Chapter 10: MAKING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS CASE FOR EMPLOYERS
The Brief: Businesses are continuously seeking new methods of creating revenue. What if you were able to extract more value from your existing employees? Implementing an accomplishments program company wide and using the information gathered to coach your entire staff to soft sell your product or service can help do that.
In Chapter One I asked, “Who do you have to promote you?” And the answer was simply: You.
Now I ask the same question with a change on emphasis,
“Who does your company have to promote your company?”
Depending on the size of your company the answer could be your sales staff, marketing department, advertising agency, PR firm or even a social media group.
But are you letting your rank-and-file employees off the hook? Shouldn’t everyone who works for you, regardless of their position, be prepared to professionally promote the company?
For the remainder of PROMOTE! I will discuss the concept of a company-wide accomplishments compilation program with a twofold objective: First to learn more about what your employees are accomplishing while on your payroll and second, to help create new revenues as a result of sharing those accomplishments with your entire staff. Expense to the company will be minimal while revenue generated could be phenomenal.
Not too long ago I was approached by a friend who is a director of a national consulting firm. He was concerned because he felt too much money was being left on the table due to the inability of his staff of IT service providers to upsell clients when providing on-site service. (Remember the discussion on ‘Analyticals’ in Chapter 2?) As we discussed the issue further, he admitted that his on-site service providers would never be his best sales representatives. But then again, maybe they should be.
I do not know of any organization (although I will not go so far as to say that none exist) that takes the time to inform every employee on a continuing basis to soft-sell. In prospect, this may sound daunting but in practice, assuming you embrace the concepts that got you to this page in the book along with the very simple model that follows, it does not have to be difficult.
Service providers you send to your customers' places of business find themselves where no other person in your organization can be. It comes with the territory of a service call.
Having been called in to take care of a problem, your employee has direct access to real decision makers—and I’m not talking about the purchasing agent. I’m talking about the people who actually perform the work. It makes no difference if we are talking about a data center, a refinery or a department store—there is always that core of people responsible for the hands-on implementation and oversight of operations.
This is exactly the situation that my consultant buddy and I had been discussing over lunch. What if those service providers had current company accomplishments to share (pitch?) on the job site? All you would have to do would be to see that he had the proper information to share.
Engagement & Implementation
How to accomplish this? (Pun intended.) This strategy calls for each employee to note five accomplishments monthly and submit this list to their manager. That’s it. Successfully engaging your staff relies in making the process simple and painless—and possibly profitable to participants should you decide to offer a monthly bonus or prize based on the value of contributions.
But I digress.
What will your employees be taking note of? Those particulars have been covered in the chapters leading up to this one but fundamentally, it comes down to what they have recently accomplished on the job worthy of sharing with their co-workers and clients.
This process of acquiring accomplishments consists of ensuring everyone in your company below senior management produces a monthly list of those five things that they did the previous month that made an impact—any kind of impact, on the company. Process, efficiency, revenue, customer relations, savings, proving Einstein was wrong (just want to see if you are paying attention!)—anything that adds value to the organization no matter how incremental. Nothing is too mundane or too extraordinary to note. It all counts.
To illustrate, accomplishments can be as basic as achieving on time deliveries (Statement: “We had a 99.7 percent accuracy in on-time deliveries last month resulting in exceptional customer satisfaction and reduced complaints.”) to writing a new, revenue generating app. A receptionist might include the moment she saved the day (and the deal) by turning a surly potential customer into an admirer of the company by doing little more than noting his disposition and offering up a cup of coffee and a cheerful good morning. If it made an impact it counts. All accomplishments should be in the voice and in line with the position of the person presenting it and should be weighted accordingly. In other words, all of your employees are valuable. Give them their due.
It is important to recognize that not everyone in every position will have had major wins or that they have to produce some miracle accomplishment each month. (Remember the payroll clerk’s story in Chapter 4?) The overriding goal is to establish an employee mindset of watching for opportunities to make a difference to the success and profitability of the company.
So what do you do with a list of five accomplishments gathered from each of your employees monthly? The very first thing is to see that they are presented to their supervisors in a short statement with a net result. (Keep in mind that if not presented with a net result, it’s not an accomplishment!) After that the possibilities for managing this action are pretty wide ranging. A small company may assign a single individual the responsibility of sorting and flagging stuff worthy of being shared with customers while larger organizations may assign each department, office, region, etc. the responsibility for the collection of this information.
These accomplishments are not generally meant to be shared with the public unless they are of a noteworthy and informational caliber. The goal of these accomplishments is exactly the same for a company as it is for an individual: Individual employees want their supervisor to ask “How did you do that?” This is exactly the same response you want from clients and customers. The goal is to initiate the discussion that may lead to a sale or upsell.
Once determined to be worthy the accomplishment will then be shared with every employee in the company in a brief monthly text, email or internal press release—however you determine it best to disseminate this information. The only thing left to do is to encourage those road warriors, service providers and any other customer-facing employees to share (inform) online or in-person with an existing or potential customer.
Details and the rest of the story employees may need can be made available on the company Intranet or perhaps posted on a public page available for public viewing if that is appropriate.
The idea that the sharing of accomplishments across the company could add to the bottom line is not a difficult stretch to make. Who’s to say that the guy who goes out and services copiers couldn’t have as big a month as a sales person some month?
This is the final chapter of Rick Gillis's book PROMOTE!. If you've learned something from Rick or just enjoyed reading, his previous book, JOB! Learn How to Find Your Next Job In 1 Day.
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