Your quitting employees may not be exiting your company via an emergency exit slide, but the fact that many liked seeing someone else do this should get your attention.
Nearly two-thirds of our poll takers said they admired Jet Blue quitter Steven Slater's dramatic departure. After telling off customers over the intercom, Slater proceeded to grab a couple of beers and exit the plane via the emergency evacuation chute. Facing criminal charges and 15 minutes of fame, Slater's media attention has cooled, but the lesson to employers still remains.
Although Slater's limits and resentments for his job reached a boiling point that day, it is likely that this was building up over time. Frontline employees, like Slater, are essential to companies, and companies are in a position to help them.
Supporting Your Front Line
Ed Horrell, author of the book The Kindness Revolution: The Company Wide Culture Shift that Inspires Phenomenal Customer Service, says that taking good care of your front line employees - those who deal with your customers - will make your company stronger.
"If you treat your front line employees with indifference or disregard, you can expect them to treat your customers with indifference - and you can then expect to have indifferent customers who will drop you for the next best thing without a murmur of regret," says Horrell.
Horrell says exceptional, compassionate customer service can only happen when you build a deep, lasting relationship with your employees. The book outlines the characteristics of outstanding customer-oriented organizations such as L.L.Bean, Saint Jude Children's Research Center, FedEx, the Ritz-Carlton, and many more.
Here are five convictions that these customer-focused companies share:
- Each employee has an important job to do.
- Their corporate entity has a meaningful purpose to serve the customer in a way that delivers value.
- Each employee should be empowered to make decisions.
- They attract the best employees and customers by running an organization based on sincerity and consideration.
- There is value in dignity and respect and courtesy - and kindness.
Could kindness be something you could weave into your business practices?