worst sin towards our fellow
creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. George Bernard Shaw.
Empathy is the understanding and consideration that the internal participants (managers
and workers) have for each other and the external participants. Examples include: suppliers who are paid on time and
have the security of a
long-term relationship; customers who are attended to quickly and
efficiently by someone who is sympathetic and competent; employees who have a
good working environment. However, the attention given to different participants often
gets out of proportion, as when customers are pandered to at the
expense of employees working extremely long hours and suppliers who are kept waiting for
Standards are important:
There should be standards for dealing with each of the participants. Many
local government departments have adopted the following targets for dealing with the public and
these are published in their newsletters.
callers will be seen by an officer within 10 minutes.
will be answered within four rings (10
- Callers will have an initial
response within one working day.
will be answered with a considered response within seven working days.
points of contact between
the organization and the
participants. A person or group should be nominated to look after the interests
of each of the participants (employees have staff representatives, customers
have user groups, but who looks after the suppliers' interests?).
possible areas of conflict.
Catering to every whim
of customers can put intolerable pressure on
employees and in the end prove uneconomic.
talking about shareholders' interests is
very annoying to most employees.
Most organizations ask customers and clients to assess them, but this should
also apply to suppliers, alliance partners and neighbours. The results of
surveys should be published with actions to be taken.
to queries and resolving problems.
A 70 per cent immediate response will often diffuse situations and will be
better than waiting a week to get a 95 per cent correct one. >>>