Relevant to job satisfaction?
At first sight, this very funny advert (that never made it onto our TV screens) has very little to do with job satisfaction. But actually, there is a serious lesson to be learned. As business owners, managers or consultants, we are in a position of leadership, and – just like the father in the ad – our language gets picked up and repeated by those who look up to us. So if we are in the habit of referring to our clients in a disrespectful way, we shouldn’t be surprised when our staff start to do the same.
How does that relate to job satisfaction?
Well, here’s the thing: how satisfying is it to do work that brings value to people we like and respect? And what about people we don’t care about, don’t even respect? So we will unconsciously derive less job satisfaction from helping clients and customers when we talk about them in disrespectful terms – “the idiots at XYZ Corp”, “those pains in the neck from ABC Co”, …
And if we are in the habit of thinking disrespectfully about customers, how much more easily will we start to speak badly of our suppliers? Where does it stop? – very soon we are bad-mouthing other departments, and before we know it, we are slagging off our colleagues behind their backs. Job satisfaction requires respect at all levels.
So, in honour of that very imaginative advert, here’s my (somewhat light-hearted) “VW” guide to customer relations and job satisfaction:
Have the same face in your office as you have with your clients
Keep your internal communications the same as what you say to the public
It's so much easier to respect them if you choose to like them
Link with them
Connect with your stakeholders, put yourself in their shoes
You don't have to take part in cynicism and criticism
Create a culture
Mutual respect and good intentions throughout the business
In thought and deed towards all the people you deal with
Of everyone, at all levels, at all times
(or, as my father used to say: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all")
Go on, give it a try!