Skills, Systems and Attitude

I met Ben at a networking event as he spoke of about his products, I thought they would be perfect for a business event that I was going to be attending in a few weeks time so I asked for his contact details.  I followed up with an email asking for pricing information. He passed my details on to a colleague. He contacted me and asked for more details. I must be honest and say that I was a bit unclear about what I wanted.  This did not stop me from being disappointed when I was just sent a quote for the lowest priced option without alternative options.  I was disappointed and put off.

Another organisation was recommended to me.  They guy was very friendly when I spoke to him on the phone.  The quote he provided was, however a two line email again without any real information on options.  He included an image of the item, which was of a very poor quality.  Again I was not impressed.

I spoke to a friend who suggested a look online.  I found an organisation with a professional website and contacted them.  The lady I spoke to asked for my name, company name, contact number and email address.  Within half an hour I received a quote with different options and an online catalogue showing the different items.  Within that half an hour she had looked my company up as not only did she provide a link to references of previous customers, she also provided information on a couple of Human Resources organisations that they had previously done work for.  I was impressed.  I was even more impressed when she offered to send samples of the product, contacting me to check whether I was happy, providing me with information on how long an order would take.  She managed to do all of this without making me feel as if I was being hassled. It was obvious to me that the organisation had some great systems and processes in place.

By the time I was ready to place my order she wasn’t around but had provided contact details for a colleague who was covering for her in her absence.  This time tings were different though.  I found myself leaving messages and having to chase up to ensure that my messages were received due to a lack of response.  I was less impressed and found myself reflecting.

Ultimately, I was reminded it’s great to have good systems and processes in place; they provide employees with guidance and a framework to work to.  They can also serve to help employees develop and leverage their skills and capabilities. Systems and processes in of themselves are not enough, if employees using them do not have the right attitude they are wasted and can become obsolete.

It leads me to the conclusion that whilst there is a need to recruit people with skills, there is a fundamental need to make sure that they have good positive attitudes.  There is a further need for good systems and processes that provide frameworks without forgetting the need for human guidance and support.

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