Is your business being sabotaged?

Management & Growth, News,

On our way back from Europe on Monday, we drove onto the train for the Channel Tunnel as usual. We were quite relaxed and looking forward to getting home. We’ve traveled the route quite a few times, and there was no reason to think anything would be different this time. That changed when the train started to move, and our van hit the van behind, denting and scratching his bonnet.

As you can imagine, the van’s owner was very unhappy, and we were soon exchanging insurance details, waiting for a Eurotunnel manager to come to see us. Because the van behind had been brought so close to our bike rack, as the train set off, the flex in the rack and on our handbrake brought the two vans WAY too close.

As you can imagine, it was all a bit of a shock, but worse was to come from the Eurotunnel team.

The manager who came was English, who met us as we disembarked at Folkestone.

  • He told us it should have been dealt with on the train.
  • He told us that we’d had a French team, as if that was an explanation.
  • He then also told us what they should and shouldn’t have done, and was generally very critical.

As customers, who’d already had a bad experience, this was both unhelpful and entirely unnecessary. This was sabotage!

  • It didn’t make us feel better.
  • It gave us no faith that Eurotunnel were a professional operation, or that they had a good team structure with solid training.
  • It made us more wary about future journeys, and that this could happen again.
  • It delayed us for far longer than necessary.

Sadly, this ‘them and us’ can happen anywhere.

It can happen between team members at all levels, but from an eternal perspective this sabotage is a HUGE negative.

If you have a team within your business, only careful training, clear communication and a real team culture will prevent this ‘divide’ developing. It’s vital that as a business owner you watch for this and manage it carefully, or it will quickly sabotage your efforts to present your business as professional and consistent to your customers. It doesn’t matter what goes on internally, it cannot get out into the wider world!

Thankfully, the damage caused by our bike rack polished out, and there’s no need for an insurance claim, but we’ll be very aware of how close the next vehicle is in future!