One of my pet hates is people being on their mobile phones when they are at the counter being served. I think it’s rude.
Yesterday, however, I was that person. I was desperate to grab some lunch in Pret at Waterloo station before boarding my train. As my turn to order came, I tried to end the phone call I was having, but I didn’t quite manage it. I felt bad, and smiled and apologised to the guy who was serving me. We had a bit of a chat. Then, he offered me a free coffee! It made my afternoon.
It’s the small things that make such a difference to any of our encounters, to our days, to our lives.
I sometimes think about that when I’m working in big organisations and we’re discussing how to make things better. There are always big things that need doing. But the small things can make a big difference too. Listening to somebody, saying thank you, giving positive feedback, making time for someone. All count. A lot.
Thanks Ronaldo at Pret — you inspired me to write this post. And thank you Pret for giving your staff the freedom to do a little thing that makes a huge difference.
Sally Bibb’s book Strengths-based Recruitment and Development: A Practical Guide to Transforming Talent Management Strategy for Business Results (the first on the subject) is published by Kogan Page. Use discount code HRSBRW at the Kogan Page website.