Do Your Policies Encourage Your Staff to Play Small?

Why Royal Mail is a little less than royal in terms of service

It comes with the job I guess. I feel like I’m always assessing any company that I do business with. For one, it’s a great way to learn and improve on the service that I offer my clients. When I see something that impresses me, I look to see how that can be applied to any of the businesses I work with or even to my own. Likewise, when I see something detrimental, I make sure they know to avoid that behaviour.

That brings me to my disappointing experience with Royal Mail. For those who may not know, Royal Mail is a postal delivery and courier service in the UK. With regards to the local service they provide, there’s not much that I can complain about. Well, there might be but now is not the time for that.

The international delivery service however has a lot of room for improvement. My most recent disappointment was with sending some notarised documents to the US. If you ever had to notarise documents for any purpose, you’ll know it’s not cheap.They initially offered a 7 day service but I upgraded to their 5 day track and sign delivery service as I needed the documents delivered urgently.

Well, 5 days went by and there was no update on the tracking. Another 2 days go by and there is finally an update. The package was in Helsinki, Finland. Nothing for a week and now my package was even further away from its destination. 

I called their support team of course to see what could be done and I was just met with unhelpful scripted responses, from a human being mind you. They basically kept telling me that nothing could be done to contact Helsinki and get them to send it on. It all had to be left to someone hopefully seeing it and realising that it’s in the wrong place. A week on since this contact, and surprise, surprise, the parcel is still in Helsinki.

Do Your Policies Encourage Your Staff to Play Small?

I get it, mistakes happen. No business is going to be able to provide a first class service every time. This however is not the first time Royal Mail have failed to complete an international delivery for me. What I find irritating is the unwillingness of staff to help and their eagerness to hide behind policies that make allowances for these occurrences as well as a 25 day waiting time before any further action can be taken.

What would have made for a more pleasant experience for me, even if they couldn’t get anything done in the end, was for the member of staff to show some creativity and willingness in finding a way to help further. Instead, they were comfortable hiding behind company policy and playing it safe and small throughout the interaction.

Do you have internal policies in your business that might be nurturing mediocre habits and encouraging your staff to play small? Sometimes the best way to understand this is through feedback from your customers or alternatively, get a fresh pair of eyes to look at your company policies.

“I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push this company in the next 24 hours.”

Leah Busque

The above quote is an example of the kind of attitude you want staff to come to work with. It is up to you as a manager/business owner to create the kind of environment that makes your staff feel like this as much as possible.

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