Have you ever encountered customer service that felt more like customer inconvenience? Maybe the person was too busy texting, maybe they said all the right things but sounded like a robot, or perhaps they were so busy defending themselves they couldn’t hear you in your time of need. If you can relate, what was your perception about the person serving and the company they represented? Would you go back there? Would you be a loyal customer? How many friends might you tell about the lousy service? I think most of us can relate … but what does this have to do with supervising, you might ask? A lot actually!
“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.”
–Sybil F. Stershic
The Supervisor’s Customers
One of the many lessons I learned in my years of serving clients and supervising others is that we all serve someone in the workplace. As a supervisor, our two main customers are our managers and staff. When we pay attention to the needs of these internal customers and treat them as important links in the productivity chain, we get better results — because people who truly feel valued and understood will work harder for you. And when your internal customers feel valued, they will treat the external customers well!
Avoid This Common Mistake
When I first became a supervisor, I focused more on developing my competency level and not enough on the needs of my employees. That’s a common mistake I can assure you! Eventually I caught on, and when I really started to see my staff as people with needs and dreams of their own, I was able to shift my reality to include their reality. This did not mean I was just “nice” to them or that I expected people to blindly comply, but I did learn to respect my staff in a way that made them feel valued and accepted. The attitude of treating others well is key to productivity and your success as a supervisor.
Ways to Show You Value Your People
- Get to know your staff — what motivates them, what skills they offer, their stressors
- Learn about their career goals and look for opportunities of interest to them
- Connect with them through regular coaching and daily interaction
- Notice their efforts and wins — give positive feedback that is meaningful and specific
- Allow them to shine in front of management for outstanding achievements
- Delegate work that helps them develop and work that interests them
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Supervisors, do the people on your team feel like important customers? #custserv #leadership #supervisor” quote=”Supervisors, do the people on your team feel like important customers? “]
Questions to Ponder…
- Are you treating your employees as a part of your customer service chain?
- Do your staff believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee?
- Are you there for them when times are tough?
- Are you educating your staff in a way that shows how they fit into the big picture?
- Do you know what really motivates your people and what career goals they have?
Author of The Supervisor’s Safari Guidebook Series