Employees can make or break an organisation

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Nonto Masuku

ABOUT two weeks ago, I went to Victoria Falls for the United States Department of State’s Business and Entrepreneurship Exchange Program (BEEP) alumni reunion.

Our American mentors were present to end their two-week stint in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  My itinerary was to depart at 8:15am from Bulawayo for Victoria Falls using Air Zimbabwe via Harare.

I was due to leave Victoria Falls on February 28 at 4pm for Bulawayo.   My colleagues from Harare were scheduled to depart at 9:30am on February 26. To cut a long story short, none of the flights left at the times they were scheduled to leave.

The routes were changed too.  Instead of flying from Bulawayo via Harare for instance, my flight became a direct flight to Victoria Falls.

Elephant Hills employees took it upon themselves to make the best of what seemed to be very challenging situations
Elephant Hills employees took it upon themselves to make the best of what seemed to be very challenging situations

I did not complain, although it meant waiting for hours at the Victoria Falls Airport for someone to pick me up as I arrived earlier than expected.

For those going to Harare, however, this development meant their journey would be about an hour longer than anticipated.

Despite the changes in flight times and the inconvenience caused in most cases, I must say that the ground staff and the Air Zimbabwe crew were quite helpful.  The pilot did a great job too.  He/she ensured we had a smooth flight.

In Victoria Falls, we stayed at the Elephant Hills Hotel. The place was heaving with people who had come for the President Robert Mugabe’s 91st birthday celebrations.

Needless to say, I had a pleasant stay there.  The minute I entered the crowded lobby, a porter was available to take my bags.  Before I knew it, I was offered a refreshment drink and was being led to my room with no hassles at all.

I was a little disappointed by the rooms as they are not well ventilated and need to be renovated to give them a fresh and modern look.  During my stay, however, the staff attended to all my requests and gripes.

So what is my point?  In both cases (Air Zimbabwe and Elephant Hills Hotel), the employees were faced with situations beyond their control.

However, they took it upon themselves to make the best of what seemed to be very challenging situations.  Had it not been for the exceptional service I received at Elephant Hills, I probably would not go back.

This is living proof to show that employees are the most valuable asset of any organisation as they can make or break it.  Kudos to all employees giving a first-class service in the face of adversity.

Nonto Masuku is a partner of an image and reputation management firm