Meeting the Public Face to Face
Really, there are few places on the business landscape that clamor more for a people-oriented approach to managing than the customer-intensive retail and service sectors of the economy. Why? Because, first of all, increasing numbers of people are finding themselves in jobs where they must deal face-to-face with living and breathing customers — and this kind of interactive work is fraught with unpredictability and stress.
For a variety of reasons, the atmospheres in many of these work environments are unhappy and unhealthy for both employees and the customers they serve. These particular slices of the retail and service industries are crying out for a fresh kind of leadership — one that appreciates employees' unique needs and wants in these demanding job roles, but that also holds them to high standards of professionalism.
Because you interact with the public in retail and service businesses, you've got to make clear — even more so than in office jobs — the importance of learning, building skills, and gaining experience. You've got to extract lessons from every job and every situation and point them out to your employees.