I recently started my new career as a greeter at the local Home Depot in the town I live.
It’s the first time in my whole working life, some 40 years, that I have “punched in”.
It has taken me some time to get used to the driver of my time. “the clock”.
All my career life, I just went to work, started and finished when I did!
Agreed I spent way too much time at work, at the cost of family time, and what I got paid did not equate to my hours. I often think I got below minimum wage!!!
It is so strange to be ruled not by the job I do but simply because my job is “hourly” and I get paid overtime and for “every hour” I work.
Not every jobs’ value can be measured in the “labels they are given”.
I have always been aware that some of the most important of jobs have been way down the management chain. The hard-working employees at the “coal face” that is engine of all successful companies.
It is also the most rewarding of jobs I have ever had. I am a greeter and proud to be so!!!!
I have been fortunate of having many well-paid jobs, always associated with major responsibilities. With titles comes labels and with labels comes “stuff”.
Off course I worked for those jobs through qualifications, experience and promotions. I did my time and worked my way up.
That’s not the point though!
More recently following my retirement from the corporate world, I was discussing my new “career” with Doreen my wife, my new role as a greeter at Home Depot.
She asked me how it felt to be “a greeter” she asked as she said I looked the happiest I had been in years, and yet the job had nowhere near the “senior level of decision making” I had now left behind.
I agreed, but said it has the most important of roles
“To make every customer experience as enjoyable as is imaginable and to be the best coworker and thus the best greeter ever!!!
I said finally I get to do what I want to do, without the pressures associated in those “high level jobs”.
Gone is the politics associated with what my bosses wanted me to do, whether I agreed or not.
Gone was the pressures of a senior role and having little actual impact in the real decision making, and at last I could now follow my lifelong passion of serving people.
Now here is the strange thing.
My career has been in Human Resources! People!!!!
My job as an HR executive, whether in the Automotive space or in Healthcare was just another name for being a “greeter”.
The corporate greeter of people, from recruitment through retirement, and everything in between.
So, when people say well, now how do you feel being simply a greeter I say, “I love it!” I have been preparing for this job all my career.
They look at me quickly until I explain.
The role of greeter is one of the most important roles there is!
And here is what I say:
- It is often the first contact a customer will have with the organization.
- It facilities a potential poor customer experience to one that they could never have been expected.
- The impression of the greeter sets the tone of the whole customer experience.
- It is the face and the first cultural example of the organization.
- It facilitates a likelihood of a customer wanting to come back to not only purchase products but meet people who have created a shopping community.
- The role of the greeter is also the “glue” between every department and the customer.
- The greeter has the significant role of working between departments ensuring there is seamless customer hand over and importantly product knowledge.
- The face of an enthusiastic greeter is contagious to their coworkers and the public.
- The role of the greeter is to engender a team spirit which raises the spirit of everyone.
- The role of the greeter is to ask, “what else can I do for you?”
It’s probably, I know it is, the most important career move I have ever made. Its not about my university qualifications, my degrees or my titles.
Its not about the fancy job titles or the cars or offices I have had.
The role of a greeter sets the experience level for every customer who comes to the organization and the desire for every coworker to want to work with them.
In the corporate role they may call this customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
To me it’s simply the role of the greeter, my new career and I love it!!
Thank you, Home Depot, for giving me the opportunity in my new career!
Thanks to all my coworkers who invited me into the “Live Orange” culture.
Peter, Simply the greeter and proud of it
This is what I found out!
- Engagement without direction or purpose is wasted effort and is unacceptable.
- Doing nothing about the “internal terrorists” the disengaged is simply not doing your job and will kill your business.
- A lack of understanding of what to do with those that are engaged means a lack of management competence.
- Engagement starts in the hiring process. The computer adage of “garbage in garbage out” is appropriate.
- Engagement also reaches out to the community in which your business exists and your community is your business world.
This is what works!
- Link your engagement scores to your customer satisfaction scores.
- Make it a daily conversation in your team meetings.
- Identify who really is part of your team.
- Understand the thought that making customers want to come to you and recommend you to others is the goal and it gives focus to all what you do.
- Engagement means identifying how you motivate the hearts and minds.
- Involve your suppliers in the conversation; they are as much a part of your business success as your own employees.
- Include customers. They will help you with the key question of how you are translating engagement into their experience.
- Identify how the values and your mission are enhanced by higher engagement.
- Get those employees “ who have quit and stayed” off the bus.
- Remember that engagement starts with you.