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They say travel broadens the mind, practice makes perfect, service with a smile, every cloud has a silver lining, lightening never strikes twice in the same place etc. I could add in many more but a bit like one liner jokes this would get very boring after a while.

The point is we all use these cliches, often meaning well to placate someone in a situation that has often occurred due to them being put in a place where either a situation or service has fallen short of the expected standard, or where in reality we have absolutely no power to influence the outcome and it really is just what it is.

Often accepting that fact can give us the power to move on and put situations behind us. Life throws curve balls, learn to dodge them!

Dodging though doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility. Taking ownership of a role, task, a situation and putting in place steps to ensure standards and procedures are followed will usually be enough to ensure customers are happy with what they receive, staff can be proud of what they offer and organisations are satisfied with the a positive image, business growth and brand reputation.

Putting in place standard operating procedures allows all parties to be confident that the service or product they receive is consistent, value for money and fit for purpose. This always depends on the perceived value for money from the customer and sometimes what we offer is something you cant put a value on.

The personal touch, the intuitive touch, going the extra mile to make someone happy is a quality seen in the best team members, this isn’t usually something you can train, it’s a skill that is natural to most of the great people in our industry and a desirable attribute when looking to build great teams.

So where do we find these people? If we are offering strong training, a good structure for development, job security, competitive pay, reasonable hours, additional benefits, flexible working and we value our people.

Don’t be blinkered into thinking that just advertising a role will draw in the applications, in todays market the applicants hold most of the cards, re address the balance and think about all your staff, what roles do the fulfil? What levels of responsibility do we expect them to take on? How much revenue and expenditure do they control? When we break down what they have to deal with on a daily basis and attach a monetary value to this we can clearly see why investment in staff is so important. Often this is not monetary, we invest time, passion, compassion, energy, respect, our hopes and dreams and who can put a price on these things?

Being ethical in our approach to recruitment and training will not only appeal to employees but set the tone for how a business sees itself. Setting personal standards of conduct, approaches, values and outcomes and instilling this throughout a business or organisation through a vision and mission statement is great, but sticking to it is quite another thing. Lip service just doesn’t cut it in todays workplace where accountability is everything.

We only have to look at many major organisations that extoll the virtues of their ethics, only to read that key figures are later found out to not be quite as ethical as they led us to believe. Striving to keep to your vision and mission requires internal scrutiny of the organisation in the context of how it sits in the external market, not an easy task but essential. Monitoring, measuring and repositioning is never a wasted exercise, moving forward requires brutal honesty and total transparency. If we are ethical then we should have nothing to hide.

As the cliche says - build it and they will come!


Suzanne Weekes has over 30 years of industry experience in teaching and training. She is able to relate to employees at all levels. Since 2017 she has been an independent consultant, offering practical business solutions, hands on training and advice to get the best out of people in the work place.