Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Showing Up Is Just Not Enough!

In my daily interactions, I notice many employees are showing up for work but are totally disconnected from the job, the customer and the experience. Their behavior is rote and nearly robotic. On a recent Delta flight, the passenger seated next to me had asked for a glass of red wine. The flight attendant delivered it. Then in a few short moments the same flight attendant delivered another glass of red wine to the same passenger. He never noticed that he had just placed the first glass on the same tray table. My seatmate, a jovial Australian, was amused by the inattentiveness. And not too unhappy about having two glasses of wine! However the flight attendant was clueless.

What has happened to employee engagement?

You have certainly heard how an engaged employee leads to an engaged and satisfied customer. At a recent visit to Panera, one of my favorite on the go restaurants, I saw engagement in action. A customer was walking towards the garbage area to put away her finished meal. I watched an employee stop to take the plate and bowl from her. Upon seeing the customer had left quite a lot of food unfinished, the employee asked sincerely if anything had been wrong with the food. The customer assured her that she simply was not as hungry as she thought. I love how this employee noticed and took action to assure the customer’s satisfaction. She showed up and was engaged – how refreshing.

What is your strategy to engage your team? At team meetings talk about the power of customer satisfaction and tie it to the bottom line and their paycheck. Connect customer satisfaction to their performance appraisal. Do something to get your employees attention. Simply paying them is not working. Rote, mediocre, inattentive employees are not your ticket to customer loyalty and your success.

It is not enough to have employees show up for work, they must be engaged and connected. Seems so obvious…..now make it happen.