Leaders must be attuned to more than just team performance. Effective leaders are attuned to how customers are treated and to how employees are treated daily and know how to develop trust and respect.
By paying attention, effective leaders coach players who may not be delivering great performance or great service. They don’t let those players “loose” – they guide and mentor them to better relationships at work.
An acquaintance who works at a local car dealership told me this story.
He was out walking his dog in the neighborhood and came upon his neighbor who was out walking her dog. His neighbor mentioned needing to get her car serviced and that she’d bring it to the dealership where he works on Saturday morning.
His first was, “I hope she doesn’t get Dan as her service advisor. He’s really not very friendly with customers – even though we’ve coached him about it. Robin isn’t much better. Maybe I can direct her to Shelley so she has a great experience!”
The good news is that he knew who their dealership’s worst and best service advisors were and where to direct his neighbor. But what about the dozens of customers who came in that week who had to work with “less than great” advisors? Those lousy customer impressions wouldn’t help his business grow or thrive.
Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to think through your company’s good & not-so-good team members? What if all of your team members were talented and engaged – and loved serving customers? How would that impact your business?
My research and experience prove that employees who experience trust and respect from their bosses, colleagues, and company are more productive – 30-40% more productive – than those who do not experience trust and respect from their bosses, colleagues, and company.
Employees that are trusted and respected in their workplace also serve customers better and demonstrate greater commitment to their jobs. They are more likely to apply discretionary energy to solve problems, cooperate with peers, and implement tweaks to boost efficiency and results.
When effective leaders learn about performance issues, they act. They engage with the player to clarify performance expectations. They learn how the player has been working in the system and redirect efforts to meet performance standards. They observe closely to ensure traction on desired results – and praise when the player exceeds performance standards.
When effective leaders learn about interaction issues – when they hear about rude, abrupt, or dismissive treatment of customers or employees by anyone – they act. They engage with the player to clarify values standards and interaction expectations. They learn how the player has been operating with customers and peers and redirect efforts to meet values standards. They observe closely to ensure traction on desired values in every interaction – and praise when the player exceeds values standards.
What do effective leaders do when coaching doesn’t solve performance problems? They find a place in the business where the player can genuinely contribute or they help that player find another job elsewhere.
What do effective leaders do when coaching doesn’t solve values issues? They don’t waste any time. They help that player find another job elsewhere.
S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He shares insights on organizational culture, servant leadership, employee engagement, and workplace inspiration.
He writes books and articles and records podcasts.
In his free time, he’s a working musician with the Brian Raine band in Denver, CO.