If you are like most people, you probably don’t even notice if a candidate smiles spontaneously. During interviews, most of us are so consumed with the candidate’s skills, and finding out if they can do the job, that we often over look important aspects that in many cases may be more important.
The funny thing is that you can teach people most any skill, but you can’t teach them to smile. And for people in the service industry, smiling is probably the most important skill of all.
While researching a talk, I came across this little story that Tom Peters told in one of his presentations.
I once said to a Starbucks regional manager, “I’m stunned that almost all of your store people, from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, always sport a smile. What’s your secret?”
She smiled as she answered: “We hire people who smile!”
And to keep them smiling?
“We promote the ones who smile the most.”
Could it be that simple?
Do your employees “get it”?
If not, add this simple form to your tool box. These three concepts – customer service, professionalism, and HIPAA – are the basis for 80% of your everyday performance issues.
Tweak the language to fit your workplace, then print it. Ask existing employees to sign it and hand it back to you personally so you have the opportunity to ask them if they have any questions, and so you can discuss any behaviors they currently exhibit where coaching is needed. This constitutes verbal counseling and you have documented it in writing. Depending on your discipline policy, if the employee continues to perform poorly in the same area, follow up with written counseling, a performance improvement plan, or specific consequences.
Have this form in your new employee packet and review it with new employees as part of the orientation process.
Notice of Performance Expectations
Demonstrate outstanding customer service
- Smile with your eyes.
- Follow the 5-10 Rule. When you are 10 feet away from a patient, make eye contact. When you are 5 feet away from a patient, greet them. Apply the 5-10 rule to everyone.
- Thank patients, sincerely.
- Ask patients how you can help them.