In the world of communications consultancy at least, you just can’t find good staff any more.
When I’m recruiting, I’m usually trying to hire into roles where people are tasked with creating intellectual value (producers, creatives, planners, consultants). The ones that really get it? They’re few and far between. Even when there’s a recession raging, the fight for talent is raging along too.
Then, once they’re on board, they might perform beautifully for a while, but it can be patchy. And clients expect flawless service – that’s the so-called hygiene level. Nothing less will do.
I was not alone in my scepticism about the mission to ‘get people to be excellent’ at ECEW, where employee engagement is a central stream. Many of the delegates are talking about motivating legions of staff in contact centres. We don’t hire legions of staff into social media roles, but we do need to hire people with the right aptitudes and attitudes.
Heather Taylor, community manager at the BBC, was a welcome and timely dose of optimism to counter my leaning towards cynicism.
I think I’ve hit upon a silver bullet. I know exactly how to hire and keep the right people to achieve excellence but I need to take you on a journey before I can reveal it. This is the first of four posts on motivation.
61% of companies are aiming to deliver the best customer experience (CE) in their industries over the next three years according to ex-Forrester analyst and CE expert Bruce Temkin. That customer experience is widely regarded as an area in which to differentiate a brand is no surprise to those at this year’s European Customer Experience World. Striving for excellence was the common denominator amongst delegates.
Attempting to find Sofitel Heathrow T5 with a satnav that predates T5 is not much fun
For Temkin, customer experience correlates to loyalty and there are four competencies that an organisation must have to be customer centric: purposeful leadership; compelling brand values; customer connectedness and employee engagement. This last one you can gauge by asking the question, ‘are your employees fully committed to your goals?’
Legal experts in the US have suggested that researching a job applicant online is akin to interviewing them and as such could be violating employment and privacy laws. (Picked up via @jdthurber) I’m not sure this issue is being discussed particularly in the UK, either from the employer or the employee perspective. I think clarity on the legalities and liabilities here would be beneficial.
Reading through a global FMCG brand’s social media crisis communications guidelines this week I noted first that this mighty tome ran to 30 odd pages. Next that practically every other page exhorted the reader to ‘be real’.
In the old days of PR, before social, we media trained our executives to stay on message. We drafted up soundbites that pithily encapsulated our corporate story. We drilled the classic Paxman-facing-politician’s techniques of ‘managing’ a question, bridging back to the core point they wanted to deliver, no matter what the question (or how often they were asked it). “Of course you’re right that XYZ is important but not as important as the key corporate message I need to deliver here,” etc.