Good day everyone,
This is your first day in this building, it has many floors, people are busily milling around you, and ready to start kicking up a storm is you, standing tall.
Your job starts in the lobby of your work building, you want everyone who works in this building to know what the mission statement is. When they walk into work, how do you want them to approach their daily toil? There is currently a space above the reception desk that is ripe to be filled. There, I want you to put the description of your actual job.
This may sound obvious but I want to really think about this. I don’t want to hear about the contract you signed when you first started, or what other people ‘think’ your job is. I want to know the description of an employee who would be the most valuable and promotable person in your role.
*Please note also that kissing ass and backstabbing will not be permitted to be put on the reception wall. Practical job role related only, please!*
Let me explain with an example. Before I got in the town planning game, I used to work in one of those fancy gastropubs. I believed with naive, wide-eyed optimism that I was there to provide the best service that our customers could ever hope for. Good customer service is definitely in the job description, but looking back, I now know that this was not the business’ primary concern.
During our busier periods, when everyone was out getting hammered, our pub became a heaving corset of bricks and mortar almost bursting at the seams. Whilst this madness was going on, I still went about my way, aiming to serve each and every customer with the highest of standards. This would include asking about their day and engaging them in polite conversation. My goal was to make each and every person I came into contact with feel happy whilst they bought overprices alco-pops.
The customers loved me, tips flew my way and I would even occasionally be bought a drink by a friendly patron. I thought, “Yes, I am killing this!”. Little did I know at the time, this was not what was going to propel me to stardom in the Bar keeping game.
What I should have realized is that my boss was more interested in someone who could serve drinks at a fast pace and process the drunken rabble the most efficiently. Maintaining a “positive” level of service, whilst important, was not the thing that kept beer in glasses and bums in seats.
To sum things up, No 1 priority – FAST SERVICE = All drinkers and diners served and time is left over to complete all the other tasks required to run the business. No 2 priority – Everything else including providing excellent customer service.
You can often find me howling at the moon in dismay at how much of an idiot I was for not getting realizing this fact when I was there on the front line of the war zone which is bar work. Noone took me to one side and laid the above out for me, and honestly, I may not have heard them if they had, as I was much younger back then and a whole lot dumber.
For my previous work, the writing on the reception wall would have read something like this:
‘Serve quicker, Clean as you go, take as many scolding plates as you can… oh and smile’
If I had done this, I may have been promoted to CEO of the bar team by now…
I say to you then, next time you go into your place of employment. Take note of exactly what you would need to do to excel at your job, condense it into a mission statement you can live by and get your maintenance team to put it boldly in the reception hall of your work building for everyone to see!
With the right keystone message, everything can change for the positive!
I hope the above has been helpful, I will write to you again as soon as the office printer has come off strike.
Rose-Blanc Town management