Have you ever heard someone say, “They don’t pay me enough to do this job”?
If I had a captive audience with an employee who expressed this sentiment, I would suggest that until his disposition and performance (e.g., customer service quality) improves, he’s not going to be qualified – or even considered – for a position that offers more compensation or responsibility.
Take, for example, the Dick’s Sporting Goods cashier I encounter last week. Throughout the transaction, she robotically asked if I was a member of the loyalty program, whether or not my credit card had a chip, and whether I wanted my receipt emailed or printed.
Remarkably, all of these questions were posed as she pecked out a text message on her personal smart phone. As the transaction ended, I helped myself to my printed receipt as she was too entranced by her virtual conversation to pay complete attention to the physical transaction and customer right in front of her.
Now, I have no idea about the career aspirations of this young woman. I would speculate, however, that there are many employees who similarly project that they are disengaged and merely “going through the motions” at work. And many of them are convinced that they are capable of shouldering more responsibility and entitled to receiving more compensation.
My advice to these employees is simple: “Snap out of it!” (or as my friend and colleague, Shep Hyken, might say: “Be Amazing or Go Home!”)
- If you have a customer in front of you – whether face-to-face, over-the-phone, or online – “Snap out of it!” She is your priority. Banter with coworkers, side work, and, certainly, personal text messages can wait.
- If you feel like you’re not paid enough to do this job well, “Snap out of it!” Recognize that you applied for this job and agreed to the terms of employment: You will perform X responsibilities for $X compensation. To dishonor that agreement is to shirk your responsibility to your employer, coworkers, customers, and yourself.
- If you feel like you’re being underutilized and are qualified for a position of greater responsibility, prove it. When you send mixed messages to supervisors by appearing bored or aloof at work, “Snap out of it!” Know that you will be evaluated for future job roles and merit pay increases based on the quality of your current performance.
I believe in the power of potential. Each of us has the ability to be great at our chosen vocation. Of course, it’s helpful to be in a job role and field that you enjoy (or, better yet, that you’re passionate about) but that’s not a requirement. Many of us started out in the proverbial “mail room” and worked our way up in the organization.
Recognize that your time in the trenches will be determined, not by projecting that you’re bored and underutilized, but rather, by conveying competency and enthusiasm for serving others.
Have an inspired Customer Service Week!
Don’t settle for ordinary. Choose extraordinary. (It’s always a choice.) Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
New! Cascade the lessons from Delight Your Customers throughout your department, division, or entire organization. Order the Delight Your Customers Companion Guide by Steve Curtin and Brian O’Neill.
Watch the 90-second book trailer.
Illustration by Maha Mohtaseb.