“All About Employee Training Excellence”

Are Your Employees Representing…or Hurting Your Brand?

Do your employees represent your brand, or are they showing up for work, exerting minimal effort and collecting a paycheck?

I occasionally buy coffee from a well-known fast food restaurant. Unfailingly – regardless of the specific restaurant in the chain — the cashier greets me with a deadpan face and recites with zombie-like fervor, “Wulmicdon. Maitak ya odor?”*

In a contrasting experience, after writing a complimentary letter about an employee who provided me with great service, Jeff Heinen of Heinen’s Fine Foods in Northeast Ohio contacted me and mentioned “Our employees are our greatest asset.”

These two experiences show how growing businesses do and do not skillfully nurture their human resources to advance their brand.

TRAING GAP: VISION CHALLENGED

The dismal customer touch point I described above is more common than managers want to admit. Far too often employees remain on your payroll as long as they are fulfilling their minimal duties and do not cause problems. They are not actively encouraged to excel, to be more efficient, to “join up” with the organization, or to think of better ways to perform their duties, and thus they do not represent the best of your brand. There exists a training gap where many employees cannot “see” and understand how their role in your organization can help them grow.

If you looked at your employees vs. your competitor’s, how would they compare in energy, knowledge, personality, and fulfilling duties beyond their stated job description?  In these times of tight competition, these soft skills often make the difference selecting one vendor vs. another. Yes, specific subject matter expertise is crucial (you do not want your beautician performing your heart surgery or your cardiologist giving you a perm), but in our competitive global market place the organization that can provide a happy touch point and make customers feel good consistently is the one that will survive and thrive.

WANTED: SOFT SKILLS

You do not need to be an “Undercover Boss” in order to suss out how your employees’ interactions with customers are failing your brand. “Soft skills” are listed in most surveys of HR managers as one of the most desired qualities sought in new hires.

These skills used to be covered in “home training” and were reinforced in churches and K-12. For a variety of reasons, soft skills are no longer as prevalent or reinforced as they were the past. Thus you must fill in the training gaps for this crucial area.

Are your employees encouraged to excel to be more efficient, more creative and think of new ways to do their work?

DEVELOP YOUR EMPLOYEES NOW

Are all of your employees — regardless of whether English is their first language, regardless of how shy or confident they are, regardless of whether they possess subject matter expertise — are they good representatives of your organization’s brand and are they communicating your mission?  If you asked employees to state your company’s mission, could they do this?

Your brand cannot wait for your employees to “get it” on their own; you must take action now to enlarge their vision of how being an enthusiastic, engaged team member is in their best interest.

Thank you for reading. I wish you continued success and excellence.

Judy, Judith C. Allen, President, Excellence Zone Marketing Strategies, Inc.

Next time we will share information on more ideas for employee excellence. Please join us!                    

The “All About Employee Training” blogs provide service to decision makers for growing businesses. I would like for you to know me, my flava and how I do biz. Please advance our community by sharing your questions and observations in our comments section.

*”Welcome to McDonalds. May I take your order?”

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