Articles tagged "Position Responsibilities"
The Vice President of Human Resources called. “I need to create a Strategic Workforce Plan for our company, get our leadership team on-board, teach all managers how to do this, and then implement this thing. How do I create this so it makes sense and doesn’t alienate everyone in the process?” That’s a great question, because the key issue is not “How do I do this?” The key issue is, “How do I get the leadership team on-board with me to design, implement, and use this plan to ensure we have a talented and flexible workforce now and in the future?”
If you had the opportunity to work for yourself, would you? This question has been popping up in conversations with several clients lately. It’s come up during a board strategy session. It’s been discussed during coaching calls. And, it’s come up while discussing the challenges of working in a multi-generational workplace. The reason I ask the question is simple: Focus on yourself before you criticize your team.
The “buzz” in customer management arenas continues to be “Customer Expectation Management”. Customer Expectation Management or CEM is a way of doing business that focuses heavily on delivering not only a quality product, but delivering that product with service that exceeds the expectations of the customer. Studies have shown, many companies and individuals will pay a higher price for a product, if they can do business with organizations that put quality customer service at the top of their priority lists. Retaining customers and creating repeat business is more profitable than hunting down new customers. On average it costs 5-25% more to bring in a new customer as to retain a current one.
Studies have also shown that roughly 70% of dissatisfied customers leave, not because of a poor product or high prices, but rather they leave because they feel they've been poorly treated.
CEM implements several tracking systems to first identify what your customers expect of you, then what additional services could be inexpensively added to delight your customers. If customers are delighted with your service, as well as liking your product (which they expect as a given), your ability to retain that customer for at least three years increases to 85%. However, if you simply provide a good product, at a fair price, with adequate customer service, your ability to retain that customer drops to 50%. The customer feels no sense of loyalty or connection to your organization. But, if they've been treated well, and feel personally valued, their sense of commitment to you increases – and so do retention rates.
Now, what are ways you can exceed your customers’ expectations? Normally, it’s the little things:
- Learn the names of customers and have all of your staff greet them by name when they’re in your facility
- Forward copies of blogs, tweets, Facebook postings, articles or other information to customers that are relevant to them and not just a part of a regular mass mailing.
- Identify and perform an additional service the customer will appreciate. Several clients immediately bring me a bottle of water whenever I arrive for a meeting, work session, or training session. It's a little thing, but I appreciate it and notice it.
To get a sense of what Customer Expectation Management can do for you, think of the little things others have done for you that surprised you and made you happy you did business with them. Then, take a look around your organization and identify ways you can exceed the expectations of good service your customers have. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive they are, but how valuable they can be to your business’ long-term success.
Copyright MMI Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.
At work, how often do you feel like a chicken with your head cut off? You run around all day handling one crisis after another. You run from one meeting to the next. You take one phone call after another. Yet at the end of the day, you feel as if you've achieved nothing. Or, are you in a situation where you have a few key supervisors or managers that you count on to handle the “critical” issues. However, because they're so busy handling issues, they're not getting “big” things done in the timeframes you need and want them to? In either scenario, you have a problem. And the basic problem is poor utilization of resources. That’s a snazzy way of saying, “Certain people are doing stuff they shouldn't be doing.” So how do you fix this?
The first thing you need to do is to determine who is doing what.
To do this, simply conduct an old time management prioritization technique – but with a twist. Ask each employee to develop a basic list that captures what he or she does in an average week. Simply have them write everything down in any order. Just get the items down – big and small. Then, in front of each item, have them list one of the following codes:
A = task you must do because of your position/title/pay/unique expertise
B = task you need to do as it is a critical part of your position responsibilities/job
C = task you like to do because it’s easy and allows you to take a “mental break” every now and then
D = task you should not be doing because it is a waste of your time, talent, pay scale, etc to do them.
