What’s Your Mindset?

Every company has a mindset, and it often reflects the personality of the person leading the company. If the leader of the company is laid back and likes to operate his business that way, then the impression that filters down will be one of a laid-back attitude. If he’s a stickler for the rules, then that’s what will filter down.

Employees will see this attitude, and will likewise pass it on to the various people they meet throughout the day.

If the company is operating by the book, then a customer may be hard pressed to find someone who will bend some rules for them on occasion, even when justified. This may have a few side effects, giving the impression of a company that’s predictable, that can be worked with as long as you follow the rules, or as being a company that’s hard to deal with (because outside the business, it cannot be assumed that people know the rules).

On the other hand, a company that’s running casually will see each employee doing as they see fit, which can have the result for customers that they can get what they need easily, but removes predictability. If today an employee bends a rule, there’s no assurance that tomorrow the rule will be bent once again.

There are, like most things in life, pros and cons to each system.

Like most things in life, the optimal place to be is in the middle.

Rules need to be in place for the benefit of everyone. When in doubt, see what the rules say, and work with it. This should be available to anyone – the customer should know their rights, as the employees should know what it is they are supposed to do in a particular situation.

However, employees and customers also need the ability to ignore the rules when common sense (which isn’t so common) shows that the rule was not really meant for this particular scenario. When this happens, the people involved need to know that they will not be punished for violating the rules provided a reason for doing so is available.

So, build up those rules, but let people know that it’s also okay to sometimes look the other way when the situation would benefit from that.