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Don’t Hide The Truth

15 Mar

My first communication with any new (non-family/friend) caregiver for my child, always involves this point. If my daughter is hurt in anyway, whatever the reason, while in your care, please let me know. Once I address the issue, I’ll probably reprimand you for not giving her your full attention and that’ll be the end of it. However, if you don’t let me know and I find out otherwise, you’ll have to face serious repercussions. This is simply because, in the first instance I can seek the right solution and resolve the problem. While, in the second situation, I may be acting too late to help my child, just because you didn’t bother or were too scared to tell me the truth.

This rule applies almost directly to a business, especially when an individual is assigned responsibility of a project, a team or a business segment. Apart from reporting on performance and other parameters on a regular bases, issue reporting should be given priority. An issue could be any event or incident that is expected to have a negative effect on the business directly or a business relationship. The effect could be with respect to an employee, customer, partner or any other important party.

Issue reporting takes on an even greater significance in healthcare and other retail business, where employees have one-to-one interactions with customers. Obviously, in a healthcare-based business, like ours, issue reporting can be crucial. Team members need to be able to distinguish between: critical (a life is in the balance), urgent (a technical issue) and important (a non-technical issue) situations for reporting and responding.

Once an issue has been recognized and reported the next step would be responding to the issue. How we respond to the issue is as important as recognizing the issue. We generally ask employees to identify the parties who need to be addressed and approach them with the following information:

  • Our response/action to set the immediate situation right
  • Future steps to avoid occurrence of the same issue (e.g. a peer review or self-audit process)

Clarifying the above points to the aggrieved party will let them know that you are serious about addressing the problem and are not just placating them. This understanding is important if you want to build long-term relationships with your team/partner and instill confidence to convert a customer into a repeat customer.

Obviously all of the above has to be documented and filed away for future reference. It can even be used, in a generalized fashion, during a training session on handling issues.

What do you think about our issue reporting and response process? How do you handle such situations?

Summary – Issue Reporting:

  • Recognize the issue
  • Report the issue
  • Respond to the affected party/ies
  • Document the whole incident

Note: Steps two and three are interchangeable with respect to order.

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5 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in The Growing Entrepreneur

 

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5 responses to “Don’t Hide The Truth

  1. Stacey Blake

    March 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! How are you? I like your new abode too:-)

     
    • nmaha

      March 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Stacey, it’s nice to see you here. My new abode is not as fancy as yours 😉

       
  2. nmaha

    March 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I think my nanny is clear on this (she better be).
    I’m working on my employees now 🙂 As with all start-ups, setting expectations is always an uphill task.

     
  3. Sanjana

    March 16, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Oh I completely agree! I hate not being in the know when things happen and have them spring up on me when it’s too late for damage control!

    All the best in executing it though! Easier said than done, as I’m sure you know!

     
    • nmaha

      March 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      I think my nanny is clear on this (she better be).
      I’m working on my employees now As with all start-ups, setting expectations is always an uphill task.

       

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