Recently I visited a new hotel that had just opened in Kigali and was curious to know the meaning of the name of the hotel. When I asked the receptionist, she looked at me as if I was speaking Mandarin or had just come from another planet. She blandly told me that she didn’t know.
From last week’s article on “New ventures…pay attention to your first-time customers”, I received many interesting comments and suggestions. One of the emails read thus: “service is often bad because business owners do not invest the necessary time and energy in training their staff. They have money and simply decide to delve into a new venture without acquiring the necessary knowledge.”
In a recent training session in Kigali, I asked some of the managers and supervisors what their company’s vision was, and they simply didn’t know it.
The above three cases have made me decide to do a series on basic details that business owners should master when entering into a new venture. In the coming weeks, I shall share with you some of the important aspects when entering into new ventures, especially service oriented ventures.
I worked some time back in Nigeria as a trainer and our weekly training sessions often ended up with discussions on my passion for quality and exclusive service delivery.
I later realized that the employees who felt a strong sense of belonging to the company were those who really developed a passion for the job. They were the ones who precisely understood why they wanted to be part of the great journey of excellent service in Port Harcourt.
Empowering employees in any type of business requires that employees understand the vision of the business they work in. It therefore requires that the business owner, managers, and supervisors share their passion and vision with the entire team.
Sharing a vision and passion with a team is a real source of magic. When employees see themselves moving toward an inspiring future, they surely take action in the present.
They are filled with the desire to transform that future vision into reality. And that is why I love the Rwandan “Vision 2020” and wish many more people could really picture that vision in their mind while going to work in the morning.
Sharing a vision with employees empowers them to have a strong and positive morale, to be motivated to perform responsibly, effectively and professionally. Employees who understand the vision are often those who feel part of the organization.
They don’t just work for the money. They work because they want to be part of the success story of the company.
Researchers say that we learn 10% of what we read; 20% of what we hear; 30% of what we see; 50% of what we see and hear; 70% of what we discuss; 80% of what we experience; and 95% of what we share and communicate to others.
Giving just a written vision and asking your employees to read a manual is not enough. You need to communicate more than words. You need to be an example yourself. If you want your staff to experience deep satisfaction from their work and get really involved in their workplace, you need to include them in your venture. Tell them the whole story.
Tell them why you even decided to go into that new venture. Explain the battle and the challenges.
In any business, especially a new venture, the most valuable resource is your staff. They are the ones that will take the vision to a ‘touchdown’ or drop the ball. It is therefore important to convey that vision that can create enthusiasm. Help your team players to imagine the picture of the future and this will surely fuel them and take your company to its next level of professionalism.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda.