I popped in yesterday to a well-known high street store to get my watch strap repaired. The place also cuts keys. Loud and proud on the wall is a big sign:
We know 10,000 facts about keys.
Wow! That’s a claim. I commented to the only guy staffing the shop that I had no idea there was so much to know about keys. His reply was telling:
“There isn’t. I’ve no idea how they came up with that.”
He was clearly fed up with having to explain this to another customer. ‘They’ had done it again. The very use of the word ‘they’ gives so much away. He – the guy on the front line dealing with customers – had no involvement, connection or ownership of what ‘they’ had done.
People don’t so much like having things done to them, or thrown at them. People generally like to be involved, to feel valued and to be treated with a bit of general kindness – especially if they are the ones who have to live with the consequences of what is decided day-in and day-out…which ‘they’ never do.
I’ve seen this kind of thing happen so many times. To manage and lead well takes more time and requires extra effort but the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided by doing so are enormous, both on the happiness of staff and the profitability of the business.
It’s a good reminder to us all – Think very carefully before directing a sign to go up in someone else’s workplace that they have had, and want (as they will gladly tell the customers) nothing to do with.