Blind Spots – Solving Hidden Business Problems (Excerpts Part Two)
Why is it that some leaders are successful, while others struggle? In this guide in narrative form, Russell Baxter, a fictional character and outgoing CEO, shares his secrets of success with incoming CEO Amir Ahmed. Baxter demonstrates that great leaders need to be aware of their vulnerabilities or blind spots and take action to make necessary changes.Filled with practical advice, Blind Spots shows the value on drawing on experts to develop valuable skills that can take your business to the next level. For the month of September our blog will highlight short excerpts from our book Blind Spots ~ Solving Hidden Business Problems.
Blind Spot Four: Forgetting the Customer in Customer Service
WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE
There are three levels of service experience that companies can choose to create for their customers. The key word is choose! Choosing the top level, legendary service, builds the trust that gives you and your customers the opportunity to enjoy the full value of your relationship. Choosing less leaves your customer relationship wide open for your competition to walk in.
A commitment to legendary service experiences shapes your business. This commitment tells your entire organization that service is a role and a mindset that extends beyond your front line service staff and connects everyone in the company. When your team has a company wide, inside-out and outside-in understanding of that principle, they can deliver on your brand promise.
Customer service is an interpersonal experience. Service teams must apply a mix of situational thinking, skills, abilities, language, agility and technologies to their role. These roles are best developed within a customized service program, ensuring your brand promise is married to listening, responding and evolving with your customers voice, thus building a depth of companywide capability, agility and speed to act.
Blind Spot Five: Building Teams Without Communication
WORK IN AND ON TEAMS
Gallup recently indicated that as little as 11% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. Eighty-nine percent float between somewhat to fully disengaged.Low engagement reduces productivity, profitability, and customer and employee retention. Think of the damage that can do to a company’s brand.
In this Gallup study, functional units and work teams who scored high in employee engagement had double the opportunity for success than those with low scores. Rather than disengaging staff around whats wrong or whos wrong, leverage your teams story, purpose, protocols and goals to positively engage staff to work in and on the team. This dialogue affirms whats right so the team can leverage their strengths, explore customer needs, and align energy and action towards doing whats needed next to serve customers and each other.
WHAT A GOOD TEAM LOOKS LIKE
We can look at high performing teams like we look at the human body: a dynamic unit of function. A teams effectiveness and efficiency is the result of several interconnected components that, when aligned and encouraged, create ideal conditions for incredible cognitive, emotional and functional performance.
The best teams unite under a single narrative and live it, adding new chapters by the day. This narrative centers each member with agreement and passion for their purpose, their roles and connection to the voice of the customer. It maps how the team communicates within itself, and within the organization.
A team narrative thrives when team protocols are linked to why the team exists: their ultimate purpose. With all team members in attendance, the team collaborates to clearly define a set of team protocols. These protocols will define how the team will function with each other and with others to create success. These teams use their protocols as part of the performance fabric: they present and reference them during team meetings, huddle-ups, coaching, reviews and celebrations.
Blind Spot Six: Ignoring Health and Safety at the Office
WHY SAFETY IS IMPORTANT
Just because you cant see the potential hazards in your office doesnt mean they dont exist. Take a closer look. That exposed wire could start a fire. That poor posture could slowly damage nerves and cartilage.
An accident on the job can put people out of work. Severe injuries can impair them for life. Your talent is your most valuable resource, and its your duty to make sure they work in a safe environment.
Its also the law. Across Canada, different federal and provincial ministries all audit companies for safe working conditions. And thats a good thing: before these mandates, many younger workers suffered injuries on the job. Now, accidents have decreased significantly across Canada and the US. Still, heavy fines exist for workplaces that cant meet health and safety requirements. Larger companies can implement these requirements easily, but smaller and medium-sized companies can have problems in this field.
AREAS TO FOCUS ON
Policy: good policy can prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Review your health and safety guidelines with a qualified professional to assess that youre doing your best to keep your employees safe. Also remember that theres usually specific legislature for dealing with specific equipment. While large businesses can devote significant resources to developing policies internally, small and medium-sized businesses can have trouble wading through all the information. Call an expert to see if you can benefit from policy training.
Training: under provincial law, its mandatory to have a certain number of people equipped with knowledge of first aid. But legality aside, its just safer to have people who know what to do in an emergency. First aid training covers topics that include shock, choking, and heart attack.
Equipment: even if you study how to use a defibrillator, that training wont help you unless you have one. Also, unless that defibrillator is maintained, it wont do the job it was designed for. Keep your health and safety equipment up to date around the office, and customize your equipment for different working environments.