Trust. I believe this is the single most important word when understanding why people work the way they do. I trust that you will do everything possible to make that customer’s experience with us outstanding. Without trust then people will not put themselves out there for clients. They know they will get blamed, second-guessed, and marginalized in the future. How do you build trust? As a manager or a leader, you take the blame when things go wrong and you give credit when it goes right. If it’s a one-off then you move on. If it’s a constant problem then you re-train. If you look deeper you may see that it’s a system’s issue, or a business process issue. Fix those problems.
I once sat in a management meeting where the topic was ‘disengaged employees’. Survey results had come back and only 60% were completed. The VP and the directors were blaming employees for being disengaged. This was a hierarchical, low-trust environment. Take a guess at who was actually disengaged. It wasn’t the employees.