When Engagement Means Employees Like Each Other More Than Customers

The Huffington Post | Mar 01, 2010

It’s 7:45 a.m. on a cold damp morning and it’s just started to snow. My wife and I are waiting outside of Boston South Station for the Amtrak staff to allow passengers to board the 8:10 a.m. Acela train bound for New York City. Due to a blizzard in New York, all of the airports are shut down so the train is our only option. And after being stranded first in Denver, and last night in Boston, we are eager to get home. Like many of our fellow passengers, we are road weary.

But none of that seems to be of interest to the Amtrak crew - from the conductor on down. My wife and I, as well as others in the crowd, notice the camaraderie of employees, and many comment on how friendly and helpful the Amtrak employees are - to one another. We see a good many smiles, handshakes, and small talk about the weather and their kids. But surprisingly, no contact with customers. This is all internal. The passengers are getting none of the love.

I’m a consultant, educator and author, and I know an engaged team when I see one. I only wish they would be engaged with customers.

Learn how Jon describes this phenomenon.