How Will You Make Work a Better Place to Be Today?

happygrumpyeggsEarly on in my career, I worked for a boss who set the tone for the entire day based on the way he walked into the office. When he walked in with a smile and a good morning, we all breathed a sigh of relief. When he stormed in without so much as a glance at anybody and then slammed the door to his office, we knew it was going to be a long, drama-filled day.

Later on in my career, the general manager of a hotel I worked at never came to work without a smile, a jaunt in his step and a positive attitude. He started every day by walking around the hotel, meeting and greeting everyone by name.

Guess which workplace had lower turnover and higher morale? A seemingly insignificant moment like how we greet team members every day impacts our business.

Making work a better place is everyone’s responsibility.  From the time we step in the door until the time we leave, there are countless opportunities to make work positive and fun.

Walk through your day. How many opportunities do you have today to make your workplace just a little brighter, for your team members and your customers?

Meet Horrible Harry

Horrible Harry is a mid-level manager. Horrible Harry has been in the business for years and thinks he’s all that … and more.

Horrible Harry likes to do things like berate employees in public.  On a positive note, he does realize the inappropriateness of dropping the f-bomb during public shamings.  He saves those for private shamings. Actually, Horrible Harry drops the f-bomb liberally throughout a large percentage of any verbal communication.

Horrible Harry doesn’t believe in coaching.  Instead he keeps notes of all errors made (the list is only in his head, not on paper). Horrible Harry doesn’t ask why errors are made.  After all, there really is only one reason, right? The employee is stupid, uncaring and not motivated.  It would never cross his mind that perhaps the training wasn’t adequate or that expectations were unclear or inconsistent.

Horrible Harry doesn’t like his employees, but then again, he doesn’t really like his customers either.  Words and phrases like demanding, rude and ungrateful pop up regularly when he references his customers.  He thinks they ask stupid questions and doesn’t understand why they would be upset when a service promoted on the website isn’t available when they arrive.  After all, if they could offer it they would, but they can’t, so stop the whining.

Rather unsurprisingly, turn-over is high and morale is low in Horrible Harry’s department.  Customer comments are negative and when an employee does receive a positive mention, they never hear about it. Guess which ones they do hear about??

Sadly, dear readers, Horrible Harry is real.  Horrible managers, horrible supervisors exist, in all industries. They do things like send employees to customer service seminars in order to “whip them into shape” and then say things like “well, that was a waste of time and money” when customer comments don’t improve.

The mirror they look into every day is clouded. They don’t see that their lousy service and their poor attitude is the problem.  But of course, they are not the only problem.  They report to someone else, who allows that behavior to continue.  We’ll meet Harried Harriet another time.

P.S. To all the Happy, Helpful Harry’s out there, thank you for all the good work you do!