Merge's Blog

Would you work for you?

Today I asked my professional colleague and friend Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP, to guest on my blog and I was delighted when she agreed.  As the “Queen of Customer Service”, Ruby works with front-line employees to help them deliver great customer experiences.  Here, she  offers insights into what makes a great leader from the employee’s perspective.

Would you work for you? How does reporting to you feel? Do you show interest and concern for the employees who report to you? Does the work environment that you create inspire employees to eagerly come to work every day or dread every moment on the clock…or maybe somewhere in between. And most importantly, what can you do to make it better for the employees who report to you and make you look good?

  1. Thank staff for the work that they do. No matter how many times you think you say thank you, you need to say it more. People who work hard need recognition for what they do. In frequent programs I ask” How many of you feel too motivated on your job?” I have never had anyone raise their hand.
  2. Communicate in a professional manner. After a conversation with a staff member, reflect back on the circumstances. Did your words maintain respect for the employee as a human being? Was the tone considerate? Was the timing of the conversation appropriate? Was it in the right setting? Did you take the employee aside so their peers did not overhear the discussion? Remember, praise in public, share failure and counsel in private.
  3. Acknowledge performance. When someone works hard on a project, acknowledge them. Give staff credit when you’re praised for a job well done on a piece they worked on for you. When you steal their credit it demoralizes their ambition.
  4. Get them the tools they need to perform. Supervisors need to make sure employees have all the tools to do their job; it should be our goal to make it easier for others to complete tasks in the most efficient manner. Remove barriers by working to obtain needed resources. Consistently identify the needs of all those around you then take steps to fulfill those needs.
  5. Ask for their input. Actively request ideas from staff and work together to solve problems rather than focusing on our power and status to make all the decisions. We build a team when we invite everyone on staff to contribute to the solutions to challenges. Honor their contribution, resourcefulness and creativity.
  6. Inquire about long-term career aspirations. It is important to frequently check in with our staff and see how they feel about the work they do. Ask them about their goals and identify steps you can take to help support their ambitions. Create opportunities for them to take on new responsibilities that nurture growth opportunities.
  7. Take ownership for your mistakes. No one is perfect. The sooner you fess up and acknowledge that it was your fault the sooner you can move on and build a better relationship with the people involved. You also set the example for staff to do the same.

What do you think?  If you’re a front-line employee, did Ruby get it right or did she miss any?  If you’re in a formal leadership position, do you agree with what Ruby says?  Please share your thoughts by adding your Comment below.

Want to impact your bottom line? Start at the front line.  Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP specializes in customer service training that builds strong alliances between management and the staff they supervise, and front line staff and the customers they serve.  You can contact Ruby at her website, via email at or by phone at 303.933.9291.




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