Have you ever heard the older generations complain about how rude and oblivious millennials and Gen-Z-ers are? Well even though you shouldn’t cast broad generalizations on a whole age group of people, they do have a point. Before you get defensive, please know that I too am a millennial. Even though I’m in my mid-20s, I attended Christian school for seven years of my childhood and worked in the service industry for six years of my young adulthood. Those might seem like random tidbits about me, but long story short it means I’ve been formally trained in the art of saying please, thank you, and I’m sorry. I probably over use these terms compared to the average human being due to the constant repetition over the years. Even though some might say that I’m too polite in certain situations, I have personally seen where it has helped me professionally and with each end customer I’ve ever interacted with. The problem in my opinion is that in modern times we’ve become so focused on new technology and innovation in the workplace, that we’ve lost touch with the human aspect of business. That may sound ridiculous, but many of the kind-hearted gestures associated with client relations are now considered to be “old-fashioned” or cliche. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can be both a modern business with up-to-date technology, while maintaining the familiarity of successful businesses in the past. I believe it all starts with these things:
#1. Showing Customers that You Care
Think about it this way: If you were a potential customer who felt like a company didn’t care about you, would you still buy something from that company? Unless it was an absolute necessity that you couldn’t buy anywhere else, you probably wouldn’t. Now as part of a company you can better understand the importance of customer service. Is every customer right? Of course not. Trust me, I’ve meant many customers who were everything but right about a situation, but generally speaking you should try to accommodate your customers and clients as much as you possibly can. Without your customers, your company wouldn’t exist. Can they be annoying? Yes, of course, but that comes with every business in every industry.
#2. Appreciating Your Team
Even though this is an internal effort that the general public may never see, it’s almost as important as your customer relations efforts! A happy employee is generally a rockstar of an employee. Think about it, the typical American works a 40 to 60 hour work week these days. When you do the math that means that they basically spend a large chunk of their life serving your company. If they can’t stand their time spent at their job, your business will eventually suffer. We’re all human, and we can only fake happiness and motivation for so long. Without improving your employees’ way of work life, you’ll eventually see them crack or find another job in a one-by-one fashion. Trust me, you do not want to be known as the revolving door of workplaces. Now that we have resources such as GlassDoor and LinkedIn, word spreads fast about the kind of employer you are.
#3. Being Timely
Some of us are more punctual than others, but that doesn’t really make a difference when it comes to important things such as meetings, calls, interviews, presentations, etc. We all have things that come up in our lives that cause us to be late, but remember that the other person who is waiting on you cleared their schedule just to listen to what you have to say. I believe in being respectful enough to give that person the same amount of respect that they are giving to you. Unfortunately, when you are late, you are reflecting your company as a whole. You don’t want to leave the impression that your business is unreliable and careless.
#4. Openly Communicating in Uncomfortable Situations
This is SO IMPORTANT yet SO OVERLOOKED. Coming from someone who prefers to avoid confrontation if at all possible, being honest is really important in any team situation. I don’t believe in being rude, but there are many ways to communicate in an honest, kind, and healthy fashion. By avoiding a situation due to hurting someones feelings or breaking an unfortunate outcome to them, you’re only making the problem much much worse further down the road. I have seen this happen way too many times, and all it does is cause noticeable tension and attitude changes among team members. Generally speaking, people don’t like feeling tricked or lied to, and will carry resentment with them moving forward.
#5. Establishing a Healthy Company Culture
I’m starting to see more and more companies adapting this. Having a fun and constructive company culture is critical for cultivating a healthy work environment! I know it may sound silly, but doing little things like team-building exercises, getting food delivered once a week, having fun contests, or just celebrating the hard work of your employees keeps a positive energy going. That positive energy generally leads to happier employees. Having a fun company culture certainly doesn’t solve everything but it does wonders for the work environment.
I’ve gathered these tips from my experiences. This includes my time at companies I loved and companies I hated. Everyone has a different style and environment they like to work in, but following these practices does wonders. See you next week!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What’s a company you’ve worked for that has demonstrated these values?