Posted by Rich DiGirolamo on September 22nd, 2010 | No Comments
Imagine you are doing your job to the best of your abilities. You are putting your blood, sweat, creativity and energy into delivering a great customer experience. And then someone from management comes in with a clipboard and a form and basically tells you that you’re doing a lousy job; what you’re doing is not the direction the company is going.
Do not read any further until you answer this question……………….Have you been in the above situation?
So……………….Some friends of mine work for a weight loss services provider. They lead instructional, motivational and informational meetings. For purposes of this piece we will call the company Pound Observers.
Members of the management team (aka the Lack of Employee Engagement & Morale Skills Team) periodically visit an employee while they are leading a meeting to ensure that the customer experience is good; and the employee is knowledgeable in the product and delivering great service. For this I applaud the company. Any company that sends management out into the field to ensure great service and product knowledge deserves a kudos.
But this is where it stops.
Pound Observers has a habit of coming in to “coach” a staff member and it immediately becomes a path to disengagement. Pound Observers, as with many organizations, tends to change its direction periodically. They forget to do one thing however – TELL EMPLOYEES!
So instead, they’ll visit a staff member, tell them the direction has changed, and document it in the staff member’s employment file. Now I don’t care whether it is corrective action or it is not…………When an employee has just been told that basically they are not delivering service in the way the company is now looking to deliver service and that employee watches you write that on an official form that is going in their file it gets perceived as a bad thing. Period End of story.
Coaching is a good thing. I believe in it. Even the best of teams have a coach – so they can continue to get better. I’m all for coaching. I’m not for clipboards representing corrective action when YOU changed the rules and “forgot” to tell me.
If this was a one time incident I wouldn’t even have bothered writing this piece. But numerous long-term employees have shared this story with me and I believe there is a lesson for any company about communication and sharing information with your staff. Employees don’t want money. They want information and open communication. Okay, they want money too. But when you can’t give them that the other stuff is free!
Why are memos not issued when company directions change? Why isn’t information communicated in a way that people understand it? Why isn’t there a company meeting to share the news and get people on board and heading in the new direction together? How the heck can your company direction change and you not tell the people who are out there on the front lines, but take the opportunity instead to disengage them?
Unless of course Pound Observers has other reasons for not sharing information?