These tasks should be delegated to another position (i.e., to the correct position who should be responsible for this.) For any “D” items, also ask, “Is it even necessary to still do this task this way or at all?” If not, change it or get rid of it.
The second thing you need to do is to determine who could or should learn to do new tasks.
Once, each employee has his or her coded task list, for each A, B & C item have staff identify the positions (and specific people who may hold those positions in the future) who should be trained on how to do each item. This will allow others to be able to handle these tasks when the current “doer” is on vacation, is promoted, or perhaps leaves the organization. For each “D” item, have staff identify the correct position to which this task should be delegated and why. If the task needs to be changed or deleted, also have them list how and why. (Note: I specifically said “position” where I did and not “person” as many employees are not currently fulfilling their position responsibilities because others are doing parts of their jobs for them.)
This is a great exercise for you and your key staff to conduct annually. You'll be amazed at the number of times you’ll find your $60/hour employees handling tasks that your $15/hour employees should be handling – just because they've always done them. Once you identify ways to make better use of your resources (i.e., using them to do the types of tasks their skills, talent, and pay scale require), you'll start seeing your staff’s and your entire organization’s efficiency and productivity rise.
And it all starts by just having people do what they're being paid to do.
I was recently asked by an association president what basic steps he and the executive committee should consider as they develop a simple succession plan. There are no plans for the CEO to leave. However, the association has a sound strategic plan and process now in place, so wisely, the association leadership team is looking to put a sound succession plan and process in place as well. That's a smart thing to do. Let me share with you what I shared with him so that you too can ensure your organization's top position, and other key positions, are "covered" in unexpected, as well as in anticipated transition situations.
Create an Emergency Staffing Plan.
The easiest way to do this is to simply create an organization chart. For each position - including the top spot - list the current position holder. Then below his/her name, list 1-3 people who could step in to that position to keep things going in the short term. Finally, color code each person's name to indicate their level of readiness to serve as a back-up if needed: Green = Good to go; Yellow = Could do some but not all of the work / Needs more training and experience; Red = Not ready; Needs immediate training and experience. Do this for every "critical" position, but ideally for all positions, on the organization chart. (This color coded map now also becomes your short-term staff training plan.)
Communicate with each person identified on the chart to let them know for which positions they've been identified as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd level backup.
This tends to automatically cause "the back-ups" to pay better attention to what "the lead" people do.
Determine, specifically, what the CEO and other key positions (ideally all positions) need to be doing 1-3 years from now.
What specific skills, capabilities, characteristics, etc., will be needed for the positions identified 1-3 years from now?
Update the CEO's and other position descriptions if needed, based upon what is identified in Step 3 above.
The position descriptions should be ready for posting and advertising if needed.
Create and document a CEO (or other critical position) Search and Hire Plan.
Where do you post or advertise the position? What associations or other professional groups will you reach out to during your search? How will you select candidates, interview them, select, hire, on-board, and review performance in the first 30, 60, & 90 days, etc?
Have the current CEO create a Long-Term Staffing plan for the organization each year that supports the organization's updated strategic plan over the next 1, 2, and 3 years.
This plan can simply be an organization chart mapped out as you did the Emergency Staffing Plan in Step 1 above. Map out the anticipated positions needed year by year, identify anticipated position holders at those future dates, and include potential back-up people for each spot. Color code all personnel. (There are no guarantees that people identified in the plan will be in or get the positions for which they've been identified; this is just a plan. However, this map automatically provides you with your long-term training and development plan to gauge needs, skills, and capabilities along the way.)
Ensure the Board or Executive Team, along with the CEO, reviews and updates the Succession Plan (i.e., Emergency Staffing Plan, CEO position description, Executive Search & Hire Plans, and Long Term Staffing Plan) annually.
This is done after the organization's strategic plan has been updated annually so the staffing plans support the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan.
The most difficult part of any plan is to create it once. After that...,
Work the plan and keep it up-to-date.
That's what smart leaders do.