Can Quality and Service Strengthen the Economy?
Tom Sarach, Jr.
America's greatest asset is its people and their drive for success. While watching negative news reports on the workforce often paints a different picture, employers must remain vigilant in maintaining their focus on workforce needs. The roadblocks to an improved economy appear insurmountable, yet it will be the American worker that ultimately turns our economy around, but not from spending. A renewed focus on the workforce by management must include training with regard to productivity, quality and customer service. .
National news commentators report that survival is the goal of today's workforce. Constant reports of cutbacks and layoffs only provide a gloomy outlook and create stress and uncertainty. While it's true that we should be somewhat informed about our national situation, the individual citizen has very little control at this level. Contrasting national involvement with workplace influence, one can see where an employee's contribution is more relevant.
Whether running a small business or managing a large department with a bigger firm, keeping our workforce informed on a local level will help promote a level of comfort and security. Upfront and honest reporting of a company's state of business is an asset to the existing workforce, even when the news could be better. Employees must be kept informed, as productivity will rely on their perception. Providing detailed reports on your firm's quality control and customer service initiatives as well as new business opportunities allows your workforce to stay focused on the company objectives and worry less about a pink slip.
Families that rely on dual incomes and have high credit card balances and second mortgages can only contribute to the economy on a very limited basis. Since spending by consumers has peaked and new resources for income are under tremendous pressure we are expecting too much from this sector of the economy. Further complicating the current economic landscape for families are record unemployment numbers, which rose to a 14-year peak of 6.5 percent in October. Perhaps a renewed focus on quality and service and less on growth is more reasonable in the new economy and will ultimately improve the strength of America. The workforce will benefit from realizing they can contribute to a strengthened economy. By focusing on productivity, quality and service they can contribute through work and not their wallets. Companies should remind their employees of their value and commitment to success with them.
Empower your workforce by implementing efforts that focus on quality and service. Improving existing quality control measures, enhancing customer follow up, and spending more time with customers are a few simple concepts. An additional yet seldom noticed advantage of a slower business cycle is the extra time that can be applied to listening. Our employees are on the front lines daily; take the time to hear their feedback. Of critical importance in the new economy is the workplace that demonstrates they value employees equally to clients. By looking to America's history we learn that the businesses which put people first help to ensure the American way will prosper through productivity, quality and customer service.