I always want people to see my company as the best in service, most helpful, polite, presentable, timely, intelligent, and all that other good stuff. That means publically I need to be at the top of my game at all times. That also means my staff needs to be at the top of theirs.
It’s not a façade, its mental way of being. A façade you can only keep up for so long before you get tired. However, if you believe in what you are portraying to people, it becomes your default way of thinking. For example, I prefer “Challenge” or “issue at hand” to “problem”. “Problem” means that there is something wrong that someone needs to take care of. “Challenge” or “Issue at hand”, means I am taking ownership of the matter, and it will get taken care of. That’s why my clients choose me, I take care of them.
Employees need to reflect that ideology I have. It’s not easy to find employees that believe in what you believe. Clients don’t always find you, they find your employees, and they expect to find a reflection of you and your company ideology. For part-time employees it’s even harder, as they are only there for a limited time. Sometimes you have to bend your standards a bit to make it work, but never forget the employees that do make it work.
I encourage employees to ask questions when they don’t know something. I am also open opinions that differ from mine. I figure ask your question, dumb or not, and issues can be avoided in the long run. You don’t want an employee doing something incorrectly all day because they were afraid to ask the correct way, or had their opinion of how to do a task but didn’t tell me out of fear. Worse, you don’t want employees giving clients the wrong information. You also don’t want employees expressing their opinions to clientele if they differ from that of the company. There is no freedom of speech here, you are being paid to represent me and my ideologies. You are free to quit.
I don’t like employees that smoke. I find they require more breaks, and at times have foul breathe (not what I want my clients breathing). It also causes resent in employees who don’t take as many breaks. Now for the exception: Dany. He liked, no NEEDED, to smoke. He was an excellent employee, clients loved him, his work was flawless, and workmates all got along with him. He knew of my distaste for smokers and tried not to take smoke breaks. It was obvious, he’d get down, become disorganized, and had trouble with 2+2. I’d send him away “Dany, go for your smoke, you’re making a mess!” It was like a new man came back, revitalized fresh, and most importantly, ready to work!
Moral of the story: Bend when beneficial, crush spirits when it’s not.