Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let The Parents Train Your Employees

Years ago, a young St. Louis entrepreneur was so impressed by the reputation of Nordstrom clothing stores, he decided to check it out himself. After all, Nordstrom was known worldwide for its "one-of-a-kind customer service."
"How could a clothing store that employs thousands offer such great customer service?" he wondered. Let’s be honest. Working in a clothing store isn’t the most glamorous job, and Nordstrom employees could certainly make more money on a construction site. So, how can Nordstrom train so many ordinary people to behave in extraordinary ways.
The entrepreneur flew to California, pen and notebook in hand, to check it out. He strolled through the store and, sure enough, the service was fantastic. He waltzed into the office and asked for Mr. Nordstrom. Mr. Nordstrom came out and they began talking about the business. "I have one question," the entrepreneur asked. "How do you train your employees?"
"We don’t train them," Nordstrom said. "Their parents train them."
The entrepreneur left disappointed. He came thousands of miles, had his pen and notebook ready to write down these words of wisdom and all he came away with was "their parents train them."
Then, about a week later, it hit him like a ton of bricks. "All of a sudden, it made all the sense in the world," he said. "Parents train children to have the right values and morals. Those are the kind of employees you want working for your company."
That entrepreneur discovered the secret to finding great employees: Hiring employees whose parents have done a great job of training. You don’t have to talk with them about integrity or honesty or morality or initiative or commitment.
Remember, employee values, not particular skills, turn an average company into a success story. In the age of e-mail, desktop computers, the Internet and the global village, attentiveness—a token of human kindness—is one of the greatest gifts an employee can offer a company.
If you want to succeed in hiring, look at candidates’ attitudes and values. And remember, those attitudes and values started with the parents.


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