Organizations that take the time to make connections and meaning between their employees, their customers, and the business create benefits for all involved. One of the most important factors is getting employees engaged in their work. If they do not find any meaning in their work, they will not feel connected to the business or its customers.
1. LEARN AND EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF EACH PROJECT AND TASK AS IT RELATES TO THE CUSTOMER. Link actions back to impact on the customer. This may take a bit longer and may mean a little digging, but it is well worth it in the end.
2. UNDERSTAND THE LINK BETWEEN WHAT YOUR TEAM DOES AND THE CUSTOMER. Present that to the team and discuss what it means. How will that impact their actions? Make it a visual that can be seen by everyone on the team. Start to ask the question – “How will this action impact the customer?” or “How will this assist in gaining and retaining customers”
3. STRESS OUTCOMES – EVALUATE PERFORMANCE ON OUTCOMES. In the context of supporting, gaining and retaining customers, people will generally do the right thing. Focus on what they accomplish, not on the steps taken to get there. Allowing for autonomy and focusing on gaining mastery will enable teams to do what is best for the customer in the long run.
4. ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO TALK ABOUT HOW THEY IMPACT THE CUSTOMER.
Employees need to understand the link between what they do and the customer. Encouraging them to find out on their own increases the likelihood of it sticking with them and informing their future actions.
Companies that don’t focus on gaining and retaining customers are doomed to not have to worry about either sooner than they think. How are you going to clarify the line of sight for your teams? What other actions can you take? Please let me know.
Anil Saxena is the President of Cube 2.14, an organizational development consulting firm that works with clients to increase both customer and employee engagement while decreasing turnover, improving customer retention, and increasing profitability within organizations.
Saxena is a certified High Impact coach and trainer and a Joint Application Design facilitator. He is also certified by both Rush Systems and IBM as a focus group facilitator. He is an inaugural member of Northwestern University’s Learning and Organizational Change program, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.