Three Critical Employee Factors in Accelerating Your Company’s Growth
Many companies overlook the impact of employee engagement upon business growth. If you have a service-based company, you know your customer-facing employees are the most critical resource for delivering an outstanding customer experience. If you have a product-based company, I’ve got news for you: you are still a services company. Even the most innovative product requires humans to design the product, develop innovations, create the marketing, and provide excellent customer service.
While sales, marketing, and customer service positions typically interact with your customers, employee engagement in all departments is critical to providing the best customer outcomes. For example, if people on the finance team feel well trained, like they have a solid career path with your company, and know how to best collaborate with other departments, they will provide greater internal customer service to the sales, marketing and customer service teams who do interact directly with your customers. In a truly optimized environment, those back-office functions would also have an understanding of customer needs and how their job plays a part in overall customer success. This enhances their job satisfaction and their ability to optimize processes for business growth.
Do you wish your customer service were better? Do you want your profits to grow faster? Think beyond customer engagement to employee engagement.
- Secure the Right People
As your company grows,do your people have the information and training they need to adapt with the company? Do you need some fresh faces whose talent and experience are more aligned with your current offerings and goals? For example, I worked with a Fortune 100 technology company who realized that the IT team was no longer their best customer. They realized that CFOs, CMOs, and COOs were the ultimate decision maker in most of their contracts. Therefore it was critical that they either taught their IT-focused sales team to speak to business leaders or bring in sales people with MBAs who could discuss business value with the C-suite while learning to translate what the technology team needed.
Sometimes companies even outgrow their founding CEOs. Some of the smartest startup CEOs know their talent is in the initial phases and they pass the baton when it comes to becoming a sustainable business as it grows into more and more employees and customers.
Make sure you have the right people at the right time to achieve your one-year, five-year, and ten-year goals.
- Develop Your People
Provide ongoing development for career-related skills and also provide soft skills to help them grow as leaders. For a healthy balance, employees should attend internal training with colleagues for consistency and camaraderie while also experiencing external development to keep them anchored in what’s happening outside your company’s walls. Continuing to foster innovation, creativity, and education in your talent will help you inspire them. This inspiration goes a long way in motivating them to perform at their best for you and your customers.
Be certain that there are clear expectations and rewards associated with their ongoing development, and that training optimizes their ability to meet goals. Many high-performers, worry that training takes them away from attaining their goals, and therefore, their bonuses. Be certain that all training you provide makes your employees’ jobs faster and easier. That’s how you get them to participate and attain better business results.
Be especially sensitive to time-consuming training that may prevent your team from meeting their weekly or quarterly goals. If the intent of training is to optimize performance, be certain your top people don’t feel financially penalized by participating in what should enable them to perform better in the future. After all, you are investing in them learning new things, you want them to fully focus and deliver the new results you desire.
- Engage Your People
Never take for granted that everybody knows what your company is doing as a whole. Be sure to regularly revisit the company’s mission and vision, and what the company’s goals are for the next five to ten years. This anchors everyone in a shared future.
Everyone from the front line salespeople to the back-of-office IT workers should understand their goals, the goals of their manager, and the overall business goals. They should also understand the rules of the game and how they collaborate with others inside and outside the organization. If they don’t like their job or the people they work with, or if they don’t understand or believe in the main vision, the culture can become toxic.
Final Tip for the C-Suite:
Every good sales, marketing, and finance executive knows that customer engagement leads to more business and referrals, but you are making a drastic mistake if you forget about employee engagement. You want staff to serve customers with the best soft skills possible, along with the ability to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. In order to hire and retain the employees that provide the best service, you must put resources into your employees so they feel valued, heard, and proud of their company. Their pride will spill over into customer pride and revenue growth.