Mantras are one of the easiest and most cost effective tools you can use to increase the overall effectiveness of your organization.
A mantra is a word or phrase that is said aloud or silently. It is repeated again and again so that it’s meaning is internalized and produces a change in behavior.
One of the most effective mantras an organization can have is to appreciate time. In a previous blog, we talked about appreciating clients’ time. The notion of appreciating time, however, has ample applicability right in your own shop.
When every staff members’ time is respected, attentions are focused where they matter the most. Everyone feels more appreciated. They gain confidence that their roles are clearly defined and understood by others. The team thrives and clients get better service.
Here are five positive steps that demonstrate an appreciation of staff time:
1. Proactive. When the extra step is taken by one, it often saves time and effort for many. For example, if your assistant or service team keeps a client informed about the status of a particular case, subsequent inquiry calls are eliminated. The client gains a sense of confidence that his case is being dealt with and is less inclined to follow up with multiple calls. This of course means one less phone call for you to return. Oorah for the proactive assistant.
2. Responsive. In today’s world, people expect immediate gratification. It is no longer acceptable to have a “return calls within 24 hours” policy. If a call isn’t received within a day, a follow-up text or email will surely arrive in the meantime. The same response time standards should be upheld for both internal and external constituents. It is as important to get back to a co-worker on the status of a matter, as it is to get back to clients.
3. Avoid information overload. Ask any one of your staff members about their daily email inflow, and whatever the number (which they’ll know), they will probably say it is too much. If you don’t already have one, issue an email policy that purposefully cuts back on unnecessary emails. Re-iterate and model good email etiquette to cut back on the number of unnecessary emails received.
4. Right the first time. Mistakes cost time and money. Encourage staff members to take whatever time is needed to get it right the first time. Make accuracy easy with documented policies and procedures.
5. Confirm, confirm, confirm. Facts and procedures should be verified for accuracy before moving on to the next tasks. With the world changing as rapidly as it is, one should never rely on one’s memory or the way it always has been done. Double and triple check that the answers are correct before passing the information along to someone who is relying on it.
My team hears me repeat the “appreciate time” mantra over and over. It has nearly endless applicability and has made a significant difference to the level of service we provide to our clients.
Does your team have a mantra? We welcome the opportunity to hear how it has helped you become more effective.