I’m on the road this weekend.

Today I am at Cheltenham Racecourse for PetLife Festival 2018, the first pet themed music festival in the UK.

The event has been organised by the PDSA, of which I am a Trustee, so I am there in my official capacity but also as a volunteer for the day. 200 of our staff and supporters are volunteering today to make sure that the thousands of visitors (and their dogs) have a fun-packed, safe day. And tonight, Jessie J and the Kaiser Chiefs will be performing.

An event of this size takes some planning and organising and is a bigger undertaking than most of us would attempt.

But organising and training 200 volunteers from all over the country and diverse backgrounds to provide a consistently high standard of support for our guests was the task that interested me. How do you get that number of people to all behave the same way? Perhaps you are trying to get your team to do that as well.

So last Thursday and Friday, I attended the Business Excellence Bootcamp at the Entrepreneurs Circle. This course, run by Nigel Botterill, is based on Disney’s Chain of Excellence a process designed to get 60,000 Disney employees, of whom 50% at any time are temporary workers and interns, to provide a consistently high standard of service to the guests at Walt Disney World. I figured I could learn a thing or two.

If you have been to Disney World you’ll know how brilliant they are at making the guest experience memorable. In large part this is due to their cast members who are coached in certain behaviours to apply the four Disney Quality Standards of Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency.

The EC Bootcamp made me realise that excellent businesses, and those that aspire to become excellent, are behaviour driven. Creating the culture you want in your business starts with setting your quality standards and the behaviours you expect from your team.

So I was interested when the PDSA volunteer manager recorded four webinars, two of which described the behaviours expected of volunteers today and were followed by a quiz to ascertain whether volunteers had ‘got it’. The quizzes were sent to all volunteers last week and had to be completed online in the Charity’s learning centre.

In many of our entrepreneurial businesses we train our teams in the knowledge and skills they need to work for us; but do we ever coach them in the behaviours we want them to display or in how we want them to make our customers feel?

Makes you think.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at noel@guilfordaccounting.co.uk or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting guilfordaccounting.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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