There is something about the psychology of the act; going to your people’s offices and sitting down across from them at their desks. It is an act of respect, it is an act of caring. Your people will care about your customer’s the way they feel you care about them; that is a fact.
Friday, I left the GM’s with an article that I had about FedEx and the CEO of FedEx, Fred Smith, who had a philosophy regarding how he managed his staff, “P-S-P; People-Service-Profit”.
The story goes on about how when FedEx purchased Flying Tigers Shipping, they chartered a 747 and flew Forrest Green, the CEO of the recently purchased company, to Memphis, TN, the location of the FedEx headquarters, to see if he wanted to relocate. When he stepped off the plane, there was a red carpet, and a welcoming committee led by the mayor of Memphis along with dozens of cheering FedEx employees.
Green remembers thinking, “When an organization purchases a company, they are not obligated to give you a job, and here they were offering not only me a job, but every single employee of our company a job.”
When FedEx discontinued much of their service to Europe and reduced it’s work force from 9,200 to 2,600, they took out a full page ad in several European news papers urging employers to hire ex-FedEx employees. In Belgium alone, 80 companies responded with more than 600 job offers.
It’s not even reasonable to think that our employees would treat our customers any differently than we treat our employees. So, how do we want our customers treated? With respect? Dignity? What are we doing to promote those feelings in our own people?
Daily one-on-ones is a good start. It’s as easy as 5-6 minutes and 2 questions, “What have you got going on today?” and, “What can I do to help?”
Also, when you do have to address challenges with your people, the context is set for a positive meeting, thereby a positive outcome. Personally, using a management principle that I got from my father, the only time I would take a sales person or manager into my office everyone knew that something bad was going to happen, and consequently in my last 3 years managing a store, I only had to take someone into my office 3 times.
This is a top-down philosophy. It starts with the GM managing sales managers, sales managers managing sales people, F&I directors managing FSM’s. The little things always make the biggest difference!
If you want to take your people from being employees to being disciples, you have to practice the right disciplines. Daily one-on-ones is the first discipline you can practice to get you and your people on that path. People-Service-Profit