’re NASA sending a craft up to take pictures of the dark side of the moon, most corporate work isn’t rocket science. Even if yours IS rocket science, you do have rocket scientists on board, don’t you? Rocket science isn’t rocket science if you happen to be a rocket scientist! Technical stuff will sort themselves out. Focus on building up your people if upusual staff performance is what you want. I’m assuming that, for you, it is. Get to it!