‘Idiot’ Employees Will Damage Your Small Business

'Idiots' are not just people you don’t like. We all know that poor brand experience is bad for business and that our employees play a HUGE part in this, so why as a business owner do you put up with it?

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brand experience
Image source (Interactive Digital)

I’ll let you define what an ‘idiot employee’ is to you – but I’m talking about rude, obnoxious or lazy employees. This weekend I experienced both sides of the equation – on one side some outstanding service at a small shop and on the other, some unethical behavior at a well-known supermarket.

Unfortunately, it was the poor brand experience which stole the headline at the post-weekend catch up at work…and that’s why I felt it was important to share.

All employees represent your Business

We’ve all experienced poor customer service and it annoys most of us – sometimes we complain directly, but even if we don’t, we always tell our friends! I can’t go into detail about the ‘well-known supermarket’ as it involves someone close to me – but it was an ‘internal issue’ between an employee who was representing the organization and my friend, so therefore (to me) was an indirect brand experience and that’s why I think it’s important to say…

It’s not only customer facing employees who represent your brand.

ALL employee’s actions have the potential to reach your customers or prospects – be it directly or in-directly. If an employee feels aggrieved by their organization (this could be the reckless action of an individual), they will tell their friends and if it’s shocking enough, they will pass it on and before you know it, it’s viral.

If the action of the individual is bad enough (and not just a trivial thing), it could damage your brand as potential customers make an association between the ‘idiot’ and organization. I had to remind myself that the individual in question is a tool and that it doesn’t mean I should stop shopping there! That said, the brand has still gone down a couple of points in my estimation because after all, they employed this person.

‘Idiots’ are not just people you don’t like

I’ve worked with some fools before (well, it’s before I started my digital marketing company and now I’m very careful as it is about my own brand), and I’m sure to some people I’m that moron. But employing people you don’t like is different from working with ‘idiots’. If you don’t like someone but they’re good at their job, then deal with it. However, if you’re working with people who are damaging your company’s brand – do something about it. If you’re an ‘employee’, then tell your boss, and if it’s your boss, then tell the owner! And if it’s the owner…well, that’s up to you. The point is, don’t just accept it, you’ll be thanked for taking responsibility and pride in your brand.

Good employees attract excellent employees

We’ve also all worked with people we do like and who are passionate about what they do – remember how infectious and motivating that was or is? The job role is irrelevant – everyone can have a positive influence on a brand and excellence breeds excellence. So keep hold of the good guys!

So we all know that poor brand experience is bad for business and that our employees play a HUGE part in this, so why as a business owner do you put up with it? I wouldn’t. I appreciate that you may not know if an ‘idiot’ exists in your organization, so if not – get involved and find out!

My message is simple – if you own a business, don’t put up with ‘idiot employees’ (regardless of their role). After all, they could be the difference between turning a profit and going bust.

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