About Workforce Echoes

Friday, March 11, 2011

Organizational Hiring / Outstanding Customer Service is an Outstanding Result (4 in a series on hiring)

All businesses have to define the results they strive to achieve. These targeted results help everyone focus their efforts and work as a team. As I sat down to write this article about defining results, I couldn’t help but think about the consistently horrible customer service I’ve received this week.  No matter what business you’re in, even if you work for a non-profit, there are always customers (or members or students) to serve. So, it seems like the “right” results would always have something to do with offering excellent customer service. Actually, as I think back on all the businesses I’ve dealt with over the week, I truly think that the key to soaring above the competition is simply to offer an outstanding customer experience.   
In today’s ever changing world, it’s challenging to think of ways to be different in business. Your competition is watching and new ideas, new services, or new products can be copied.  Remember when Beanie Babies came out?  Soon stores were filled with copycat beanbag animals.  Look at all the imitations that came after the iPhone.  How about reality TV?  Once producers noticed it was a popular concept, it took over our TV channels.  As soon as you make something successful, that something will be copied.  But here’s something that no one can copy.  No one can copy how YOUR TEAM treats YOUR CUSTOMERS.  That customer experience is what will make you memorable.  Simply hiring friendly people is a good way to start!  You can’t train people to be friendly.  I also believe that employees treat customers similar to how the boss treats employees.  For example, if the boss has no time to pay attention to employees and make them feel valued, employees will find little time to pay attention to customers and make THEM feel valued. 
Watch for our new book, coming out in April, titled “Inside Out: Creating Work Environments That Lead to Exceptional Customer Service.”

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Organizational Hiring / Right Way - Right Results (3 in a series on hiring)

Right Way – Right Results
The Echo 3 Principle stresses the importance of doing things the right way to lead to the right results.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  Well, actually it is often overlooked.  The employee who achieves the “right results” is often allowed tremendous flexibility with methods.  The boss will overlook those occasional infractions because, well, they achieve results.  Keep in mind that accepting certain behaviors or methods that SHOULD be unacceptable, is building a lousy culture for your organization.
What about the “Right Way Wrong Results” employee?  Have you ever dealt with someone like this?  This is the person who is kind, caring, and follows all the rules.  Everyone likes them.  However, they are ineffective.  They don’t achieve needed results.  The boss may overlook this problem as well because the person is just “so nice.” 
Here’s an idea.  Take a look at your performance appraisal process.  Make some changes so that “right way” and “right results” are clearly outlined.   If you want a high performance values based culture, both must be defined and both must be important.  The employees you reward and promote, your superstars, should be only those who achieve the right results the right way.