It seems details are often overlooked, to the point where not much time is spent fine-tuning key aspects of an office environment or one’s professional appearance. Yet we actually use those very details to form perceptions about a company’s reputation, what it might be like to work somewhere or the people they meet. So while we tend to overlook the details, they really do matter.
Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital reported that people assess competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second—based solely on one’s appearance. Of course, this is in relation to human appearance. However, the same transcends to an office environment. Upon stepping into a space, we draw conclusions on how smoothly the organization is run or what the employees might be like. As a result, we decide if we want to do business with them or, beyond that, if we would be excited to walk into that environment each day as an employee.
A great example of how details apply to our everyday work lives came to me while touring one of our healthcare client’s facilities. Upon entering the facility on the basement level, the environment is visibly clean and employees are willing to help one find their way. Within recent years, improvements have been made facility-wide because they saw how the details were affecting patient experience and employee satisfaction. According to HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, 41 percent of patients say they would switch from one hospital to another if they were to have a better patient experience. Our client has taken it so far as to ensure that plants and the surrounding landscape are vibrant and healthy because, as our client put it, “if we can’t keep plants alive, what are families going to think about the care we’re providing their loved ones?”
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Director of First Impressions surface as a new title for receptionists. It makes one think twice about how that organization treats guests and employees. With a simple change of title, a detail that is otherwise overlooked, a greater purpose was added and a higher expectation was instantly set.
In our line of work, it’s all about the details. Before discussing with clients whether they want a beloved Ficus in the corner or a Venus Fly Trap on the table, it’s important for us to truly understand the image they wish to project to those walking through their door. Having a background in marketing, I instinctively look at situations through this lens before tapping into the horticulture piece. To help elevate the perception of the entire space, it seems natural to focus on extending a brand’s image by paying close attention to the details in highly visible areas, like a reception area or conference room.
So whether it’s a cleaner environment, a Director of First Impression’s greeting, or a healthy Ficus tree in the corner, the details do matter as we form our first impressions. Those details may just be what breaks a deal or, better yet, what seals it.
If you’d like to set up a free consultation to learn about what we can do for you, give us a call at 317-575-1100 or simply fill out the form below.
Originally published in INside Edge on September 19, 2013.