Too often we find that someone is appointed to a specific position, shown how the system works and then left to his own accord - that is it. Then, later when things go wrong, other people in the organisation are very surprised to learn that this individual gave poor customer service or does not know the first thing about the email program that he must use, for example.
This oversight is often highlighted during our customer service excellence programmes. When we ask our clients' employees what they do when faced with someone screaming at them over the phone and the majority of them honestly answer that they just put the phone down in their customer's ear, it is clear that deficiencies exist. Are you shocked? Horrified? Or can you honestly say that all of your staff are very clear on how to deal with these situations? Not only when a customer loses his cool with them, but also when a supplier or a colleague loses his cool?
Inflation wasn't withheld from employees
Have you scratched your head unable to understand why your star employees are suddenly making unnecessary mistakes? Are you unable to understand why these employees are seemingly unfocused and distracted? Are you concerned that they are often late for work or yawning throughout the day? Are you frustrated by high absenteeism statistics, especially during the winter? How much time and energy have you invested in your employees' health or education about health-related issues? Are you one of the many businesses that felt that they had no other choice but to withhold salary increases or bonuses to their employees? Considering that inflation was not withheld from employees, have you spent any time with them to try and educate them on how they could potentially cope with less?
It is easy to tell employees to leave their personal issues at home, but the truth is that there is not a magic threshold in front of your premises that automatically "resets" their emotional state when they cross onto the company grounds. Pretending to ignore the impact that it has on your business will not make your absenteeism rates reduce or the quality mistakes magically disappear. At least part of your answer lies in a 360 degrees training approach.
In a 360 degree training approach, employees' training needs are considered from 3 very unique perspectives:
Job performance enhancing
This category refers to training that has some or other direct link to the job this person needs to perform within the organisation on a day-to-day basis. This is, for example, where you will send the driver for an advanced driving course, administrative staff for a course in a specific computer software program that they need to use regularly or financial training for non-financial managers etc.
This category typically covers skills that help people to interact better with each other. Communication skills, coaching skills and leadership skills, amongst others, fall into this category.
This category focuses on developing skills to manage yourself better. Topics such as stress management, time management and how to manage your personal finances better, all fall into this category.
Have you adopted the 360 degree training approach yet? Invest in your employees - they (and your business) are worth it!
On 22 May, Adapt to Change is hosting a workshop in Cape Town called "Leadership to activate employee empowerment". The aim of the workshop is to equip managers, business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools to engage with their team, activate employee empowerment and, ultimately, improve business results.
More information on the workshop is available at www.adapttochange.co.za