customer alignment

Total Customer Alignment. How does your company fare?

Many company leaders already understand the importance of providing customers with great experiences. In fact, Customer Experience (CX) has become a multi-billion dollar industry that is showing no signs of slowing any time soon. And for good reason given that a company without customers is not long for this world.

With the battle to attract and retain customers being a constant one, customer-led companies try very hard to align with the needs and wants of their customers. They often create dedicated departments (e.g. Sales, Marketing, Customer Service) and spend a lot of time trying to understand things like customer journeys and touch points. Some even create job titles like Chief Customer Officer and Customer Experience Manager as proof of just how important customers are. Metrics with acronyms like NPS and CSAT are the currency.

All going well, everyone in the marketing department is on the same page and all campaigns support a clear and consistent brand.

So, what about ‘back office’ functions?

Often, those departments that are not directly customer-facing (e.g. HR, Finance, Operations, IT etc) are organised purely for efficiency. These silo’s may even end up with their own metrics like employee engagement, reducing debtor days, reducing downtime and implementing new systems. It is not uncommon for processes and systems to be organised with no regard for the customer, which is where things can go a little sideways. By accident, various parts of a company can start pulling in different directions.

Of course, the customer is the first to experience this disconnect, and when Customer Satisfaction scores start going down, the blame ends up being directed at the ‘customer’ part of the puzzle.

This is the invisible gremlin that plays havoc with many companies.

What is the reality for your company?

Here is a quick checklist of things to consider:

  1. Do we have a clear ‘customer-oriented’ strategic intent (shared purpose) that consistently guides everything we do?
  2. Did we make our structure and process decisions with our customers in mind?
  3. Does everyone make day-to-day decisions with customers in mind?
  4. Are we hiring people that will best deliver our customer-oriented objectives?

Those companies who can successfully foster internal customer alignment right across the company are going to be extremely well placed competitively in the future.

The good news is that you can use My Employee Life to support total customer alignment. For more information, simply contact us via our chatbox to talk to our team of experts in this area. You may also click here to request a free demo of My Employee Life today.

employee performance

Supporting employee performance: It needs to be simple and easy

Apparently, Einstein once said that ‘an idea should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler’. Sounds like pretty good advice to us.

I have to admit, I originally set out to write this blog post about ways to improve employee performance management processes. However, as you will soon discover, this post is now mostly about ways to simplify it in a world that is already complicated.

Why the subtle change in focus?

Well, as I was doing my research for this article, I discovered something. Some performance management solutions and approaches, whilst being moderately effective, add significant amounts of complexity to an already complicated world. The annoyance people get from having to do something complicated, that doesn’t appear to add much value is a significant hidden cost that is rarely considered.

At My Employee Life, we believe we are looking at this problem from a slightly different point of view. Rather than trying to create a ‘performance management’ solution, we are embarking on what we refer to as proactive performance support.

In other words, rather than viewing performance as a something to be analysed retrospectively, we consider it to be something that needs to be considered proactively.

Is there any point in someone being told they could have been better weeks or even months ago?

Imagine buying a car, and then weeks later being told there was a better one of the same price in the next room all along but wasn’t pointed out because… that’s not what we do!

Making adjustments in real-time

Why do some people perform well at work and others not?

Scratch the surface and you will start to see how difficult this question is to answer. Is it the fault of the employee (a problem of skill or will), or the fault of the employer (a problem of process)?

Like many people, you will probably reach the conclusion that it’s a bit of both.“Performance is about developing effective success habits. Whilst everyone else is making it more complicated than that, you can simply focus on the things that really matter

Apart from reminiscing, the most valuable aspect of ‘the past’ is that it helps us to learn and improve. However, the best time to make adjustments is in real-time, so that the benefits of any improvements can be experienced fully. There is no point getting advice about how to improve something 6 months after it happened, the horse has already bolted.

Rather than viewing the role of leaders and supervisors as ‘commanding and controlling’, a more effective approach is to bump and nudge in real-time.

What does someone need help with now?

The only way to truly allow this to happen is to have in place a proactive set of success habits that include discussions about how to improve something.

My Employee Life supports these success habits. If you would like to learn more about this, simply contact us via our chatbox or you may click here to request a free demo of My Employee Life today.

remove confusion in the workplace

Want to eliminate internal confusion? It could be simpler than you think

Think for a moment how much time is wasted each day at work because things weren’t clear from the beginning. Fixing this should be one of your biggest priorities.

What is the most important function in a company?

The answer probably depends on who is answering the question.

Sales will talk about revenue being the most important thing. Marketing will suggest it’s all about customers. Finance will talk about profit. HR will talk about people. Operations will talk about suppliers and the importance of delivery.

So who is right?

The problem, of course, is that everyone is right.

All of these things are important and the failure of any part of the puzzle will present challenges for other parts of the business. Unfortunately, this can create tensions, bickering, and competition for resources. From the outside, the irony is clear for most to see – everyone is actually part of the same team. In other words, every job exists simply because it is needed to help the company complete what it set out to achieve.

Without doubt, this is the most important role for the Leadership Team – cultivating a sense of being on the same team with common objectives. Rather than working in silo’s, everyone is playing a role in the final outcome, which is often the pursuit of happy customers. Every single decision needs to be made with this in mind.

For example, I recently heard about a certain social-media giant who has implemented self-managing teams. However, they didn’t quite get their inter-team communication drumbeat right, which still led to unhappy customers. They focused on hiring self-accountable people, however, they still weren’t firing on all cylinders. The mission they were all on wasn’t clear. Once they fixed this, everything started to click into place.

When everyone comes together for the same reason, ego’s are moved aside.

There is nothing wrong with a person wanting to move ahead in their career. However, the minute that someone starts to perform their responsibilities with their own agenda as the moral compass, things start going wrong.

Everything is better when ego’s are in check, and everyone is working towards the same things.

Questions like ‘What is best for the customer?’ are better than ‘What is best for me?’. The right decisions and courses of action become clear. It also helps everyone align towards the same things.

If you would like to learn more about how to turbo-boost your internal alignment, get in touch. It could be one of the most valuable things you can do right now.

To know more click here to request a free demo of My Employee Life today.

Create A product first!

Create a product first please!