Is "walking the talk" a tired old cliché or a bold new concept? Very few managers today are receiving formal management training. As a result, many are poor communicators and weak in their delegation and leadership skills. According to a Gallup poll, 25% of U.S. employees would fire their bosses if they could. Why? Because many managers set high service standards for their employees, yet fail to abide by those same standards.
If you are a manager, you are in an excellent position to lead by example. Your employees will only respect your authority if they observe your excellent customer service skills on a daily basis. Customer loyalty must be a top-down initiative. Here are five ways you can earn greater respect and increase employee loyalty: -Always give performance reviews and salary increases on the promised dates. Employees have those dates memorized. They won't feel valued and will resent you if their review dates are postponed or forgotten -Have empathy for your employees.
Show compassion by being flexible with hours and time off so they can tend to family emergencies or illnesses. -Be a mentor and coach by sharing your knowledge and experience. Explain to them how business decisions were made, especially when it involves them. -Trust your employees and be willing to delegate projects based on their strengths.
If you tend to be a control freak, learn to let go and get out of the habit of micro-managing people. -Let your employees know they're valued. Smile at them, be approachable, remember the names of their family members and sincerely thank them every chance you get.
The only times that employees can successfully challenge your authority is when they see that you are not practicing what you preach. Keep in mind that your employees are your primary customers. Treat them with the same respect and caring service that you deliver to your external customers. Remember that you set the tone for your entire department. Your employees are watching you! ###.
Debra J. Schmidt, also known as the Loyalty Leader®, is an author, consultant, corporate trainer and professional speaker. She helps companies boost their profits by leading the way to greater customer, employee and brand loyalty. Debra is in demand as one of the nation's top customer loyalty experts -- helping clients keep more customers, retain more employees, get more referrals and sell more products. As the owner of Loyalty Leader® Inc., Debra provides training, consulting and keynote addresses for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, professional organizations and trade associations throughout the United States. She has developed customer service standards and delivered training for companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Miller Brewing Company, Wells Fargo, Roundy's, American Family Insurance, Kohler Co, Lucent Technologies and the Green Bay Packers. She has a master's degree and over 25 years of business management and sales experience in a wide range of industries. Debra was nominated for an Emmy award in 1991 and has won six national marketing awards. In addition to her monthly television appearances on Fox News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Debra has been a featured guest on radio shows throughout the United States. Her articles have appeared in hundreds of magazines and on-line publications.