Take Care of Employees, They Can Take Care of Customers
I was back in San Antonio the other day (our move to Fort Worth is still an uncompleted process) and I went out for an early morning walk. That healthy behavior was followed by one slightly less healthy… breakfast at Bill Miller BBQ, a Texas restaurant chain that's been around since 1950. They're known for BBQ and fried chicken, mainly, along with breakfast tacos, hearty breakfasts, and giant refills of iced tea.
As my breakfast platter was being rung up, I saw this sign behind the register (and came back to discretely take a picture)… click for a larger view.
Sure, they have company values, such as motivated, integrity, longevity, legendary, enthusiasm, and recognition (that, of course, spells out Miller).
The bottom part of the sign seemed most meaningful to me (no, not the bucking bulls):
This message can apply in any business – retail, manufacturing, or healthcare. Take care of the employees, so they can take care of the customers (or patients).
It has to be, of course, more than just a poster or slogan on the wall. You need to live it. I hope Bill Miller does.
Managers also need, I'd say, to pay attention to systems and processes, but making the employee the focus goes a long way. This doesn't mean just being “nice,” but listening and engaging people, being a coach, respecting them and challenging them to do their best (while supporting their needs and being a servant leader to get there).
Rather than use so-called “just-in-time scheduling” practices that aren't really Lean, treat employees as partners, not a cost.
Does your organization do this? Do you like to support businesses that subscribe to this view?