In his shocking book, Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance – and What We Can Do About It, author Jeffrey Pfeffer recounts the research he and colleagues have done to examine the management practices that establish the expectation that employees must work themselves to death – literally – to advance their careers. Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, firmly establishes the connection between dysfunctional workplace practices and both employee health and organizational performance. It isn’t a pretty picture.
Recently I was made to wait two weeks to get an important prescription filled. Two weeks! And I live in a first-world country and have decent health insurance. After a week of receiving pre-recorded apology updates from the pharmacy, I called both the doctor’s office and the pharmacy, and discovered the doctor’s office hadn’t received any of the faxed pre-authorization requests the pharmacy was sending every morning. Knowing that, I asked the pharmacist to directly call the doctor’s office and ensure they completed the authorization form for insurance. I finally got the medication and felt better within a day,
but now I am looking for another doctor because of this debacle!
Poor customer service is always a reflection of a negative culture. The root cause of my unfortunate experience was the poor organizational culture at my doctor’s office, reflected in their unresponsive administrative personnel and poor customer service processes. Here is the formula:
To say it succinctly, employees treat customers in a manner consistent with how they are treated. If management yells at employees, they are in turn likely to be surly with customers. If management does not give the employees the tools, empowerment or training to serve the customer well, the customer will suffer. And when the customer suffers, so does loyalty and satisfaction and that negatively impacts customer retention, which negatively affects profitability. It’s a vicious cycle.
From the desk of