22 Jul Handling with Care
Care. It’s the extra-special ingredient and oftentimes the most crucial. Give people credit for one thing – they can often sniff out bullshit, especially when given enough time. By the same token, they often have a sixth sense noting something – a trend, a product, a commercial, a company – is made with care.
What happens when you don’t care – or it appears as if you don’t? I don’t need to explain that the results aren’t pretty, but let’s look anyway.
No company is ever going to outright say “we don’t care” – it’s self-destructive. If the actuality or perception of your actions is that you don’t care, it can have an ocean of detrimental effects. United Airlines has been under the microscope for its practices, so let’s take a look at someone else as Exhibit A: ride-sharing company UBER.
From the stories on the corporate culture towards colleagues, horrific stories about treatment to women in general, and even reflection in their own CEO and much of their leadership (whom ended up resigning), one of the major threads was a lack of empathy and care.
For a company that is predicated on surviving long enough to outlast the employees that built the company’s reputation – its drivers being left behind for driverless cars one day so they can reach profitability – there needs to be an element of caring, especially in the present. They won’t last long enough otherwise.
Shedding customers and having bad press well before that is not a great sign, especially when mirrored by quarterly losses that are greater than anticipated. Investors can be scared off much like a fawn if they sense something going awry with their investment. This is doubly true when there are similar options who have garnered more trust, such as Lyft, whom enjoys a relatively warm reputation.
We’ve seen lack of care in action; the obvious follow-ups are “what does showing you care do for you? ” and “how do you do it?” Let’s take a look at Exhibit B: Tesla.
Believe it or not, Tesla also had a sexual harassment scandal recently. Did you hear about? Neither did I for quite some time. This was the product of caring. They took swift action in reviewing the incident, following through, and communicating openly regarding it.
Ultimately, they proved that they cared about the wellbeing of their employees, their product, and their brand. This helped them avoid much of the potential pitfalls that could easily (and rightfully) come along with a poorly handled scandal of this nature. This was beautifully explained in more detail by Tim Sackett over on the Ragan Communications feed.
What does all this mean? Caring counts, and actions speak louder than words… but words count too. Does your audience know whether or not you care? It really does make all the difference.