The New Cell Phone Policy
We visited with a business owner the other day who was talking about establishing a cell phone policy for his employees.
He is in the service business (hospitality). He employs many individuals who have constant and frequent interaction with the public. Some of his clients have commented on the fact that the service providers (his staffers) were always on the cell phone, either texting, looking at pictures or in some other fashion, not providing support and service to his clients. The business owner followed up on this and determined that this was true. Thus, the dilemma on how to proceed with his staff.
Now, as you might imagine, there are couple of different ways in which to proceed. The “fiat” from top down is one– this will not work with the millennial generation employee today, however, this is one way in which to do it.
However, this business owner determined that a more pragmatic way was to have a discussion with all of the staff and point out what the customers had commented. He did that. Interestingly, what he found was that many of the staff were unaware of what they were perceived to be doing! Umm– well, so be it. If they are unaware of what they are doing, they are unaware of what they are doing!
After all the staff had input and were made aware of the challenges that the owner identified, the decision made was that staff were to use the cell phone in a discrete manner, out of customer view, on a limited time basis, when business was slow–not when the whole store was filled with clients.
In our mind, this makes good sense. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. One– the staff was involved in the solution– they have “buy in” to the problem and they have buy in to fixing the problem. Secondly– in today’s world, we are all attached to some type of social media device– be it a Blackberry, a Droid, an I Phone, tablet, laptop or kindle. To say that not being able to use any of these devices anytime during the shift would be an effort in futility. OK, you can have the policy, but if nobody pays attention to it, then defacto, you don’t have a policy.
This business owner has been quite happy with the results. So have his clients. In fact, he felt that the staff, now more aware of their behavior on using social media devices, has reduced their use as opposed to before, using it all the time.
Think about this solution– this may be one that you wish to establish in your business.