Tip 6 – Build a Customer Focused Team

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

customerfocusThe best businesses employ best practices. One of the basic practices is to ensure customer satisfaction in order to keep them buying more from you and not wander off to competitors.

I can see why this is the #6 tip in our booklet. When you have engaged employees, from practicing the previous tips, you will have more satisfied customers.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”  Stephen R. Covey

When employees are truly engaged in their work and the company, they too, have invested themselves emotionally and physically primarily because they BELIEVE IN THE MISSION. How did they come to believe in it? Great leadership? Company cheerleaders? Infectious enthusiasm from coworkers? Belief in their abilities from their managers? Perhaps a little of each.

When sales people make a pitch for a product, they have to truly believe in it or it won’t sell. And when their belief system clicks with enthusiasm, they can sell ice cubes to snow men! The same belief has to be at the heart of all employees in order to be completely customer-focused.

Defining Aspects of Employee Engagement

Fotomontaggio3I come to work every day, I’m on time, I do my work to the best of my abilities, and I’m pleasant to the people I work with. Am I engaged enough?

Sometimes outward appearances don’t always mean an employee is fully engaged in the workplace. I’m not convinced that employee engagement is linked directly to performance, though you would think the proof is in the pudding after a thorough, performance review.

I’ve seen many an employee crank out awesome work, on time, polished, and above all, satisfying a supervisor’s request. You would think that outstanding employees would be 100% engaged. Not necessarily true.

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Cheerleaders vs. Engaged Employees – What’s the Difference?

Great Webinar Takeaways You’ll Want to Learn More About

RobertBerrierPhDToday’s webinar put a new spin on employee engagement from what I thought it was. Our guest speaker and presenter was Dr. Robert Berrier of Spring International, who gave us a lot to think about when it comes to employee engagement.

From Spring International Website:

“Dr. Robert Berrier is the founder, President and CEO of Spring and chief visionary.  Dr. Berrier’s work focuses on understanding how attitudes drive employee behaviors that link to organizational objectives.  Under Robert’s direction, Spring adapted many of the best techniques of segmentation, brand management and attitude-outcome linkage analysis to the area of employee engagement and communications.”

Dr. Berrier explained how employees need to be recognized, have a good camaraderie with fellow workers, a good sense of self-esteem and sense of achievement in their workplace. Empowerment influences employee engagement and people like to work with a “shared purpose.” These are the essentials of employee engagement. Dr. Berrier spoke about the importance of one’s relationship to their peers, feedback and communication, company image and aligned values with employees’, and personal development for advanced opportunities. These are the cornerstones of what management’s influence is on employees in order to foster a working environment whereby employees want to be engaged. “Employee engagement is a mutual accountability.”

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Blanket Solutions Don’t Solve Engagement Issues

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Often, organizations fall victim to “blanket solutions” geared toward fixing the problems of one type of performer or work group, and it’s usually the lowest performer.  Often, management views low engagement scores, and their initial instinct is to address the causes of these low scores.  As a result, solutions or action plans are created that apply to the whole organization.  However, these sometimes only address a small part of the employee population or a few work teams.

Instead, what managers must do is focus on the larger picture while addressing the trouble spots.  Action planning and process improvement may need to be different for the top performers versus the bottom performers.  Segmenting your work groups into levels of engagement can highlight key differences and help set the framework for development of targeted action plans focused on key work teams.  Managers need to recognize that different interventions may be necessary to bring about change in bottom performers versus top performers

Great Leaders Build Others Up

iconGreat leaders must be able to tap into the skills and resources of those around them. Yet, establishing collaborative relationships is sometimes challenging because people have different backgrounds and experiences.  So, make it a point to recognize each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, understand their capabilities, and continue to nurture and support in a way that allows each to achieve their individual greatness.

Recognize that not all great ideas come from your office but from others on your team.  Tap into the varied skills and wider perspectives of others in order to strengthen organizational goals and objectives.

When you allow people to provide input rather than just tell them what needs to be completed, it builds consensus around goals and is the quickest way to gain success.  Ask your employees, “What are we trying to accomplish?” or “What would you do to accomplish this goal?”

Lead relentlessly, surround yourself with great people and continually build them up!

 

Recognize Employees to Motivate and Boost Productivity

TNS TIP of the Week:  Recognize Employees

CertificateRecognition is a very important motivator for employees because it encourages productivity and helps to drive top performance among employees. TNS research has consistently shown that organizations that provide their employees with recognition on a regular basis outperform organizations that do not engage in a regular recognition program.

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New Year, New Rules – How Do You Measure Up?

tapemeasureAlong with tidying up the office with carpet cleaning, putting away all the holiday decorations, tacking up new calendars, and sitting in brand-new Aeron chairs, we’re ready for what comes our way in 2014. New projects are hitting the decks and we are vying for position as to how we will accomplish them. So far, all the projects are met with eager enthusiasm.

Is that all that needs to be done, though? Of course not! It’s time to whip out those measuring tools and examine how we faired last year and how we are going to perform this year. Do you measure performance regularly or just once a year? How do you do that? I’m advised by the pros it’s a best practice to measure regularly and steadily, but unfortunately, many department heads let this go to the wayside until serious, consequential issues arise where “water is rising over their heads” and they can’t bail out.

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Leadership Starts with You!

6-6-2013Are you a leader who’s willing to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and dive into any challenge?

If you really want to lead successfully, you must demonstrate that you are committed to being part of the team.  Be willing to dive in and do whatever you would ask others to do, regardless of the task.  A key driver of employee engagement revolves around the front-line supervisor or leader.  It lies in their ability to handle the basics well. It’s the simple things that make a difference – showing up to meetings on time, treating others with respect, valuing their opinions, etc.  In high performing organizations, leaders treat their employees with respect and dignity almost 90% of the time. (Source:  TNS 2013 High Performing Company Benchmark)

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It’s Your Time to Shine!

timetoshineAs the New Year begins, it’s time to establish some professional and personal goals.  Here are a few simple tips to get you thinking…

  1. Remove clutter from your space both at work and home.  Create an environment that allows you to shine.  Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people.
  2. Be confident in yourself and the abilities you have to reach any goals set for yourself.  Believe in yourself and recognize that confidence shines through in everything you do.
  3. Shine in all your day to day activities.  Feed your body with foods that nourish and fuel you for success.  Feed your mind with stimulating reading and conversations with others that promote continuous learning throughout the year.
  4. Spread your shine to others.  Find someone else who needs help reaching their goals and commit to help them succeed.

 

timetoshine_male“There are no right and wrong ways to work in this business, but there are some basic common-sense practices. Work very, very hard and always be prepared; never give up; and once you get the job, give them more than they ever expected: – Shine!” Jimmy Smits

Rate Your Manager – Ho, Ho, Ho or Bah Hum Bug!

WorldsBestBoss_HollySo, how flexible are managers when it comes to allowing their employees time off around the holidays?  Are employees given flexibility to balance their work and personal obligations?

According to TNS 2013 global normative benchmark data, there’s a bit of difference between high performing organizations and those that don’t measure up to these ideal standards…

77% of employees in high performing organizations say that their managers support them in balancing their work and personal lives as compared to 69% in a typical organization.

As a manager, isn’t it time you celebrate your employees and their commitment to both you and their families – I vote, “Ho, Ho, Ho”!