Nancy Lublin wrote a thoughtful column in the April issue of Fast Company, called Let's Hear It for the Little Guys. In it, she posts that we've overdone the whole leadership thing and "we're not spending nearly enough time crediting the folks who turn all that visionary stuff into tangible reality …"
No foolin! Try playing Undercover Boss for a day and work alongside the "little guys." Answer the phones in the call center, work the teller line. At the end of the day, I'm sure you'll have a newfound appreciation for what your staffers go through in their daily implementation of the company's mission.
While you're at it, look and listen carefully. Do your employees have the necessary tools and skills to do the job you expect them to do? Do they feel proud of their work? Are they getting enough recognition from their supervisors? Do they satisfy customers and bring in revenue? Or, are they like most bank tellers I've run across when I've closed accounts. They cheerfully close the account, smile, and say, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" Then they thank me for stopping in. Am I satisfied? Sure. Has the bank missed out on revenue by not training their tellers to find out why I'm leaving, overcome my issues, and cross-sell some additional accounts? Only one teller has ever done that. I went in to close my account and due to her superior skills, I now have five accounts with that bank.
If you're working the phones, do you see your employees exhausted and demoralized at the end of the day because of their constant workload? Are they depressed from handling angry callers all day long? Providing good customer service skills training is essential to overcome these and other issues. And as one Undercover Boss found out, if the workflow isn't working, huge amounts of company resources are taken up with call escalations
Yes, of course, it's important to provide leadership training, management training, and recognition at the top for a job well done. Someone has to set strategy and direction for the company or department. But don't forget the little guys! They're the ones who make it all happen.
Download the Impact Employee Satisfaction Survey Today
They say that 20% of the company does 80% of the work. If that's true, and that 20% includes the "little guys," we should hope these employees are happy with their jobs. Download the Impact ESat Survey and use it to see if that is definitely the case. Good luck!