There’s no doubt that Covid has sent an unprecedented shock through the business world. Many of us have been left wondering whether things will ever be the same again. The answer to this is ‘probably not’ but it’s likely that they won’t stay where they are now; and with Brexit happening there are more changes round the corner.
Even those firms and companies who didn’t see a significant downturn in business battened down the hatches which meant focusing on core delivery, rationalising teams, using the furlough scheme and limiting spend. As a result, for many companies investing in people decreased as a priority.
Reputation and the danger of not investing in people right now
However, now the initial shock of Covid is over, organisations are starting to look at how to come out of this phase and assess what really does need attention. During this time we have all seen companies who have built or improved or increased their reputation by how they have treated their clients and customers – and those who have done the opposite.
This highlights just how key customer service and client relationship management is. These start with your people and are supported by your processes.
To differentiate your company or firm from its competitors, your people need to be able to communicate themselves positively and effectively – this means they need to have a positive personal impact on clients, prospects and other contacts (including colleagues) wherever they encounter them.
It’s very dangerous to stop investing in people at a time when how you treat your clients can be the difference between success and sliding towards failure.
The key to getting the most from your people
Your people need to be developed and supported in their roles and career so they can deliver that excellent customer service and client management your business needs.
This means investing in them is absolutely key and it must be an on-going commitment. It’s not a task that has a definitive end date. Every professional needs to continue to develop and grow throughout their career – for their own career benefit but also for their organisation’s benefit too.
Top 3 reasons why investing in people makes all the difference to your business
- In service industries in particular it is your people that make the difference as technical skills are more easily comparable between organisations, good communication and service aren’t – these are needed to keep your clients loyal and talking about you to others.
- In today’s world, flexibility and agility are necessary; providing learning opportunities helps your people have this mindset.
- Skills required at middle to senior levels are different from the technical skills required at more junior levels; very few people innately have these senior level skills to the required level, so development is needed to make sure you have people who can successfully move up through your organisation.
The skills your people need to progress and to give your company/firm competitive advantage
Your people need to have a positive personal impact on clients, prospects and other contacts (including colleagues) wherever they encounter them. When this skill is coupled with strong relationship building skills, it’sthe recipe to retaining clients, winning new clients and getting referrals for new business.
These are skills that are rarely innate; they require focus and expert input to develop.
I typically list these skills as:
- Positive Personal Impact.
- Managing ‘Office Politics’ Positively
- Building Relationships with Clients & Prospects
- Networking to Get Results
- Building Strategic Internal Relationships
- Managing a Team Effectively
- Meeting Effectiveness
- Effective Presenting to Influencers
- Dealing with Feedback
You can read far more on these skills and what I believe is required by downloading my free guide The overlooked skills your people need to help you think more about them and the priorities for your company or firm to give your business a competitive advantage.
More than ever as we hopefully come out of Covid, investing in people to have a competitive advantage is important. If you know that your people are your best asset and want to ensure that they have excellent Personal Impact and Relationship Building skills then get in touch – I can help.