Water flows down hill. If printer owners or executive management treat middle managers and their staff with respect and care, then print buyers will be treated the same way. The reverse is true as well. The best run printers treat everyone with respect and it starts at the very top. Don’t underestimate the importance of the comments that flow from the president, vice presidents, or upper managers when speaking to staff, other managers, or customers. Consistency is important. Operations with a solid executive management team are way ahead of the game. Yes, they must be sharp, but surveys show that people rather be led by someone they can trust and who care far more than the brightest bulb on the shelf. Trustworthiness trumps intelligence on every leadership study conducted. If you want to make sure that your customers are treated right and your reputation and brand are preserved in the market, then make sure your employees feel good about working for you. Here is how you do this.
Survey your employees. Ask them their opinion in an anonymous fashion respecting their privacy. Confidentiality drives candid feedback which is what you want. Many of the best run companies have this as an ongoing process to ensure everyone is on the same page and employees enjoy their work environment. If employees are happy, they will enjoy working there, and the end result is that customers see the benefits as well. Don’t be afraid to hear what your employees have to say. Most companies fear the worst, but these fears are unfounded. If done right it can be a very positive experience. The key is to be prepared to read the responses, have an action plan to acknowledge, and have a plan to communicate and do something both with the positive comments and to address areas for improvement.
Here are the nuts and bolts of an effective employee survey project.
If you are willing to take action on the feedback, then you are way ahead of the game. Most of the time there are little things that come out in the responses that when acted on, make a big difference to staff. Think of your customer survey responses. Most of the time there are little things you do to turn a customer into a passionate promoter of your brand. It is the same for middle management and staff.