Think of your favorite companies and what they do for you. I like Chick-fil-A. It’s one of the few fast food restaurants that delivers Ritz Carlton service. Their explanation is, “For the past 66 years, we have built a foundational commitment to service – service to our customers, service to our franchised Restaurant Operators and their Team Members, and service to our communities. This begins in the restaurant – one customer at a time. We firmly believe in treating every person who comes through our doors with honor, dignity, and respect. We teach it to everyone who comes to work at Chick-fil-A, and it’s something that they take with them throughout their careers…” I believe them. I have experienced their friendly service no matter where I travel.
[Next article in the series: Creating a Workforce Part 3b: Tap Into Employee Strengths to Be A Better Manager Now (Practical Thoughts)]
Nordstrom, as another example, is a company known for high-class customer service. How is the Nordstrom brand built? It is constructed by the sales people who work there. That exceptional service is a reflection of good people and engage management.
Somewhere in the Nordstrom process the people get the message of 5 star service and then act upon it. Their manager/employee dynamic can drive the brand but it could also derail it.
A few years ago, Southwest Airlines CEO, Herb Kelleher made the comment that the people, not the bottom line, were sacred at Southwest.” He proved it during a serious recession in which no one was furloughed. In his book, Good to Great Jim Collins describes the “great” philosophy of a genuine leader, “I don't know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start
with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company
People and how they are engaged by their leadership is what “makes the difference”. I coach senior level executives and here is what we do first. We help them get clarity about a vision for life and profession that “inspires” and connects them to purpose. Critical to the coaching process is the need to connect to meaning. Jim Collins continues, “When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”
Coming Next… Creating a Workforce That Willingly, Wholeheartedly and Happily Chooses Effectiveness (Part 3b)
Creating a Workforce That Willingly, Wholeheartedly and Happily Chooses Effectiveness (Part 1)
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