Is Having ‘Satisfied’ Fleet Employees Enough?
By Mary Gerard
If you’re “satisfied” are you really happy with your experience?
Christine Rogers, the President and COO at Aspireship, argued on a recent episode of “The Fleet Success Show” that you’re not really happy when you’re just satisfied.
“No one really talks about experiences that they’re satisfied with,” Christine said, who joined RTA VP of Sales Jeff Jenkins on the show.
Think about it. If you had an OK sandwich for lunch, are you going to tell anyone about it? You might state that you had a turkey sub if someone asks you what you ate, but you’re not likely to go on and on about how great it was if you were just simply satisfied.
But if you had an amazing steak dinner with incredible sides, then are you going to tell someone about your experience? Most likely. Because you weren’t just satisfied, you were blown away by your dinner.
Through her vast career, which includes owning her own business, working for a large corporation, and now as a leader at Aspireship, Christine has found that this idea of “satisfaction” relates to employees as well.
“People don’t stay if they are just satisfied,” Christine said.
So, how do you know if you are achieving Stakeholder Satisfaction with your employees, and how do you know if they are beyond satisfied – delighted, even?
Christine said it’s about how in tune you are with your employees, which can help you identify how they feel about their job, and if they feel respected.
She suggests doing this by paying closer attention to them.
“One of the things we miss as leaders is observing people and looking for anomalies,” Christine said.
As a leader, it’s your job to find out why employees do certain things or act in certain ways.
Christine experienced a situation at a former company over schedule changes.
They needed to change the time slots people were working to be open from 6 am-6 pm. When they approached the Sales team, everyone wanted to work early, and no one wanted to take a later slot. They didn’t really provide a reason, they just said they needed to get in early. Leadership assumed it was that they wanted to get home early and were getting annoyed with the team — until they started really observing them and listening.
It wasn’t about what time they were working until – it was about getting a parking spot in the morning. They wanted to get in early so they could secure a parking spot in their lot. If they got there too late, they would need to park next to a golf course, which put their cars and themselves at risk of getting hit by golf balls.
By listening and understanding the real reason behind the hesitancy to work a later shift, the company was able to resolve the parking situation, which fixed the scheduling problem.
But Christine’s former company wouldn’t even have known about the parking issue if they hadn’t observed and really dug into the problem.
She states that it’s on the leaders to find out the issues, but the employees must also take some responsibility for communicating when there is a problem.
When Jeff worked as an executive in the trucking industry, driver turnover was always an issue (and still is).
“Whenever we’d do an exit survey with our drivers the reason we always got was pay,” Jeff said.
But when he had honest conversations with drivers, he found out the reason they were unhappy at work was not just over money. They were upset that their truck was always breaking down, or they weren’t getting home in time to see their kids and other reasons.
“There are a lot of things that are more important than money, and having a personal life is one of them,” Jeff said.
Christine said when an employee leaves, there is almost a sigh of relief when they hear they left over money. It’s easier to justify that it wasn’t the company’s fault for losing the employee, they simply wanted a bigger paycheck. But that’s not always the case.
“It’s always the little things,” Christine said.
She said once her company upgraded everyone’s chairs, and it made a huge difference in the employees’ attitudes. She also said they let them choose where they wanted to sit, and people were ecstatic.
“Treating people like adults and like you value them goes a long way,” Christine said.
Hear more from Christine and Jeff – including the definition of Stakeholder Satisfaction and how Mood Management can impact your organization – when you listen to the entire episode of “The Fleet Success Show.”
You can also hear more from Christine in person by attending the Fleet Success Summit, March 21-22, in Las Vegas.
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