It was afternoon and the sun was shining through the window. The training groups sat in the lounge area and discussed the questions I had given them. I walked around the groups and assisted where necessary, but as everything was going well, I could afford to look around a little.
Then I see one of the employees of the conference venues walking around with a spray bottle and a cloth. She moves around from standing table to standing table and from stool to stool. She crouches at each of them, sprays from the bottle and wipes. The result was neat and tidy.
As I now have the interest I have in quality, I note this with interest. I went to talk to her, both to praise her work and to see how she was thinking.
“I had some time to spare and I didn’t want it to look dirty,” she said, adding, “I felt it was needed.”
One could easily imagine that she would have thought instead that “the cleaner will take care of that tonight”. But no, she took care of it herself, making it look nice.
It reminded me of a restaurant in Florida I visited many years ago where I noticed a similar positive thing. There, one of the waitresses went from table to table, carrying a roll of paper and some water. She sat down and meticulously cleaned the ketchup and mustard bottles, from the tip at the top to all around, so it feels fresh to the touch.
You’ve probably experienced how these bottles can be anything but cozy to use. And you’ve probably also experienced how the legs on standing tables can be anything but pleasant.
Another experience, in the other direction, is the parking lot at the grocery store, not too far from where I live. There I see that they have swept up the gravel spread during the winter. But at the signs showing where you can park, there are large piles of gravel.
The person driving around sweeping up the gravel obviously didn’t have the energy to get out of his machine and use a broom to sweep out the gravel at the posts and “concrete pigs” so that the machine could pick it up with its brushes.
To sum up my thoughts, it’s the small details that matter, because it’s that little extra that makes an exceptional result.
It’s the little things that make the legs of a stand look nice and the ketchup bottles nice to use, or that the parking lot is really clean when gravel and debris are taken care of.
The most important thing is the mind of the person doing the work. These are the people who decide whether it will be just so-so, or whether it will be great. In order for you to have a great time and for it not to depend only on the attitude of an individual, you need to have a common view on what applies in your organization and how you should act.
This is part of, on the one hand, every process you design and, on the other hand, the culture you have in your business.
Would you like help in shaping your business to deliver better value, with happier and more satisfied staff, where financial resources are better used?
Contact me so we can talk about how we can help you.