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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not so warm welcome

No matter how hard GP tries to uphold its company culture and values to internal and external audience by means of colorful posters, stickers and festoons in its office premises, all the efforts risk going in vain because of the personnel who are supposed to greet you with a smile at the reception. Outsourcing the security and external visitor registration to third party providers have become the norm for the MNCs these days. Grameen Phone seem to be no exception. However even my today’s encounter at the GP premises was no exception when I was ‘greeted’ by gloomy faced, uniform-clad, weary security personnel. Forget smile, they didn’t even bother to establish eye contact. Very reluctantly they forwarded me the registration sheet in which even more reluctantly I penned down half-correct information and proceeded inside the elevator with the swipe card.

The same day I had to make a visit to a leading multinational bank called StanChart, where I found that the doors and desks are manned by one of the leading security services agencies of the country. They were seen completely confused, stressed and irritated trying to answer queries of the queued visitors. I went to meet my friend Mr. Banker and informed the men in uniform the person I was looking for. They had a tough time scanning through the staff sheet at hand, and finally told me to go to level-6. Upon reaching the suggested level, I was ‘greeted’ with yet another layer of security (or door manning?). I told them that I came to meet Mr. Banker. They again went through their version of staff sheet and told me that Mr. Tanker is not available now. I was at a loss, as I had a prior tele-conversation with the person in question. I realized that the semi-educated security personnel couldn’t even hear a name right, couldn’t even spell out a name right. I also realized that after all they don’t belong to the company per se, they infact belong to the third party service provider in this case, G4S. But I wonder if companies like GP and StanChart don’t give any proper orientation or not to these personnel who man their receptions. Are they ever briefed from time to time about the host company’s culture, values and norms? Do they ever cross-check if the personnel at the first interface at the doorstep actually uphold the values to external guests? I wonder.
So even companies like G4S have tasks at hand. Mere giving basic martial arts training and basic etiquettes is perhaps not enough any more. A thorough understanding and knowledge about the host company’s values and norms is a must before they grab the business of placing their (wo)men in recipient companies. Otherwise, people like me will continue getting annoyed at the doorsteps of different companies, taking service for granted and accepting the fact that service with a smile is a myth in Bangladeshi corporates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I feel the same way. It not only with GP and StanChart, but with most of the companies, but the 1 common thing about them is G4S. maybe its just that the host comany doesnt care how their customer feels or maybe they take it for granted..