Serve With A Cause


By

Jonaki Mahajan
Asst. Professor
Auro University of Hospitality and Management
Earth Space, Hazira Road, Opp. ONGC, Surat-394510
 


The objective of this article is to bring to focus the importance of dealing with people in an organisation with a human touch. At the base of human resource management lays a strong understanding of the people's behaviour. There are three main assumptions we derive from organisation behaviour about human behaviour in an organisational set-up.

Firstly, there are individual differences amongst people. This means that people have much in common but yet each person in the world is also individually different.

Secondly we must understand the concept of a whole person which has lot of relevance in this article. Any individual is just not his/her skills alone but his/her social background, likes, dislikes, pride and prejudices which means every person is a complete and whole person in himself/herself.

Thirdly and lastly is the concept of caused behaviour. The behaviour of the employee is caused and not random. This behaviour is directly towards someone that the employee believes, rightly or wrongly, is in his/her interest. Thus when a colleague comes in late, a client screams over the phone or a supervisor bangs a door behind him or someone abuses the supervisor, please remember there is a cause behind it.

This article is an attempt to make us accept the way people are and yet make a difference in our organisations and in our personal life by extending empathy, kindness, compassion and unconditional love amongst all with whom we meet every day for business.

Normally one might think or say that hard core competition and business is exactly on the opposite pole than goodness and people centric behaviour. But however we can still create a balance. This article is intended towards all, who occupy a chair behind a desk in any organisation and for that matter any position which needs to interact with a client, customer, guest, student or simply anyone.

From an organisational point of view when you make an emotional connect with your customers, clients, guests, employees, subordinates, staff you make your organisation healthy.  A healthy mental connect with honest gestures,clear communication and an enormous amount of attitude to serve changes simple interactions to lifetime relationships.After all it is trust, integrity, reliability and a feeling of being cared for, pulls us towards any relationship no matter what name you give to it. Any organisation which wants to remain healthy and growing prosperously needs to learn to serve people. When you serve people you don't cheat people. When you serve people you make sure that your productas well your service is of high quality. Profit making is not your ultimate goal it is the by-product of a healthy organization. Focus should be towards people and serving people. Some might feel it is a philanthropistthinking or an utopian thinking- too good to be true. But in real life it is not so. The more you give the more you get.

The first step to application of people careis to discover your own language of energy.When I say people I mean all the stakeholders of the organization who are directly or indirectly related to the organization. Make yourself enjoyable, highly engaging and interactive with your people/customers those who walk into your office.

When you are personally happy & involved in your customers/people, you improve upon your own customer relationship managerial skills. Being innovative, interactive and making people/customers around you feel psychologically safe and warm would definitely help you to retain your client list. End of the day each one of us is looking for that additional scoop of empathy and sympathy.

When we get into business highlighting service we need to keep remembering all throughout that at times people would be difficult.Some nuts are always hard to crack. But then that's how life is. Keep reminding yourself before each interaction that each person is individually different and each behaviour is a caused behaviour. So people are not difficult. People in difficult situation behave erratically or behave differently/difficultly. People in fear try to scare others and people in pain try to be painful to others. But we need to remain focussed. Keep serving with a cause. When we learn to give without expecting to receive we grow in our own stature.We groom ourselves to become great leaders and experience success in this lifetime. When we deal with people we need to deal with them with as much patience and compassion as we use when we deal with our children and family members.Arrogance of difficult people has to be ignored while the positive side of their behaviour needs to be accentuated. The more goodness we give the more goodness we get. We need to learn to serve people not only for people but for ourselves. The better we serve the better leaders we become. The more we care the more people like to follow us. As the old Chinese story says when we kill a person and stand on him we raise ourselves by two inches but when we care for people we raise ourselves by six inches as those people whom we care for carry us on their shoulders.

Especially relevant for the hospitality industry, one must know that it is not necessary that a satisfied customer would be your loyal customer. May be the professionally trained hotel staff does everything learnt in their hotel management schools, but fails to encourage their customers to become loyal.

Loyalty can be created by emotional bonding, understanding and care. It's not that I wish that all the staff should actually fall in love with their customers, but what I mean is treat people with a heart. Compassion and care can be passed on unconditionally and it makes you a better person.

As Rhonda Byrne says, "From the moment you are born, you are always feeling something, and so is every other person. You can stop your conscious thoughts when you're sleeping, but you can never stop feeling, because to be alive is to feel life.

