Ever notice when you go home to visit family it takes several days for them to “open up” and start telling the stories they won’t tell on a short visit? Have you noticed during the holidays that after a few days, the secrets start flying? The longer you stay, the more you hear.
Your company culture has traditions just like your family does. And it continues those traditions and tales just like a family passes its heritage along to each new generation. And the longer they stay, the more they hear. Your people do the same with your customers.
Adding new employees either enriches or discourages this culture. It adds to the stories and takes away from them. Like it or not, this is your company culture and it permeates the relationship every employee has with one another and your customers.
Beware of employees who hang around your top customers just to “hang around.” Beware when the results in sales and service don’t match the time they spend on your customers. If your people are spending a disproportionate amount of time on some of your top customers with little results in better sales and service, you need to have a talk with those same customers yourself!
And you tolerate these actions by paying disloyal staff and reinforcing their behavior. You first cultivate an atmosphere of uncertainty and your people, who fear reprisal, tell the people they come in contact with.
So who is sabotaging whom?
You can’t control another’s behavior, but you can control who you pay and for what results. The question is: What are you doing to promote their animosity? Is your behavior leading your people to leak information to your customers? What actions are you taking to be self-aware and reinvent your leadership style? You are feeding this situation by rewarding it or penalizing it.