Engaging Employees Through Equity in Solutions

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away… It was well past 7 p.m., and I was sitting at my desk as usual, re-arranging piles of paper on the floor to make the surface of my desk appear to be clean before going home for the evening. Must be a hangover from the Old School influence and training. Lucky for me, I still had some floor space left. I was a manager. techpiled

Anyway, I received a telephone call from a friend, a key customer, also a senior-level executive. I guess they are all key customers, but you get my drift; this one was special. He was respected throughout the entire industry and an asset to our customer base. This is one of those customers that were not only good for business, but also good people as well. Do you have any of those? I never know what to expect when they call at 7 p.m. I thought it was a little strange for him to call that late in the evening, just to tell me what a great job we were doing in meeting his needs and exceeding his expectations. I should have been a fortuneteller. realisticmag

The customer called to express a concern regarding a service call made by one of our national service team members to one of his many facilities. The customer – my friend – went on to say that he was still getting the details together, but evidently there had been an alleged incident at one of the facilities regarding a public shouting match between one of his general managers and one of our national technical service representatives. mommasays

It was reported that the language in this particular dialogue was creative well beyond the normal parameters of the Queen’s English. As you do in your company, we encouraged strong communication skills and creativity in our employees at every level, but I digress.

This type of behavior toward a customer was not acceptable, no excuses, end of dialogue. The employee had not yet been terminated, and in fairness to the manager, he had not visited with the HR Department to get the 17-page form to fill out and distribute.

Most managers would have fired the tech rep and then written a memo about the importance of customer service and the value of customer relationships. We decided on a different solution: Employee Equity.

It is the solution we are most proud of. We quickly called a meeting of all of the national technical service representatives. There was an expense bringing them all back to Atlanta at the drop of a hat, but bear with me. The expense was minimal in terms of dollars ( $ 5,000.00) compared to the cost of losing a quality customer or even the cost of replacing a quality employee. ( $ 30,000.000 Do you agree?

We brought the tech team into one room. We had the young rep explain the situation to all of his peers, the tech reps from around the country. It was clear by the empathy in their eyes he merely had done what they had all wanted to do at one time or another. But it was still wrong, and potentially expensive for the company.

The next four hours were spent with the tech teams broken into small groups, discussing a new Customer Relations Manual to communicate and set standards for their important group. The manual included this and other real-life experiences, and they, the teams, developed procedures for dealing with each example. They identified the issues, they identified the solutions and they developed the process. In short, they owned the solutions. It was Employee Equity. For more Info please visit these sites:- https://ivu.ro/

One day when walking through the training lab, I noticed a senior tech service representative talking to a new face I did not recognize. I asked what they were working on, not that I really wanted to know; it was just an excuse to avoid returning to my office and a new onslaught of emails and messages.

The senior tech representative responded that he was chosen to review the Customer Relations Manual with the new hire. Please note that it is critical that a peer do the review and not a manager. And by now you know why.

“I just told him that the manual is really important and will really help him in the field. I also told him we wrote it, and re-write it every year or so…” I am glad he smiled, because I felt a lump in my throat. I was so proud of them.

Now, if you think it is about us, you are wrong. If we had any brains, we would have addressed customer relations as part of the technical orientation process from day one. If we had any brains, we would have recognized that these reps spend more “face” time with our valued customers than we do. If we had any brains, we would have had a system developed by the internal experts in the field before my friend ever called that night at 7.

They call it Employee Equity. It was easy, once my ego was on the shelf. I was lucky to have a national manager who was also open to new ideas. The cost was minimal, especially compared to the alternatives. We probably saved over $ 20,000.00 and had a better solution. And no consultant in America could have done what that team did in that room in four hours. Yes, management typed it up nice and pretty, we had it spiral bound, and yes, we had all of the authors sign the last page before going to print. After all, they wrote it. After all, they owned it. How did you like that touch of having them sign the last page before going to print?

Guess what? There was no additional cost for the personal signature page, but the value of the manual increased significantly. Do you agree?

Mike Muetzel is a nationally recognized Author, Keynote Speaker and Leadership expert. His work has been featured in the national media including, The Associated Press, Bloomberg Television, Boardroom Magazine, The Manager’s Intelligence Report, The IBM Small Business Advocate, and The Boston Globe to name a few.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *