When the office gets busy, there's a great temptation to dictate orders to the troops and skip explaining the whys of company policy. "But don't do it," urges Barbara Sealund, founder of Sealund Associates, a multimedia software training firm, based in Clearwater, Fla. "Invariably some employee will repeat a mistake that inspired a company policy, and customer service will suffer."

Sealund, a former teacher, takes time to tell her staff dramatic horror stories--missed customer deadlines, products shipped with glaring typos, and how one sales representative jumped the gun and quoted a price way too low for a project--so that employees understand the "big picture" behind the policy. Sealund Associates's track record is so good that the company is rarely required to bid on future work from customers. Sealund knows the additional employee training is worth the effort: 90% of her customers award her company repeat business.

Copyright 1997 G+J USA Publishing