I recently spent time at the local emergency room (ER) with a sick family member. It was a long, nerve racking day which fortunately ended well. While I was there I observed what could best be described as organized chaos. The ER was loud; discussions over patients care, machines making different noises to alert caregivers of the state of their charges, people expressing their pain and discomfort. It was full of people in various states of crisis.
Throughout the ER visit the medical staff kept a quick pace in an attempt to keep up with the patient's needs. I observed them actively listening. I watched them partner with their co-workers when they had difficulty communicating with someone. I saw them look at their patients while talking and not get distracted by what was happening around them. They used the patient's name, oftentimes without using the chart. In the case of 1 particularly difficult patient, the staff patiently and firmly explained the potential consequences of his/her obnoxious behavior. They performed professionally in a difficult environment.
For me, this event was a reminder:
- Human Resources isn't rocket science. Yes, HR is undervalued as a profession. But let's face it-our day to day responsibility is not to save lives. Our job is to make the organizations we serve better. We need to stop the complaining and focus on the work that needs to be done to raise our game to the next level. The results will then speak for themselves.
- Quality customer service is possible. It can be easy to dismiss mediocre customer service as the norm. People deserve and should expect better, regardless of the setting (stores, online, hospitals) or our role (as a customer or professional providing a service).
So the next time you find yourself be overly critical (about work, life, etc.) think about those who make a deeply significant difference. If they can do what's right then we should do the same.