We all see them, the grocery clerk chewing gum like it was their last meal as they check in your groceries, the kiosk clerk playing games on their smart phones instead of making eye contact with the potential customers, or the uninterested waiter who has the attitude of someone who came directly from the all-night party to your table!
These are the direct representatives of the business, the ones who leave a lasting impression on the customer or client! What do you think these customers are going to be telling their friends about their experience?
I don’t put the blame on these customer service staff, I put the blame squarely on the manager who hired them. It was either a bad hire or there was no training provided. This should have been caught in the probationary period. As I have heard said many times, “Hire for attitude, everything else can be taught”.
One of the most important aspects of managing employees is training in the soft skills; communications, creative thinking, teamwork, listening, decision making, motivation, problem solving, and conflict resolution. They can’t effectively apply the hard skills without the soft skills! Both are needed by employees to effectively do the work.
Quite often I hear comments from employers regarding the hiring of young people. Many of them are negative, stating they are lazy, don’t want to work, want it all now, etc. When I talk to the young employees, there has been little training, it is assumed they know what to do, and there has been little or no mentoring.
When raising children, you pass on your values, ethics, and experiences, then let them free to grow from your mentoring. It is the same for employees. The employers need to reflect back on when they started out, what they knew, and how they learned. They didn’t all come with the expertise and skills!
One of the key reasons employees leave their employment is lack of training. This is especially true of tech positions. Without ongoing training employees lose the ability to move and grow in the industry.
“You can buy a person’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you can not buy enthusiasm . . . You can not buy loyalty . . . You can not buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these. “
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