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Explaining WHY creates engagement

Do you snap the end off of your “garden” beans? Why? Do you rinse your dishes before going into the dishwasher? Why? Do you like to turn your socks the right way out before they go into the washing machine? Why? 

When teaching someone how to do something, it is so much easier for them to buy into the process if they understand the why. When training someone who has never done something before, they will do the skills better and with more gusto if they understand the WHY. Whether you do the task for your personal safety, the dog’s safety/health, or, for the inclusion of the customer, betterment of the company’s bottom line. 

One of the hardest pieces of leading a team is to ensure that they are compelled to do their best. Staff don’t do their best if they second guess whether they are doing things correctly. They don’t want to jump onto a task if they don’t feel confident. 

So if a staffer isn’t confident in their skill set, they don’t jump in to help or move things forward. That usually results in you perceiving them as lazy and unproductive, or even that they can’t follow the rules. But could it be that they don’t understand why doing things are important? Handing the leash off to a client and saying goodbye to the dog is extremely important in creating a relationship with the human, but does your staff understand that? 

If you teach them WHY, you are also enabling them to make decisions to reach the mission of the WHY. If a customer needs a little extra pampering, your staff will know how to rise to that level because they know WHY that is important. 

Making sure food bowls are picked up because a dog may be food aggressive doesn’t really tell the why. Saying “pick up the food bowls because (WHY) if a dog is food aggressive, it could cause a dog fight if another dog gets near them when bringing dogs in from potty time. Also some dogs have serious food allergies and could get very sick if they get a few pieces of kibble, which (WHY) could cause diarrhea or hives, and we would have to pay to take them to the vet.”

WHY helps to engage your staff in the processes that run your business. It is inherently frustrating to hear a staffer say “I didn’t think it was a big deal.” The business is a big deal to us as owners, and we want our team to feel the same passion for the business that we do because the team is the key to making the business run effectively and efficiently.

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