By Junaid Tahir
My kids wanted me to buy some toys so I took them to a nearby toy store yesterday. This is quite large store with more than 5000 square meters of area having thousands of toys. The toys were nicely placed on shelves. A lot of packed toys were also placed on the floor in nice patterns so as to give the customers more choices of toys to chose from. While kids and parents were enjoying exploring the shop, all of a sudden everyone heard a considerable loud burst noise. Upon my inquiry, one of the staff members told that the main water supply pipe has busted on the first floor of the store having their warehouse too. Within no time everyone noticed that water has started leaking from one corner of the store and moving in all directions feet by feet. Now the challenge was to remove all the toys from the floor so as to avoid them from getting damaged. This was the time of managing the mess but unfortunately the staff was not much efficient on doing so. They were running here and there with no clear plan about handling this situation; eventually they were efforts were seem to be least efficient. Noticing this, some of the customers ran and brought big shopping trolleys and started putting all the cartoons before it peeped in to the nicely packed toys and cause big damage. Within two minutes most of the toys were moved to trolleys though several toys got damaged.
Observations:1- The water pipe may not have been inspected frequently so it busted all of a sudden.
2- The employees were not properly trained to evacuate the store in emergency conditions.
3- The employees were not trained enough to manage the toys, packing and other cartoons for such urgent conditions fire/water issues.
4- Most of the shoppers were only watching this and only 3-4 people took the initiative to help store guys and saved thousands of dollars.
Considering the big picture the lesson here is that the quality of work and quality of worker are directly proportional. No matter how strong policies you put in place, there is a chance of error if the workers are not quality thinkers. So equal importance must be given in selecting the quality resources and then polishing their skills over the course of time. So basically, right selection of resources with right trainings will develop the courage and confidence in them to manage emergency situations like the one in this story.
If you are a manager, leader or a business man, do you have such policies and procedures in place for corrective and preventive situations?
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About Author: Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management. His articles can be read Here