Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Always Use the Checklist!

   On my trip around the country, I stayed in a little Hotel the other nite in central Oklahoma.  This is basically a bed and breakfast place.  The place was fine.  However, when I came back to my room, the room was not totally made up.  I told the owner what happened.  She profusely apologized, fixed the problem and said, "I'll have to see if those items are on the checklist."
    Interesting, the next morning, she told me that items that were not completed were NOT on the checklist, however, she had modified the checklist and told the staff that the list had been changed to address the deficiencies that I encountered.  As we talked, the owner pointed out that labor was difficult to attract and retain in this part of the state and that using a checklist was one way in which to insure that all of the points of room maintenance were always addressed.
     We have addressed the checklist many times previously.  In any task, no matter how trivial, the checklist is a good tool to insure that all staff know exactly what is to be done, in what order or sequence the tasks need to be done and what the completed project will look like when finished.
      The checklist is a tool that allows for no interpretation of expectations, as there is one standard way of task accomplishment.  What I found interesting is that this business owner recognized that standardization is the key to business success.  Knowing that finding and retaining good labor support was difficult, she took all precautions to preclude any glitches.  If you have problems with any task, develop a detailed checklist for the task.  Insure that the staff knows exactly what is to be done, how it is to be done and what the outcome is supposed to be.  In this way, your chances of error are much reduced and higher customer satisfaction is achieved.


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