Business Services – People
You canâ€™t run a business without people. Itâ€™s sounds simple but way too many business owners and business services employees forget this maxim.
Because, your customers are people. Your co-workers are people. Your bosses and your subordinates are people. Your vendors are people.
Cripes, you say. Not another whiny paean to the Sixties theories of peace and love and togetherness. Nope. Itâ€™s not like that.
You see, to be successful in business, you just have to work with people. You donâ€™t have to party with them, or golf with them, or even like them. You just have to work with them, be productive, and allow them to be productive.
Donâ€™t hire a salesman to be your accountant. With the very rare exception, he wonâ€™t do his best work there. Conversely, please do not expect a person with clearly limited social skills to be your companyâ€™s representative. Different positions in the business require differing personalities and finding the right personality for each position is important
You donâ€™t have to like the guy to hire him.
Far too many managers make hiring decisions based on their reaction to the personality of the candidate. You will almost never be presented with two equally skilled and knowledgeable candidates. The candidate with the best skills and knowledge is the right candidate for the position. It doesnâ€™t matter if he plays golf, too, or knows every movie made in the last thirty years unless those skills and that knowledge is required for the position.
A business is not a family. It is not a sorority or a tribe or a community. A business exists solely to make money for you and everyone else related to the business. Including your customers and your vendors, by the way.
There are a host of business gurus who will take every dollar that you or your employer is willing to fork over to tell you and your fellow business people how to act, how to work, and how to feel. Their business makes money. They make money off of you.
No guru can change the culture of a business. Time spent with such gurus is lost forever. The only way a business culture changes is with the recognition that everyone involved is different. Everyone involved does not have to like the same things, think the same way, behave in the same manner. A company full of clones has a greater chance of failing than of succeeding.
Itâ€™s a simple concept. Do your job well. Earn respect from those you work with. Donâ€™t be them and donâ€™t expect them to be you.
Titles are a dime a dozen in business. All your title really is, is a bit of ink on a card. I do not care if you are the president of the company or the most junior stockroom employee. The respect you receive from those you work with is earned. It doesnâ€™t come with the title.
People who work in business services, the back end of the company, arenâ€™t normally seen as providing value to the company. Iâ€™ve been in hundreds of offices. The furniture is usually old, the computers last generation, and the lighting dismal. We “get no respect”.
Think about it for a moment. The people in accounting, in human resources, in all of the business services areas deal with customers, vendors and employees. On a daily basis they have more contact with the PEOPLE who make the business possible than do salespeople, managers, production line workers. By treating business services as an appendage of the business, management fails in its first obligation. Management is obligated to do its best to make money. You make money when the people involved with the business are working well and doing their jobs. When business services people are working well and doing their jobs the customers are happy, the vendors are happy and the employees are happy. Perhaps that suggests the necessity to invest more in the back office.
So, here are some short lessons about people:
- We don’t all “just have to get along”.
- Respect is earned. It isn’t issued with your business card.
- Golf is a game. Business is business.
- Hire for skills and knowledge. Smiles and short skirts aren’t worth a dime.
- Salesmen don’t make good accountants. Accountants make lousy salesmen.
Table of contents for Business / Office Services
- Business Services – An Educational Series
- Business Services – People
- Business Services – Banking and Finance
- Blurring the Office-Home Boundary
- AIG at the Resort: It Was a Good Idea in the Boardroom
- Selecting a Good Copier/Printer for Office Use
- Business and the Business Office
- Small businesses have little margin for error
- Dealing with the death of an employee
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 at 12:00 pm and is filed under Business Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.