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Customers and our Team Members

To The/Studio, people are one of our important assets. Every company needs creatives, decision makers and visionaries, but equally important are the team members on the front line who give their all for the cause each and every day.

If any business wants to maximize output and drive revenue, they need to get their staff members working as effectively as possible because this effectiveness works its way not only through the organization, but also to our partners and customers.

But how should companies go about this? It is generally accepted that happy workers tend to be productive ones – meaning there are clear benefits to keeping people engaged and motivated.  This in turn will result in improved customer service.  Because happiest works its way not only through the organization, but externally to business partners and customers.

Here are my thoughts for keeping team members motivated, happy, and boosting their performance:

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Communications
It may sound like a very basic point, but communication is overlooked in too many organizations. Team members need to know that they are valued, understood and perhaps most importantly, listened to. If a team member has a concern or some other issue that may prevent them from working productively, they need to know that communication channels are open.

I have always had an “open door” policy.  As a matter of fact, when in my office I go out of my way to make sure the door is always open.  There should never be a barrier between me or the team members.

Additionally, I meet each night with team members.  First the management team, then the sells team.  It is intentional to have these meetings in small groups.  I even break the sells team into small groups and do not meet the sells team as a whole.  Smaller groups promote open communications.  Team members feel more confirmation about speaking up.

Taking the time to converse with employees can make them feel more comfortable in their jobs, more comfortable with me, more settled and better-motivated to work hard for the organization. It can also help reinforce positive behavior – I always am looking for opportunities to provide positive feedback.

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Involve employees in decision making

Major business decisions will always be made by the executive team, but this does not mean team members should be excluded from this process. Hundreds of different decisions are made every day within companies – from the ground level right up to the top of the company.

Team members should feel that they can make suggestions and present new ideas which could improve the way the organization works. An open forum for innovation not only makes employees feel they are more involved in the company, but a great new idea may unlock addition additional value for the company.

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Offer training and development
Team members want to feel as if they are constantly developing in the workplace – learning new skills and gaining experience which will stand them in good stead in the future. Each individual worker will have ambitions of their own.  Because let’s face it, team members do not work for a company.  They work for themselves in order to achieve personal goals in life.  And as such it is important that employers support their professional development so they can achieve those goals.

Otherwise employees may feel that they are stagnating in their current role, increasing the likelihood that they will leave the organization. Staff attrition inevitably adds to business costs, not only in terms of lost productivity but also recruitment and training expenditure for the replacement team member.

Training and development is an area of constant evolution.  I honestly do not know if it can ever be “perfect”.  But resources need to be put into place for the goal of making it perfect.

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Define the team members’ role

Whatever level team member is  working at a particular time, they should have a well-defined job description, and understand the role they are working in. This provides a context for everything they do, and ensures they feel a sense of purpose while at work.

Staff members need to understand how the job they do contributes to the overall goals of the organization, and where they fit into the bigger picture. This requires the executive team to provide regular updates on company performance, the industry, new products or services and other developments.

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All these items, and many more for that matter, drive increased performance.  And let’s face it.  Better performance in turn equates into better customer service.  Better customer service makes for happier customers.  Everybody wins!