What Your Employees Can Tell You About Your Business – But You Have to Ask

As a business owner or manager, you have final responsibility for decision-making.  Are you sure that your decisions are based on facts, or are they based on how you see things?  If you want to find out what is really going on in your business, a good place to start is with your customer-facing employees.  Here are some questions to ask:

  • What’s the most difficult customer challenge you’ve dealt with in the past month?  How did you handle it?  Was the customer satisfied with the result?
  • What helps you help customers?  What hinders you from helping customers?
  • What’s the most positive comment you have heard from a customer in the past month?

Now comes the most difficult part – you must listen to the answers without judging them.  If you immediately jump on the employee for not doing what you think they should, they will never again give you any useful information.  Thank them for their honesty and even if you disagree with their perspective, look for the kernel of truth.  And, if you make changes based on what they say, involve them in the process so that in future, they will start alerting you to issues before you ask.  That is a win for everyone in the business.

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity. Sharon helps businesses hire, train and retain outstanding employees and create workplaces where everyone can do their best work.  For more information, visit her web site http://k2performance.net or call her at 614-395-9440

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