Don't assume anything. Just because something worked before doesn't mean it's working now. You can't rely on what once was. You have to deal with the here and now.
- Tabatha Coffey, Own It!
We all know what everyone says about assumptions (or, at least, I assume we do). And yet we still find ourselves in disbelief when a common procedure suddenly fails on us. Even worse, we often don't realize it has failed because we are assuming that something that has worked that long will surely follow its own inertia and work forever. How very wrong we are.
I'll never forget walking through a major hotel with the vice president of product development for Hyatt International, Frank C. Ansel III. The food and beverage director of the hotel knew we were coming, so he had spruced up the place. Everything at the hotel looked amazing to me, but twenty minutes into the walkthrough, Frank looked at his manager with obvious displeasure. I asked Frank why he was upset. "You think he's doing things well because you look but you don't see," Frank said. He pulled me over to a table and pointed out that the service plates weren't all turned the same way, nor was the flatware placed consistently at each setting. Frank nodded toward a waiter who was pouring out of the side of a pitcher instead of the spout -- a real no-no in table service. These are subtle things, but they demonstrated a lack of standards and attention to detail. When "little" things are off, it means more important standards are probably lacking. That line, "you look but you don't see," has stayed with me ever since.
-Jon Taffer, Raise the Bar
You only get out of it what you put into it. So how much effort are you putting into making sure that your customer service and sales practices are top notch? Do you have training and quality assurance measures in place? If not, you might be losing out on untapped revenue. Never fear- we have some delicious ideas for your "pudding" so you will know what to do to make sure that you are putting in what it takes to make a difference.
Having strong customer service and sales skills are your key ingredients in making sure your "pudding" is something your customers continue to want to taste, buy, and talk about. What 5 ingredients do you need in your "pudding"? Here they are (click on the image to download it and share as you please- you're welcome!)...
I believe management has to fight to maintain standards every day. If a standard is not qualifiable (what you are supposed to do), quantifiable (when or how often you are supposed to do it), and verifiable (management can check to make sure it was done), it is not a standard. What are yours? And how are you communicating them? If employees don't know what you want and expect, they aren't going to deliver. I say it again: If standards are not being met, do not blame your employees or the economy. Blame management.
- Jon Taffer, Raise the Bar
Now that you've delivered all the good news - the ways in which your employee has shone in the past year, the positive expectations you have established together for the coming year, the road map you have outlined for fulfilling those goals - the timing is opportune to raise any and all problematic issues you need to address. The key is to lay our your case in language that is straightforward yet not withering.
- Beverly Ballaro, Dealing with Difficult People