A person who thinks positively can achieve so much more than an otherwise qualified person, who doesn’t. That’s something to consider as you do your hiring.
When a business owner begins to think positively, it can have a contagious effect that spreads through the company. More employees will begin to demonstrate the attribute. When you place a value on this trait in the hiring process, you can change the culture inside your business.
Conversely, a negative attitude kills the culture and turns off clients. Get rid of people with bad attitudes as fast as you can, as it will destroy your culture. Replace them with people who see your vision, treat your customers warmly, and are always looking for ways to improve what’s around them. You’ll be happy that you did.
What follows are two scenarios inside your business where a positive attitude makes a tremendous difference.
Your business’s brand is constructed in the details — every contact with customers counts. Always have friendly, positive employees answering your business phones. Teach people to answer the phone with a smile on their face. A warm conversation means everything to those who are about to spend money with you.
You may be tempted to go with voicemail, or some automated message system to handle incoming calls — bad idea. For online customer care, you may be tempted to go with the latest “bot” technology. The same principles apply there, too. Just because technology can automate certain aspects of our business doesn’t mean it should happen. People want to know you care, and a computer can never communicate that.
This impersonal setup only frustrates customers who feel that they’d get further with a helpful employee. You can differentiate your business by providing them with someone warm and friendly, who is ready to address their situation.
I cannot stress enough how much this approach has helped us at Graphic Connection Group. We only resort to voicemail after hours. Our customers love the friendly nature of our employees, and their willingness to problem-solve on their behalf. It is part of our “unique selling proposition.” It is sad to say that answering the phones with live people is unique, but in today’s world, it does stand out.
If you don’t have the resources to accomplish this in-house, then hire an answering service. When you make customers press a bunch of buttons to speak with someone, or worse, make it impossible for them to talk with anyone at all, customers take heed and leave.
Former President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here.” That sign is an acceptance of responsibility and an acknowledgment that leaders lead by example. That willingness to take responsibility when things go wrong is a positive trait and fosters a positive environment. When you (the business owner) display a warm, positive attitude, your employees will be freed to do the same. This is contagious.
Tell your employees when they do something right, and the positive attitude in the workplace can spread. We’ve noticed how conveying a positive passion for the work, along with simple acknowledgment and encouragement can make employees more excited to do their jobs.
You don’t have to resort immediately to firing someone for negative behaviors. There are ways to work with the employee to try to encourage a more positive outlook. The first step is to make sure that the person is in a role that fits their personality and skills. If they are doing the wrong job, that alone can lead to a bad attitude. Sometimes simple redirection and a little sympathy may be enough to get someone who is feeling down for any reason back on track. If the behaviors persist, you can take corrective measures, but still, do it in a positive way. Surround corrective comments with positive comments about what they do right.
When you address employees’ negative behaviors immediately, you can create a culture where colleagues support each other, and there is more productivity. No one likes to be around someone who is always complaining. Simply do not allow that behavior and everyone will perform better. If you must terminate an employee, be fair and make sure you communicate precisely why you did what you did to the rest of the team. That will stop the rumor mill and also give them an insight as to how you think and what you expect. Your business will start to see the benefits of a positive work culture. Some of those benefits may include:
We’ve seen many of these benefits at Graphic Connections Group. A positive attitude can be contagious. When a manager or person of authority allows the space for employees to have an actual impact, so much can change.
Next time the situation arises, cut gossip short. Share credit and celebrate your successes. Express your gratitude for a job well done. Your employees will thank you.