Posted on August 26th, 2011 View Comments
I stumbled across a fantastic video on the web today, that very creatively presents a new paradigm to motivate and incentivize your team – particularly creative types like those serving the architecture and engineering industry. Here’s the 10-minute video – it’s worth watching to the last second (and very cleverly presented – especially to visually minded people).
For those who don’t take the time to watch it – the presentation shows research focusing in on human behavior, and how incentives work to create better performance. The shocking revelation is that money doesn’t work as a primary motivator for creative professionals. While a fair and compensatory paycheck is required to maintain an employee’s good will, better performance comes not from higher pay, but from three key areas:
This corroborates research by PSMJ that people leave their jobs most often because their:
- Talents are not seen
- Contributions are not appreciated
- Growth is not supported
Feedback is a powerful driver to attack each of these six items head-on, and build tremendous value in the relationships between your firm and your staff.
Client Feedback enables everyone in the organization to collect feedback from the people around them. Clients can be internal or external. They can be the consumer of your service, or a provider of a service to you. Whatever your professional interactions are, maximizing each relationship’s performance promotes a sense of well-being and belonging that an employee will be reluctant to leave.
We’ve found most feedback (about 96%) is positive. This kind of reinforcement feels great! People regularly receiving feedback feel appreciated and valued over and over again. All of a sudden, they know where their talents are, and can proudly share their successes. Additionally, their managers have access to a library of great accolades from which to publicly acknowledge and reward employees. The rewards don’t have to be financial – the recognition and appreciation alone for a job well done creates a sense of purpose and mastery.
Of course, while 96% of feedback is positive, 4% highlights challenges. And here’s where your creative people can really shine. Given tools to uncover where problems lie, and access to the information so your staff can create solutions on their own, grants a great sense of autonomy and self-determination that is very satisfying. Your staff aren’t just great technical minds – they are great people – and they have ideas about how to solve people problems along with the technical issues of the projects they work on.
Given a good set of tools to track “client” perceptions, and to measure how your team performs relative to expectations, you can create an environment that is decidedly flexible, supportive, creative, rewarding, masterful and filled with purpose. Feedback enables your entire staff – from the receptionist to the corner offices – to be a part of something bigger; a contributor to a community in ways that are meaningful, fulfilling, and rewarding.
Incorporating feedback into your organization may prove to be a better incentive than simple dollars and cents. Explore our Client Feedback Tool to learn how we can help.
Posted on August 5th, 2011 View Comments
Join us as we follow Koontz-Bryant, P.C. as they begin using client feedback to improve their business, culture, and overall prosperity. In the third installment, Martha Shotwell, Controller, describes the process of sending their first surveys, getting staff buy-in and how they put their first feedback responses to work. Read Journal Entry 1 and Journal Entry 2.
At our last report to you, Koontz-Bryant had gone through the system setup with our implementation consultant, and we had conducted a Lunch and Learn training session with staff. We were just beginning to send surveys to clients, but did not yet have results to share.
To jump-start our efforts with the Client Feedback Tool, Koontz-Bryant’s president, Greg Koontz, sent general satisfaction surveys to several dozen clients. These surveys were not tied to particular projects, but instead were designed to gauge clients’ overall impression of our company. To speed the process along, Greg used the Client Feedback Tool’s import feature to bring in contact and company information from Outlook. We were pleased with the results. His response rate was 42%, and feedback was very positive.
Of particular interest were the free-form comments people made. Where they mentioned a particular employee by name, we were quick to pass those compliments along. This gave us an opportunity to express appreciation to the employee, and to reinforce the idea that the surveys were a good thing. One of the comments related to the survey itself. Our client said, “I appreciate your use of the scale. It is a device I have not previously seen.”
One of the survey recipients was an institutional client for whom we have done many projects. Though we knew our relationship was a good one, this client gave us the highest mark on every measure, and added, “I will take a consultant like Koontz-Bryant any day and twice on Sundays.” This high praise spurred us to build a marketing piece about this institution and our work together, and we included a glowing client testimonial.
Getting individual project managers to send their surveys still seemed slow. As the “Firm Administrator,” I met with the practice leaders to identity barriers to cooperation. There seemed to be a bit of “decision paralysis” when it came to selecting the survey to use. The Client Feedback Tool has 96 survey templates, and we had inactivated about two thirds of them. However, there were still too many to choose from. We agreed that I would identify a few survey templates for general use.
Most of our project managers have begun to send surveys. However, we were stumped as to how to overcome the problem of a few people not getting on board. We talked with Mike Phillips at Design Facilitator about this. His emphatic advice was to go ahead and send surveys on their behalf. Regardless of whether the PMs “should” do these themselves, he reasoned, the important thing is to get the feedback, and not create a lot of organizational stress about it. When I offered to send surveys on behalf of a particular group leader, he was enthusiastic. We sat down with a billing register and he chose a batch of clients to survey. If PM participation lags, this is a technique we will use with other groups.
Though some of internal company surveys have shown us where we had opportunity for improvement, all of our client responses have been 4 (meets expectation) and above. At first blush this looks like wonderful news, but we do have some concern that we have “cherry-picked” the recipients. A low score, properly addressed, can be an opportunity to forge a strong bond with a client. As our PMs become more comfortable with the process, we will encourage them to send surveys encompassing the most difficult relationships, as well.
In our next update, we’ll share our experience with an onsite consultation visit by the DesignFacilitator staff.
Posted on August 4th, 2011 View Comments
We are pleased to announce the Client Feedback Tool has been upgraded to version 4.2.
New features include:
- Simplified administration of security, users, groups, and permissions – especially for large organizations
- The term “Teams” has been replaced by the more accurate term “Project Groups.” The functionality of these organizational units remains the same.
- Expanded support for foreign language surveys. We now support all international character sets for all customizable parts of the invitation and survey taking process.
- Simpler registration process for new users
Stay tuned for more. We have an exciting list of great new features coming in Q4, 2012!