Although many small business persons don’t like having employees, a business must have them in order to grow. The owner simply can’t personally perform every customer transaction for a big organization. Not only that, until the owner can separate himself or herself from what the business does, he or she hasn’t really created a business at all — just a job for himself or herself. (See Michael Gerber’s The E Myth.)
Many organizations have a poor understanding of the role of employees. They are simply pushing people into a needed slot, without much direction. This is a huge mistake, and a tremendous waste of human capital and money.
Each employee represents your business to the people he or she is interacting with. Each transaction represents a "moment of truth". After the experience, the customer can be a raving fan/advocate for your business, merely satisfied, or an unhappy customer who can destroy your business through bad word-of-mouth.
Of course, all of us want our customers to have a "Wow!" experience, but we often don’t give our employees the tools they need to provide that experience.
At the Disney amusement parks, customers are "guests", and are treated as such. Employees are "cast members". Each employee understands his or her role, through extensive training, to "perform" so guests will have a positive and memorable experience.
We need to do the same in our businesses. By designing systems and giving our employees the training they need, employees will understand what is expected of them and be prepared to respond to the customer’s needs. We can create scripts and roleplay situations. We can review situations that happened last week that could have been handled better, and develop strategies for improvement together.
This stuff is easy to say, but not so easy to do. It means putting time aside from the firefighting of the day for a more long-term mindset. But when you do, you will be working On your business instead of In your business and creating an environment for long-term success.
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