Your thoughts and words have no power at all in your life without your feelings. You think so many thoughts in a day that don't amount to anything because many of your thoughts don't elicit a strong feeling within you. It's what you feel that matters!

Like everything else in life, your feelings can be either positive or negative; you have good feelings or bad feelings. "All good feelings come from love. The better you feel, like when you feel joyful, the more love you give out. And the more love you give, the more you receive."

"The better you feel, the better life gets. The worse you feel, the worse life gets-until you change how you feel".

If that's the case than why not do our jobs in a happier manner? Why not extend that true warmth, get into a real life 'feel good jumpsuit' and get into the operation of serving people with a heart!

Point of contact is the place where two human beings connect. And it is this one place where a company can gain an advantage over competition. The point of contact is where people interact.The point of contact between any two human beings can be turned into an amazing point of experience. When you experience something beautiful then you want to come back to that place, moment or the person.You cherish thoughts of those beautiful experience points. Sometimes you even share those wonderful experiences with your friends and indirectly promote a hotel, school, hospital, and airline service, aftersales service of an organization or an automobile dealer.

For many organisations, what happens at the point of contact is important to organisational well-being, whether the organisation is a service organisation (for e.g. hotels, education institutes, hospitals) or a product manufacturing organisation what happens at the point of contact affects the brand image, the brand loyalty,the reputation of the organisation,recruitment of employees, turnover, management styleand of course customer service and retention. And eventually if you care for your people you would anyways maintain the quality of your product and services and would get into a continuous process of quality check. All because you care for people and your focus is towards serving people.

Especially in hospitality industries and educational institutes, we need to focus a great deal on human dealings and contact points.

Well, coming back to today's message-interacting with business clients with more positivity. I think we need to keep smiling and smiling with a cause. Smile like a wizard knowing that by flexing anywhere between 4 to 12 muscles, you can change a life, just like magic. A little affection, along with a pinch of goodness, a sprinkle of generosity, few slices of honest helping attitude, a handful of warmth and a ladle full of appreciation can not only help you become a great person but might help someone in finding a great friend in you. You would never be bored, because now you are in a profession of changing lives. With each phone call we can pass unconditional vibrations of goodwill. Keep welcoming people and guiding them to their cabin in an office but keep remembering it is your special profession, where each smile has a mission, which has the power to change a frog into a king and a crow into a macaw. As you show concern for people, you realize people have names and emotions just like you and me. May be they just needed someone wonderful like you to remind them;it's truly a beautiful morning and a lovely day to begin with. When you wear a badge saying, "May I help you?" get into the attitude of finding ways to help others. When we help unselfishly, love unconditionally, praise genuinely, we create circles of positive ripple which is passed on from one person to another. Moreover research shows that a happy positive manager who uses humour in his work life is more approachable and thus eventually more successful. Energy is never destroyed, it can only change. So now, is your opportunity to change a frown into a smile, to change misery into happiness, to change black into yellow,  to change fear into confidence and finally change life into love. Each positive sparks creates synergy which can build a group into a team and a house into a home.

As a faculty of an educational institute, I personally feel the more we spread unconditional love along with knowledge, we make our students better human beings and transform them into new change agents. Each employee in an organisation or each student rolling out of an institute needs to become great channels of love, compassion and empathy. As individuals we simply pass on good feelings to our customers both internal employees (staff, colleagues) and external employees (clients, customers, students, bureaucrats, and media) customers gets the message "We care". Simply anyone who steps into an organisation's property needs to be handled with care. Mind you each person is fragile; we've got to take care in handling them because a single crack would label them as damaged.

Dear friends lets join hands and work together with an attitude of gratitude and make life little simple and lot more beautiful for all of us.

Author-
Jonaki Mahajan
Asst.Professor.
Auro University of Hospitality and Management.
Earth space, Hazira Road, Opp.ONGC,
Surat 394510, Gujarat, India.

References:

1. CATS The Nine lives of Innovation (Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D.)
2. The Secret of the Power- Rhonda Byrne
3. Organisational Behaviour- K. Ashwathapa
4. Behaviour Organisations-Greenberg Baron
5. Introduction to Organisational Behaviour-Moorhead Griffin
 


Jonaki Mahajan
Asst. Professor
Auro University of Hospitality and Management
Earth Space, Hazira Road, Opp. ONGC, Surat-394510
 

Source: E-mail September 5, 2011

          

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