A really powerful employee measure you should be tracking – but probably not the way you do it

In a world where leaders have seen the payoffs of modernizing how they onboard customers, why does onboarding employees seem like it is still stuck in the past century? I’m not talking about the cool new ways to show appreciation — but in terms of perhaps the most important measure in a team-based environment.

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Measures, Metrics & Madness

Background
For a few years now, leaders at customer support organizations have talked about moving customers from a ‘transaction-based’ service and support model to a ‘relationship-based’ one. This involves changing customers’ perceptions, from contacting you only when there are break-fix or how do I questions, to one that understands their business, including the technical and business context of their queries.

With this new approach, you don’t just wait for customers to contact you and then react. Your teams embed knowledge sharing into their practices to reduce or eliminate the ‘known’ issues that customers call about, leaving time for ‘new’ issues or queries that need a personal touch to resolve. You help your customers’ business become more successful by improving the way they use your products and services. This evolution in turn is an important first step in moving from
an expert for hire to a trusted advisor.

After early successes in this journey, many organizations run into a seemingly impenetrable wall. Your senior team ‘gets it,’ but this understanding does not seem to trickle down to most mid-level managers and frontline teams. You are able to get people to share knowledge to tackle the proverbial low hanging fruit (answers to simple issues or frequently repeated questions), but you can’t seem to convince other groups to share knowledge around complex and rarely-repeated processes.

Do they just not get it? What exactly is going on?

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Executive’s Guide to the few employee metrics that matter

This is part three of a six-part series on each of the Categories of Focus suggested by the new standard Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF). Learn more about this modern, open framework and its five categories of focus in my first post on this topic.

The OCMF suggests that executives should spend about 20% of your time on work regarding your employees – the “Employee Category,” which we’ll walk through here.

Let’s admit it. While we talk a lot about how important employees are to us, it’s appalling how little time we actually have to spend on them. After all, employee engagement is a leading indicator of financial performance[1] including customer ratings, productivity and profitability. We spend a lot more time worrying about what our customers say and think, and making sure our financials are in order (Business Category, in OCMF parlance) than we do about employees.

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