I was once an employee who quit and stayed. As I tell my story, listen to manager behaviors. What would you have done as an employee? Then ask yourself: Could this be the way I behave as a leader?
In today’s economy, many employees stay because they need the money. That was my case. I was 16 and needed the money for college. That summer, I got a job at a women’s retail store where my mother and I had frequently shopped.
The manager was lovely during the interview, but once I was hired it was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I have never been treated with such disrespect and disdain. I can still hear her voice. She shouted orders and her idea of customer service was to pounce on customers when they entered the store.
There was no other job for me at the time, so I stuck it out even though I despised being treated that way. I was so grateful when I finally was able to walk out the door with the thought: “I will never come back here again.” I told my mother and all of my friends not to shop there anymore.
Imagine what damage I could have done had it been the age of social networking. Remember that it’s not just customers who share with others if they aren’t treated well—employees also talk about what it’s like to work for us.
What would your employees say about you in terms of respect, courtesy, compassion, and clear communication? Creating an environment that supports people can go a long way toward firing people up so they don’t fire themselves—but stay.