Beyond the Job Description…By Choice
On any given day at one of my favorite fast food establishments you will find eager to serve attendants standing in the parking lot waiting to serve you. They are so efficient that the longest time I have ever spent in the maze to the window to get my food has been eight minutes (I have spent that much time at windows waiting on my food).
I began to ask myself, why would a company engage in such tactics to have employees waiting in the parking lots on hot summer days or bundled up on chilly winter days just to save customers a little extra time? If this is such a simple task then why doesn’t every fast food company do the same thing?
At my local grocery store when we head to the car to place my groceries in the car, a very nice, young teenager engages me in a brief conversation by saying “so how is your day going?” They make sure they place my bags where I want them by asking “may I place your bags here?” and finally they always say “thanks for shopping with us”. Why do the go to such efforts to ensure I am satisfied? After all, isn’t there JOB to put the bags in my car and move on to the next “carry out at aisle four”? And… I am certain none of these well-mannered teens are in training to be professional sackers, rather they are there to earn a little extra cash to support themselves or have a little extra money for the weekend. So again I have to ask why do the little extra?
Finally, we had just wrapped up a training session in a business conference room. There were papers and coffee cups everywhere. Suddenly a man comes in the room whistling at the top of his lungs. He began cleaning the room and continued his serenade. I could not help but notice so I said to him “you sure are in a good mood today”. He responded and said, “Oh not just today, everyday…I love my job, I’m so glad to be working!” That’s when it hit me…
Every one of these examples clearly shows value and appreciation above and beyond the job description. Each company, each person made a CHOICE to exceed what was described in their employee manual. Several thoughts came to mind from these incidents that I still think about often to this very day.
1) If you have a job, you are blessed. I know it may not be perfect, but if you have the opportunity to get up, get ready and go earn a living, you are very fortunate. I know several people in thier 40’s who are faced with the process of figuring out how they are going to make ends meet, having to start all over again. (Ouch!). So I say again, be thankful if you are gainfully employed. Believe me, there are many folks who would eagerly take your place.
2) Do something extraordinary every day. Find a way to “make somebody’s day. I coached little league for years and there were kids who played in the outfield who never say a ball hit their way, but at the end of every game, I told them how proud I was of them and that if a ball had come to them, they would have given a champion’s effort. When they heard that, their faces lit up like it was Christmas morning. They would have moved a mountain for me. It is amazing what a little sincere appreciation or recognition can do…try it today and every day.
3) Make the most of your day. Look, your work day is not going away. There is nothing you can do about that. What you can do something about is the way you get through it. Just like the janitor example above, he whistled while he worked, he loved his job. I guarantee you his days flew by. I know you get the picture.
So here is the point. All these things discussed lead to one key concept and that is going above the job description. It is a choice. I have never seen an employee manual that states you must place workers on hot pavement to greet customers when they pull in your parking lot and take care of them before they ever get to the speaker to order; You must engage the customers as you take their groceries to the car and express thanks for shopping with you; and finally, you must be happy and thankful for your job with outward bursts of whistling and singing! These were all performed willingly because each knew of the positive impact it has not only on those they served, but on them individually.
So today, whether this is new or old school to you, commit every day to do something unexpected…then expect great things ahead!