OK, it’s difficult to find an inspiring picture of a copy machine. Even with an overly cheesy space background, it doesn’t quite cut it. Copy machines aren’t glamorous, but they get their job done and can actually model a best practice for us.  

Make copies of yourself

Do you consider yourself an expert in your area? Are you that professional that talked about Jan 7th? Does your organization consider you a great leader?  If you answered yes to those questions, then your job is to make copies of yourself. If you aren’t quite there yet, that’s OK. Work on those areas first before you make copies. What happens to bad copies? They are usually thrown out with the trash. Here are some ways you can ensure that you are making great copies of yourself. 

Copying knowledge

Copying expertise in knowledge is as simple as training. Make sure that everyone who interacts with a customer actually knows about the items and services that they provide. This can range from knowing what the current sale is and where the items are located to knowing the times and places of activities that are going on. Nothing turns off a customer more than walking into a place and interacting with an employee that doesn’t know anything about the current promotion. I would be disappointed if the hotel staff didn’t know when breakfast was served or when the fitness center closed for the day. A visitor to a church would be unhappy if, on their first visit, they had trouble finding where to drop off their kids, had trouble finding the bathroom, and didn’t know where to go for service. If an employee faces the customer, make sure that they are a copy of you in knowledge. Remember that you too were once new and didn’t know much. 

Copying excellence

Copying excellence is all about setting the expectation, modeling, and follow-up. Be clear in what you expect in others and their performance. Your team should know without a doubt what is expected of the position that they serve in. Modeling is key here. If you put out an expectation but don’t exhibit those qualities yourself, your team will surely fall short of excellence. The third piece is follow-up. Check-in periodically when someone is learning to verify that they are learning in the right way and don’t have further questions or are learning bad habits early.  Additionally, you’ll want to follow up as soon as professionally possible when you see a failure in expectation. Turning a blind eye to bad behavior is the same as passively approving the action. 

Lastly, you don’t have to be a leader to make copies of yourself. You can lead across to your peers or up to your boss and make copies there as well. It will help you stand out at any career stage and your guests will love you for the great experience that they have.

Make a better tomorrow.