It is 7 a.m. and I am waiting for my first double espresso as I mentally go through the agenda for the leadership team in Oradea, Romania last week.
Although my attention is on the soon-to-be espresso, I have the feeling that someone is watching me. I turn and see a young man, somewhere between the ages of 18-22, dressed in kitchen attire.
“May I ask you a question,” he says?
“Please do,” I said.
“Have you been staying at our hotel long,” he asks me?
“Three days, two nights,” I answered.
He pauses for a moment, then asks, “Can you think of anything that we could do to improve our hotel, or our services for you?”
This question, with his sincere intention to find something that could lead to an improved hotel, a better experience for me, was front and center on his mind.
This was not the General Manager standing next to me, and it was not a question that came from the front desk, nor from the customer service representative.
It was coming from a young man who worked in the kitchen, early in the morning, curious and interested to improve the customer experience at the Ramada Inn in Oradea.
The situation reminded me that continuous improvement is not a sometime activity, it is an all the time activity, that costs nothing and helps successful businesses stay successful.
Executive teams can and should set the example and the tempo for continuous improvement by simply asking those in the organization, “What could I do, or we do, (or stop doing) as an executive team that would enable you to more enjoy what you do here and be more effective?”
How does your executive team set the example and tempo for continuous improvement in your organization?
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