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I’ve been out of the office a lot this month with both business and personal trips, which means my team has had to “hold the fort” so to speak a lot of the time. This isn’t a problem as I have a great team around me who are all fantastic at what they do and their work is impeccable.

But I’ve learnt the hard way this month about taking my eye off the ball – you see I’m usually in the office the majority of the time and can see everything that goes on, can monitor customer service and make sure that everything is getting done to the standard I expect. Being out of the office this month I have noticed little standards slipping. Don’t get me wrong – our customers all still get the same great treatment when they interact with our company but some of the procedures I expect hadn’t been followed and therefore the treatment was just that, “great”, when it could have been “superb”. Now I know that none of my staff would do this consciously and any of the clients would have felt that our customer service was good but I was gutted!!

Customer service is paramount in our business and this ‘adequate’ behaviour just isn’t good enough – I need outstanding behaviour. Like I say it isn’t my staff’s fault – it’s mine – I took my eye off the ball and forgot to make sure all procedures in the company were being followed. We have had a staff meeting now and the team once again understand their responsibilities.

At the end of the day everything that happens in this company is my responsibility, the buck stops with me. Now I know I can’t do everything myself so I have to have people around me who I trust but that doesn’t mean I can just leave them to decide for themselves how to manage the company and this is the same for you.
If you have staff in your business they are probably doing something to sabotage it right now, they don’t mean to – they aren’t doing it maliciously, they may be excellent in what they do but if you haven’t made it crystal clear what levels of behaviour you expect then they will be deciding for themselves what is good enough.

Are your procedures written for staff to follow? Do you have regular meetings and training to make sure they are on top of their game? Please don’t walk around in blissful ignorance thinking that they would never do that to your company – you’re wrong, they may not doing it on purpose but they are doing it.
So ignore this at your peril … someone today is damaging your business and it’s your job to find out, who, why and put a stop to it.