Posted by: Chris | July 11, 2007

Integrity for Selfish Purposes, Part 3

Last night, my wife, daughter and I went to my favorite (and often-touted) dessert spot: Cold Stone Creamery. Outside of the fact that they regularly get my wife’s order wrong, this place is awesome, not just because of the homemade ice cream and completely unique creations, but because of the consistent, branded service I like to focus on so much. So I thought back on an independent study I conducted for my MBA coursework last summer, and I remembered an interview I had conducted with a CSC franchisee here in Tulsa. I asked her what the secret was to her two franchise’s consistent branded service provision from hourly, front-line employees, and she told me that she focused not just on teaching her (mostly high-school student) employees not just to provide better service, but to be better people. She explained that she tried to impart life-principles to these young people every chance she had. She taught them not only about waiting on customers, but also about personal budgeting and manners. This sort of “mentorship” conveyed to her employees that she cared.

Employees can sense that managers are making an investment in them and that they are valued on a personal level. There are many measures a manager can take that contribute to the branding of front-line service employees; instilling integrity in each employee is a powerful one.

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