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Getting Back to Basics


If you want to take a metaphorical “dipstick” and test the current state of the workplace, just read Yelp or Google reviews. A recent one from a fast food place says, “The girl working the window should be fired for telling me to shut the [expletive] up.” Whether you work at a fast food restaurant or in a Fortune 500 company, all workplace environments require professionalism.

Simple, “back to basics” tips can help you and your company grow and attract positive reviews:

1.) Show up on time for your appointments. If you have a meeting or an appointment, make sure you show up on time- even better, arrive five to ten minutes early.

2.) Return phone calls in a timely manner. What you don’t do speaks volumes. When you delay returned phone calls, it just sends a message that you are either not a hard worker, not on the ball, disinterested or lazy. These are all qualities that turn clients off.

3.) Be respectful. All things being equal, if you are falling behind your competitor, chances are you are lacking in this area. It is often very difficult to train an innate quality like kindness and respect. The job interview process is crucial. You can’t afford to have employees turn clients away due to their poor manners.

4.) Keep your commitments. Not following through on a commitment instantly ruins your credibility. Stephen Covey, who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People writes,

“Honesty is making your words conform to reality. Integrity is making reality conform to your words.” We do not get far in life without it. Reflect on your work. Without the kind of integrity Covey describes, you cannot be an effective leader. Here's why:

  1. Trust depends on integrity. If clients and customers are unable to rely on your word, they will not trust you.

  2. Influence depends on trust. We follow people we trust. This is reflected in our politics and media. Employees and colleagues will refuse the influence of leaders they distrust.

  3. Impact depends on influence. You will be unable to make the impact you want unless you can influence others and shift their behavior.

Returning to values of decency and getting “back to basics” are enormously valuable. In the professional world, people have become overly concerned with complicated frameworks and elaborate theories to improve the workplace. Instead, choose to concentrate on simple behaviors such as courtesy, integrity and being on time. These essential foundations make a positive impact no matter where you work, live and play.


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