Last Sunday evening I was at this big Super Market chain next to my house well known for Customer Service where I buy groceries regularly. For once, there was no one in line and I walked right up to the first position in the queue. There is a new gal in this Super Market that I try to avoid. I really wonder if she was ever trained before she got placed in the billing counter. Last time when I asked the reason for delay in billing she said she hates working on the computer and wished she didn't have to use it! Welcome to the real world, sister! I found she is extremely slow and the queue in her counter recently have been horrible due to this.
Well, I have no problem with new employees. Sometimes a fresh new face can make the experience tolerable. But not hers!
As I walked up to the counter I glanced over to see one of the "regular" employees who has known me for some time. He had a big smile on his face and said, "How was your week end sir ?" I immediately answered, "It was great, thank you for asking!"
With that I looked at the gal who was handing over the bill to me and after making the payment I said to her, " Thank you and have a nice evening!" To which she replied with a long face, "If I can get out of here early, it will be a better evening" !
Two employees, same shop, two totally different attitudes, and which employee will the customer prefer to go back to? I think it shouldn't be hard to guess. Entrepreneurs may be familiar with this employee symptom which is popularly known as"Attitude Virus"!
The Attitude Virus is everywhere. It's contagious and it can spread in minutes. It infects the employees and kills motivation. Symptoms include rudeness, poor service,lack of motivation, and increased stress. The non-performing and under-performing employees carry this virus and soon it infects the healthy employees which eventually threatens the bottom line and the very existence of the organization itself.Long term effects result in employee turnover, low productivity, customer complaints, poor sales and a drain on profits. One bad attitude, like one bad apple, can infect the entire organization.
Let me give you a check list of the symptoms exhibited by the Attitude Virus infected Employees. Check out whether they, (1) Miss too much work (2) Come in late too often (3) Make too many mistakes (4) Gripe and argues all of the time (5)Upset others to the point of disrupting their work (6) Complain now and then (7)Are a nuisance (8) Violate company policies more than most (9) Talk too much or too little (10) Seem to be in their shell all of the time.
I am sure all the above mentioned symptoms are very common among our employees but we don't act on it most of the time. This is easy to clear up only if we understand about it and if we ask about it. Don´t lose employees because we are sticking our head in the sand. Let's take a deep breath and get to the bottom of it. We will feel better and both we and our employees will benefit. That's a promise!
If your employee exhibits the behavior in Items 1-5, the solution may be termination; if the employee is more like Items 6-10, the solution may be to counsel and change his/her attitude. Attitude is everything when it comes to business. You can be taught all of the skills and procedures to correctly do any job, but I believe you can't be taught to be nice. I think it is a never-ending battle to try to teach people to be nice, that in the long run, will leave you exhausted and in the meantime, will drive away your customers!
Business for every one today is going through a critical phase due to recession and high competition. Creating a positive culture that can attract, motivate and retain customers and employees is the biggest challenge entrepreneurs face today.