Are Your Employees “Leaking” to Your Customers?

Your people don’t all like working for you.

Sorry, but they tell negative stories about you and their work to each other year after year and pass them along to new employees (0nce they have checked them out and approved them to stay – an unwritten policy).  The new crop of trainees has already been indoctrinated by them.  This is one of the reasons the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright preferred to train his own apprentices.

But much worse, these are most often revealed to customers both verbally and non-verbally.

Yes, just like Wikileaks… only about you and your business.

Their “tells” are given away with looks, glances, rolling of the eyes and outright truth-telling.  The most dangerous employee is one who is assisting your competitors by driving your business away (while you are keeping them on the payroll).  They are sabotaging your customers with stories that support their claims of poor service. “You think this is bad?  Let me tell you what it is like working for him….”

Get the picture?  You can do what you like, but these stories persist.

Believe this: your customers know whether your people like working for you.  Have you ever been tipped off by an employee as to how they don’t like their job?  Has anyone ever complained about their company to you?  What was your reaction as a customer?  Did you keep the same opinion of the company or their boss they told you about?

Constant nagging, complaining or poor attitudes with customers are signs that your culture is sick and in need of reinvention.  If you don’t know this yet, trust me, your customers do.  They get it regularly from your own people.

Adding new employees either enriches or discourages this culture.  It adds to the stories and takes away from them.  Like it or not, this is your company culture and it permeates the relationship every employee has with one another and the customers.

Your company culture has traditions just like your family does.  And it continues those traditions and tales just like a family passes its heritage along to each new generation.  And the longer they stay, the more they hear.  Ever notice when you go home to visit family it takes several days for them to “open up” and start telling the stories they won’t tell on a short visit?

Your people do the same with your customers.  Are you feeding this behavior by rewarding it or punishing it?

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December 2010


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