Margo Chevers
Northeast Leadership Enterprise
PO Box 281
Wales, MA 01081

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Leadership for the New Millenium

Margo Chevers Blog

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Getting commitment from employees

I have found that whether I am training in customer service, sales or leadership, the issue of commitment is always brought up. How do you get an employee to do what they say they are going to do, or even what they are told to do by the manager. What is being asked goes beyond just motivating employees. It gets to the crux of what is important to the individual being asked to do something. We all know that if something is of importance to an individual, they will make the time for, expend the energy on and do what is important to them. This translates into the manager/leader creating compelling reasons for the employee to accomplish their tasks. How to do that? Start by getting to know the interests of the individual. When I hosted a television show back in the 1980’s, I asked my local hairdressing salon owner if someone on her staff would be interested in doing my hair and makeup, free of charge, every week for the duration of the show. Of course, I was willing to have this person be listed in the credits. Because she knew her hairdresser’s interests and goals, she immediately told me that Patty Weiss would be the perfect person. Patty wanted to become involved in videos for performers. For the next two years Patty did my hair. Then she got married and moved to Nashville, the music capitol. She pursued her goal and ended up going on the road with Anne Murray. Think about it, for two years, she worked on my hair and makeup, with no financial compensation. She would meet me at 8AM on Friday mornings, she would cheerfully greet me and do the best job she could possibly do. Other employees might agree initially, but after a few months, it would become a chore and their enthusiasm would wane.