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Aligning people and work to improve customer experience

Laura Schroeder , 12 Jan 2012

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What if you could align your best people with your most mission-critical initiatives, the ones that drive customer experience?

Most companies spend a lot of money on people, but few companies measure the impact of their people investments on the customer experience. As a result, companies typically don't know how much value is created by their people investments.

When we talk about alignment, we are typically talking about getting everyone in the organisation aligned to corporate objectives, but that is only part of the story. The other part is making sure the right people are doing the right work - in particular, making sure any work that directly impacts on customer experience is done exceptionally well.

Let us look at a marketing example to see how this might apply. Companies invest in diverse marketing campaigns in order to build brand awareness and drive customer adoption, but not all companies measure the success rate of different marketing campaigns. As a result, they may not know which campaigns are the most effective and may not be good at aligning the right people with initiatives that impact on customer experience.

brand-awareness

What if you could see at a glance which marketing campaigns had the most impact on customer adoption and loyalty? That would give you an idea of how your investments drive bottom-line performance - but wouldn't help you determine if you have the right people working on the right initiatives.

To align people and business strategy, we need to take a closer look at who is working on what. We may find top performers working on less important initiatives, or underperformers working on mission-critical initiatives.

When that happens, it may indicate a role mismatch, a skills gap or a lack of engagement. How you respond to this will depend on the particular circumstances, as well as the HR levers you have available.

For example, you might reassign a top performer to a more critical initiative, where they can have more impact. Or you might put a development plan in place, if you find that your organisation lacks the skills needed to execute on strategic objectives.

Or maybe the problem is lack of engagement, which is a more serious problem, because your employees create your customer experience. After all, disengaged employees are unlikely to infect your customers with enthusiasm for your brand.

alignment

In order to win and retain customers, companies must ensure the customer experience is a positive one. HR can play a key role in aligning talent around the customer experience and applying HR levers, such as rewards, where they will have the most impact, ie in areas of the organisation where customer impact and performance variability are high.

Laura Schroeder (pictured above) is human capital managment product marketing director EMEA at Workday, sponsor of the HR Leaders Club

 

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