Are your employees contributing to the company’s goals?

4 10 2011

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Likewise, a team is only as strong as its weakest team member. Every member of the organization must be contributing to the company’s goals and must be in line with the strategic plan.

“Strategic plans are most effective when every individual employee knows how his or her goals contribute to the organization accomplishing its strategic plan”

Professor Francis Ryan

I continue this post with an interesting experience I had the other day.

I was in my local Walmart Supercenter in Reno the other day, shopping for some school supplies and a few bulk food items. I was in the food and beverage section, looking for some Gatorade powder mix, as I prefer mixing my own, and saving money rather than buying individual bottles of Gatorade. It was mid afternoon on a Saturday, and the shelf for Glacier Freeze Gatorade powder was empty. I walked over to the next aisle, and found a Walmart Associate stocking a shelf with new items.

“Excuse me, I am looking for some Gatorade powder mix, and the flavor I am looking for has run out. Is there any chance you have any stocked in the back?”

“Yes I am sure we have some in the back, but this is a really busy time of the day, it would be a pain to look for it now”, she replied.

Stunned, I responded, “Okay thank you, do you know when it might be restocked on the shelves?”

“I will probably move to that aisle next, so maybe in about an hour”, she said with little interest.

I was not going to wait an hour, as that was going to be the last item I was going to buy, I was now ready to check out.

I decided to head back towards my neighborhood, and stopped at Safeway and picked up a can of my favorite Glacier Freeze Gatorade powder. Sure, I paid a little bit more for the same item, but I got the item I wanted and Safeway left me a happy customer.

This is a good example of an employee not acting in line with the overall strategy of the organization. Walmart may be a bad example, because they have proven numerous times that low prices seem to be more of a priority to their organization than customer service, however they are in the customer service industry.

Incidents like this leave customers like me unsatisfied. A customer that leaves unsatisfied is as good as a lost customer. Losing customers is losing profit. Throughout business today, it is not about getting customers in the store to buy something; it is about getting them to come back over and over again, along with their friends and family. This is how business is working today and the companies who don’t follow suit will not be successful.

I tie this incident into management because I believe it is the reason it happened. Managers are responsible for the actions of all their employees.

Whether it be a human resource manager who hired the employee that was not in line with company objectives, i.e. customer service. Maybe it was the direct manager who did not accurately communicate and train the employee on importance of customer service within the retail industry. Bad customer service is causing many companies to lose business. It is such an important aspect of business today and it is the easiest thing you can do to retain customers.

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