Empowering Team Members

rubber soulI’m driving past a well-known brick and mortar store that sells books and also music. I recall that we lost our copy of a Beatles album, so I decide to stop by and see if I can buy a CD there. In the music section, located all the way in the rear of the store, I find The Beatles bin and in it two copies of the album, one priced a dollar more than the other.

I bring both to the counter and ask the clerk, a person probably in their 40’s, why the price difference. He compares them on his computer terminal and tells me the higher priced CD has been remastered and now has the selections in both monaural and stereo. I say I’ll take the lower priced, monaural, CD, pay and leave.

In the parking lot, I start my car, turn on the radio, unwrap the package, remove the CD and insert it into the radio/CD player. It reads the CD, then ejects it. I repeat the process with the same results.I shut off my car and return to the store with CD in hand.

I tell the clerk that the CD is defective. “Then do you want the other one,” he asks. I reply I do not but I would like a refund. At which point he tells me that the store policy is no refunds on items that have been opened.

“But I had to open it to see if it worked,” I reply.

“I know,” he says, “but I’ll have to call my manager for approval,” and he picks up the phone.

Here’s my point. As I was standing there the first time, I overheard him tell another customer that he had been working there for eleven years. Yet, he has to call a manager to get permission to return my $20.13!

Give your employees the power to make some decisions, just set controls. Yes?

At what point should an employee be required to get permission from on high?




About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
This entry was posted in Challenged Teams, Customer Service, Team Development Strategies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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