Hey, Fred! How do you guys hire such great employees?
It All Starts with the 4 P’s
When people study customer service and what works and what doesn’t, they often talk about how a person can hear someone smiling on the other end of a phone call. People love calling Queensboro because they always hear us smiling.
We make mistakes and receive tough calls, but we don’t get down, and we keep smiling. Why is that?
While a caller will rarely interact with someone at Queensboro outside of our Customer Experience Team, if they did, they would have the same great experience. We are a very happy, friendly lot!
This hasn’t happened by chance. A couple of years ago we came up with the 4 P’s and that has been our hiring and coaching tool since that time and is the “secret” to our great company chemistry.
To be hired and keep a job at Queensboro you need to be Productive, Positive, Principled and Proactive. And while we do all believe that one needs all of these qualities to be great, one thing you don’t need to be is Perfect, which will never be one of the 4 P’s because we all know that is not possible!
While each one of the 4 P’s is essential, at the most basic level, it all starts with “Can you do the job?” You don’t need to be a superstar to be productive, but you do have to be good at what you do. When we hire the first thing we look for is the experience or education indicating a capability to do the job. We all must be good at our jobs, but that alone is not enough.
Being positive is about the quality of your energy. Some struggle with this, while for others it is as natural as breathing. A Positive person emotionally lifts up those around them. In a long day, this really helps! An important thing to note about being positive is that simply not bringing people down is not good enough. Neutral is not positive! Being positive is actively bringing good energy to a group and lifting people up all the time. Imagine having an entire company filled with positive people! The positive P has done more to improve our company since we implemented the 4 P’s than any of the many, many other things we have done.
People have many different beliefs and ways of dealing with the world. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that we should treat people the way we want to be treated. This is what we call being Principled. A principled person will never surprise you with their actions. This is the basis of trust, which is the foundation of communications. It is wonderful working with productive people and fun working with positive people, but you can really grow when you work with principled people.
Proactive is the “secret sauce” of the 4 P’s. A person who is Productive, Positive and Principled is a pretty good employee – in the custom embroidery business or in any other one! To be great, however, we believe that person also needs to be Proactive. The simplest way we describe proactive is: “When you are walking across the room and you step on a piece of paper, do you pick it up?” A Proactive person is always questioning, always learning and always sufficiently in control of their time so that when an opportunity to help or improve presents itself, they are in a position to take it.
A Work in Progress
We talk about the 4 P’s a lot and our understanding of them constantly evolves. We don’t believe the 4 P’s are the last word on how to have great employees in the custom embroidery business and in general. It is simply a tool that works to align us towards a common set of values. We believe they work and they are the reason you always hear us smiling on the phone!