At the end of June, I bought a new gas grill at Lowe’s. Our old one was just that…old and tired…and we had a bunch of people coming over on July 4 for a cookout.
I was pretty excited about the grill. It was delivered on July 2, and as the truck drove away, I noticed that something didn’t look quite right. The coupling where I would normally attach my propane tank looked different. Not being the brightest bulb on the tree with things mechanical, it took me a few minutes to realize they had just delivered a natural gas grill as opposed to one that runs on propane.
I called Lowe’s and spoke to Bill in the grill department and explained my problem. He told me to call back when they opened at 7:00 the next morning, and Joe would try to help. I called as instructed, and had a replacement grill by 1:00 that afternoon…July 3rd. I honestly couldn’t believe it. Bill wasn’t even sure if they had another one available.
Anyway, I called Lowe’s on July 5th and asked to speak to the store manager. He sounded reluctant to pick up the phone and apprehensive when I asked if he was the store manager, but to his surprise, I was actually calling to say what a great job Joe did hooking me up with the right grill before our party. From his reaction, it struck me that he probably doesn’t get many phone calls offering positive feedback.
With a lot of businesses, if things are going as expected, people don’t often comment or offer any feedback at all. Ours is the same way. I’d argue it’s probably rare that an employee walks into your office to say what a great experience he had with your group health insurance plan. If there’s no problems, it’s as expected, and there’s no reason to speak up. But if something is amiss, you’ll definitely hear about it.
That’s why it’s so nice to hear unsolicited positive feedback. Last week, Kara DeVoie from Hot Table told me what a great job Lucy Lak is doing. “We are grateful for the confidence we have in our relationship with MillBrook Benefits. Lucy Lak, in particular, has been instrumental in bringing our one person HR department up to speed on so many topics in a timely manner. I am certain that Lucy could simply direct us to a website for more information, but instead, she patiently answers all of our questions. She even went so far as to say, ‘Call anytime. I am happy to help.'”
We agree that Lucy and the rest of our employees are doing a great job, but it’s so nice to hear that from our clients. We document unsolicited positive feedback in employees’ files where it becomes part of their reviews and qualifies them for our Applause Awards.
We’re all so busy, it’s hard to remember to acknowledge people when things are going very well, but offering positive feedback is a great thing to do.