It was a busy day at a suburban branch of a retail bank and the customer service representatives (CSR’s) were kept constantly busy with serving long lines of needy customers.
Air conditioning didn’t seem to be working the best that day and it was getting kind of warm in the bank. The bank manager had already called head office to arrange for air conditioning maintenance people to come and fix things.
The CSRs did their best to smile, pause briefly between customers to calm themselves, and patiently serve each customer with their individual banking requests.
By mid-afternoon, something unusual happened.
The bank manager walked behind each of the half-dozen or so CSRs and placed a cold can of carbonated drink on the counter next to each employee as they served the next customer in line.
Some of the CSRs were able to look up and smile back at the manager and others said thanks if they could.
But it was several minutes later before each CSR realized how special their manager’s actions were.
She had not given every CSR the same carbonated beverage. No, she had made sure to know what each of their favorite drinks was. Armed with that insight she had purchased a single can of pop that each CSR liked best.
For those CSR’s this simple but special action spoke volumes to them and showed them their manager appreciated them and the work they were doing.
Each manager, supervisor, or business owner comes with their own unique set of interpersonal skills, along with strengths and weaknesses, especially with giving meaningful and effective recognition.
You’ve likely had a boss or two who understood the importance of acknowledging your work. You had a positive relationship with them. Work seemed to go well and you felt engaged. You knew you were making a difference. (more…)