The bigger they get, the more organisations have a tendency to concentrate on big things to engage and inspire their staff, big things to please customers, and big things to gel teams.
The problem being, people can’t see big things! What we can see, and what create instant, lasting pictures in people’s minds, are all the little things that we do, or don’t do.
What I call TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things.
They may be tiny but TNTs are highly explosive. They are the visible difference between 4 and 5 star customer service; the fine line between a manager and a leader.
They are the secret weapon of highly successful business people, and the wonderful thing is – they cost nothing!
Often regarded as being too petty to mention they are all the little things that please or annoy; the telling snapshot images we take away.
TNTs are the emotional engagers; the motivators that make and break relationships. But what makes a TNT so phenomenally powerful is the emotional attachment it triggers.
Every time a picture springs to mind of a particular past experience, whether it be positive or negative, a gut feeling immediately surfaces. This feeling will continue to be recounted and continue to exert substantial subconscious bias on all future decision making.
Let me explain…
In a world of emails and text messages a TNT is a handwritten note to say “thank you”, it’s as small as a smile, it’s remembering people’s first names, making time for others, listening to people, remembering birthdays, going out of the way to praise staff, phoning back when you promised you would, surprising someone with a small gift of recognition – all the little things that put very big smiles on hard working faces, that show we care, that delight customers – that blow the competition away!
Sadly however, they are all too often the little things that have precisely the exact opposite effect. Why? Because being so small, the difference they make is often overlooked or fatally underestimated.
There are two very important keys when it comes to TNTs. Both are well worth remembering if you want to avoid a well-intended positive TNT backfiring and turning into a negative one.
1). TNTs need to be consistent. If for example you decide that every time it’s someone’s birthday you’re going to send them a birthday card from the rest of the team, you have to make sure that everyone gets a card on their birthday. The day someone doesn’t get one is the day you’ll have someone feeling a bit left out.
2). TNTs need to be relevant. Ask any teetotal person who has experienced either being given a bottle of champagne as a reward for all their hard work or as a thank you gift for being such a loyal customer.
If you are serious about engaging with your people and making your customers feel special, but regard yourself as far too busy to bother with all the small stuff, you do so at your own peril!
I’m lucky enough to speak at a lot of conferences and meet a lot of people. When delegates are chatting to me in coffee breaks they often start talking about their managers, telling me why they love working with them, or on the other hand, why they are thinking of leaving. Either way, it’s never to do with big things – it is always to do with the little things, the TNTs.
To find out more how motivational speaker Adrian Webster can best help you to really make a difference with TNTs – please contact us.