There I was, in a small airport waiting to board a plane. I had some time on my hands and I was talking with a friend when all of a sudden, I heard a commotion coming from the coffee shop.
Did I mention this was a small airport? I could clearly hear everything.
The commotion was an employee who was ranting about how she was the only one scheduled to work that afternoon and how she had to perform all the closing duties, as well as her customer services duties. This was not a happy employee. She was bad-mouthing the manager, the business and the other employees who were not working that day.
Who was she telling? Specifically, she was speaking to another employee who worked in the airport, however, there were many others within listening range.
What happened to make this employee so angry and cause such a commotion? I am sure you can think of many reasons, but I want to focus on three, which could have improved the situation.
Communication: I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to management. There must have been a reason there was only one person scheduled for that shift, but I am almost certain, the intention was not communicated to the employee. We, employees, usually need explanations when we are placed in unusual situations. Thorough communication usually makes any situation more acceptable.
Confidence: If the manager had demonstrated their confidence in the employee, to handle the shift on her own, would it have improved the employee's demeanor? Most people appreciate being recognized as reliable and trustworthy. If the manager had just shared this sentiment with the employee, would that have eased any of the anger or disappointment the employee was feeling?
Care: Our employees are our most valuable asset. As with any asset, it needs constant care and upkeep. You get your car’s oil changed every 3000-5000 miles; you must provide regular maintenance with your employees as well. I wonder how often the manager showed care for his employees?
When we have connected with our leaders in the past, we all know we would do anything for them. I have leaders I have worked for in the past, that I would still do anything for them. Employee Care may have made this employee feel different about their employment and maybe the commotion would have never happened.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do you know what your employees say when you are not around?
How do they refer to your business outside of work?
Who do they tell?
Could you be a more effective communicator?
Do you tell your team when you are confident in their abilities?
How do you provide care and maintenance for your team?
What is your oil change?
This topic is part of one of my speeches. The focus is on making sure your team is aligned and they are active fans of your business. When your employees are fans, you can answer all these questions positively.