Be Nice ... Or Else!

Can you imagine a company with a motto of “BE MEAN”? Of course not. But the absence of a strong mission statement and campaign to create a BE NICE culture will, by default, create a mean one. If you’re not consciously and actively choosing and pursuing BE NICE in your organization, then you’re choosing BE MEAN. You can’t hang out somewhere in the middle. There’s not much gray area here, nor is there room for a wishy washy, spineless resolve like, “We’re pretty nice ... sometimes ... when we have to be.”

I believe that all organizations, companies, businesses, stores, and family units must consciously and actively adopt and promote the beliefs and practices of being nice.  A company or organization that conveys the opposite of being nice, or even settles for “Be unsympathetic, uncaring, heartless, unconcerned, insensitive, or indifferent” can sit back and watch staff loyalty diminish and profits decrease.

A couple of years ago, I overheard one of my new staff members on the phone being impatient and a bit rude. When I told him to be fun and nice on the phone, his comment was, “I usually am, but I’m really busy right now.” I thought, What does being busy have to do with being nice? How much extra time does it take to change the tonality of your voice, so people know they’re dealing with someone who is nice?

Make no mistake—your customers are attracted to you more by your enthusiasm than by your marble floors; more by your cheerful disposition and love for what you do than by your sleek business cards; more by your company standards for respecting human beings than by your multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. When you make BE NICE a daily priority, your company or business will reap the rewards.

Being Nice Is Everyone’s Responsibility

If you are not the owner or manager at work, that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from studying and implementing this information. Leadership is not a position, it’s a mindset and an attitude. If your mindset and purpose are to be nice, then your position and title won’t matter, because you can provide more effective leadership than the big guy or gal in the big office.

I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes the brand-new employee who’s only worked at the company for a few months and is at the bottom of the totem pole can do more for building morale, teamwork, and niceness than people who’ve worked there for 20 years or more. Everyone in a company, corporation, office building, store, or business must assume responsibility for its overall success. Here’s a great philosophy to live by:

What’s good for the company is good for me.

For the record, it’s not just the customer service department’s job to be nice. The employees who handle payroll can do damage and destroy company morale and the good feelings necessary to make a business function successfully. Every individual—from CEO to janitor, from accountant to salesperson—must heed the call to be nice. A company filled with those types of employees attracts and retains happy, loyal customers.