- When I sent a message to the bus company this past summer about a somewhat racist remark the driver made over the P.A. system I refused to give any information that would lead back to who was the driver.
- When I was dealing with the Ivory Tower folks at TD Bank recently I did not give names about my nightmares but chose to talk about the experiences – the bad experiences.
- And if higher ups at CVS see my post about an employee texting DURING my transaction yesterday I will not give that employee’s name.
Yes, I’m an advocate of employees. Yes, I think employees are often not treated fairly and are not utilized in the manner that would best move the entire organization forward. I even told the folks I was communicating with that they would not get names because discipline is too often used before learning/training/policy review. I was concerned that corrective action against the employee will be taken without looking at the policy that got the employee to the point that had them commit the “infraction” in the first place.
Some might argue that proper training and/or lack of communication might be at fault here. Now is that the fault of the employee or a bigger policy issue?
- Did the bus driver make that remark because in addition to safety (which is the most important thing on a transportation company executive’s mind) nothing, or not enough, was mentioned about diversity?
- Should the bank be looking at who it promotes to a manager level and whether or not the necessary training is in place so that those people fully understand the systems to open accounts for new customers? Or have immediate access to people who do?
- Should CVS just have a simple (enforceable) policy that says no personal mobile devices may be used during your work shift; or in view of customers?
Now I know what you’re thinking; maybe all those systems/policies were in place. Then I go back to my original thought. What do you, the organization, need to do to get them adhered to? Slapping the hand or disciplining people who you have invested time/energy and recruitment resources into is not the answer.
There’s a bigger problem when a customer complains, suggests, criticizes, tweets, etc. How are you going to react. Here’s what the bus company did:
They inserted a memo about my experience in the paycheck envelopes of all employees. With it they added a short training/policy idea that I had offered them.
Smart reaction! No need to discipline. Sharing the experiences with all is the best way to train and work towards this not happening again. I’m certain the employee who read my experience will have a valuable learning – and still have their job. A win-win for everyone; considering the cost of a new-hire.
At the end of the day we all want the same thing; to create an employee experience that is so great that people love coming to work. I work with organizations that are willing to explore all the possibilities to making that happen; even it if means the policy needs to be corrected; not the employee.