I’ve been doing some thinking again about what it takes to build and maintain a company. Not just any company, but a company that inspires passion, inspires support, and inspires a commitment from the people within and beyond the organization. Three words came to mind: compassion, communication, coordination.
Compassion. Compassion came to mind because a company must operate with a sense of compassion in everything that it does. From the largest corporation to the smallest startup, the people in a company need to actually care. They need to care about their colleagues. They need to care about their clients. They need to help each other overcome obstacles, problems, and difficulties. In many ways, it’s about acting more like a community than a company. When people come together and work with a common purpose, much can be accomplished!
Compassion also came up because I continue to see instances of poor customer service across vastly different types of companies. Why, in this day and age, is poor customer service still a problem? Just mention the pandemic, supply chain problems, hiring challenges, low wages, employee behaviors, fluctuating prices, arduous company policies, and (more) and you get the picture. However, creative and committed minds can address all of these challenges.
The bottom line is this: A company culture of compassion is a win-win for everyone. This will be a key driver for success.
Communication. To succeed, a company must communicate effectively from top to bottom. As is often said (or something similar), half the world’s problems are the result of miscommunication. No communication is the worst of all. Miscommunication can happen easily if people are not listening actively (or care to listen at all). The consequences can lead to bad service, bad attitudes, and lost money. This is also a problem that can be easily prevented.
Communications must also be effective vertically as well as horizontally. Executives and managers need to creatively ensure that their employees know their jobs and perform their jobs well. They must also keep a virtual pulse on employee problems as well as the concerns of their customers.
Alternatively, employees must have access to senior leadership to provide ideas, suggestions, and critiques. Senior management must be receptive and open to all input from their company team.
Employees must also have bought-in to the vision and mission of the company when they were hired. If an employee works for a hot dog stand and doesn’t like the hot dogs, then he isn’t going to care much about spreading the joys of that hot dog brand to the community.
Coordination. The idea here is simply that different parts of a company need to know what the other parts are doing. While there are aspects of communication here, coordination involves conducting tasks in such a way that a company operates efficiently, accomplishes its mission, and prevents mistakes. In a service business, a lack of coordination within a company will upset customers, prevent them from receiving or enjoying their service, and likely lead to negative reviews.
The Customer View. When a customer interacts with a company, they often aren’t thinking about the company’s culture and communications practices. They want a product or service, and they want that with good quality, at a good price, and with as little hassle as possible. It’s about solving a problem for a customer and doing it well.
Summary. While much of the discussion here is not new, it does need repeating. Companies must continue to be hyper-focused on creating a positive internal environment. Doing this will lead to more customers, happier customers, more profits, and a glowing reputation. Nothing in this world will ever be perfect, but striving for perfection is always the goal.