Thursday, September 26, 2013

But I don’t want to get her fired!


A close friend of mine just had a horror experience with a local business. It was the first day for the staff member who was serving her and, without going into too many details, it was an up close and personal experience that, due to the occasion it was required for, should never have been left in the hands of someone on their first day, in their first job.

“What do I do if she (the owner and the person who had recommended her to the service) asks for feedback?” my friend asked me “she was such a lovely girl – I don’t want to get her fired!”

So now this business is in a predicament. My friend feels unable to give them feedback that they need to hear because she’s worried about the impact of it. My friend is extremely sweet and likes to avoid conflict at all costs.

The feedback this business really needs to hear shouldn’t put that staff member in danger because it’s not  – “your staff member wasn’t up to par”, the feedback is “your staff member wasn’t adequately trained or experienced yet to deal with my needs and shouldn’t have been let loose on me yet”.

One is a staffing issue, one is a training / management issue.

How can people provide feedback to you in your business? After writing this – I’m off to design an anonymous questionnaire for our customers right now, hopefully so that I won’t repeat this mistake in my own business.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

2 comments:

The worst position (as a customer) to find yourself in, I agree.

No-one should ever be criticized for doing their best in a difficult (for them) situation. Some of us think quickly and cope with pressure. Some do not.

As an Introvert, I always think of the perfect answer five minutes later. I am not stupid (quite the opposite) but I do not think fast. I think slowly, but deeply. It is a fact for me, as an Introvert. I am often punished for it.

If the staff member was trying their best, but not trained or experienced enough, the management needs to get that message. It may not be accepted, of course, but it is the right thing to do.

You say " it was an up close and personal experience that, due to the occasion it was required for, should never have been left in the hands of someone on their first day, in their first job."

This does not sound like an employee who does not care. They where probably scared stiff, and doing the best they could.

I believe (in this situation) that the matter needs to be dealt with off-line and politely.

The business/manager should not feel threatened by the feedback of the customer. This will lead to a less confrontational approach to the staff member. Emphasize that the staff member was trying their best. be protective but firm.

Do not gloss over the personal loss or hurt. A smart employer will fill in the blanks, offer some form of compensation or remediation and fix the problem.

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