How building an empowered culture enables you to delight your customers.
Recently I had a chance to chat with Scott Robbin at the Argyle Executive Forum about CA Technologies initiatives to empower employees and drive innovation. Speaking with Scott prompted me to think a lot about the keys of driving innovation - because you can't just demand innovation from your team. We all know that the most successful companies are those that have unlocked the secret to enabling innovation by cultivating an environment where people feel free to unleash their creativity - empowered teams!
But how can you empower your teams? It starts when teams trust that their ideas are important. You build that trust by continually encouraging your teams by enabling them to openly discuss and test alternate ways to do business. Your front-line employees know your customers' needs better than anyone else in the company and will have no shortage of suggestions about how to delight them. When they see their ideas put into practice and experience successful business results, your teams will feel empowered which in turn drives further innovation.
We feel so strongly about the success of this approach that we've rolled out a program called "Standing Ovation" within the support organization to foster a culture of empowerment. Through a variety of activities, we help employees focus on "plus-one" innovations -- small changes that can make a big difference. One engineer, for example, was inspired to suggest a system enhancement to simplify how customers attach files to their support case records. We implemented that idea, and now customers save time. As a result, our teams can respond faster, and the overall experience proves more satisfying for everyone. In another case, our CA SiteMinder® support team created a program to analyze logs automatically and quickly organize them into an easy-to-understand and convenient report, automating what was previously a tedious and time-consuming process.
Across the organization, we've encouraged CA Support employees to share best practices, and now our teams proactively share Tuesday Tips on MyCA Communities and create how-to videos on YouTube (these CA Service Desk videos are good examples). Every time we embrace and enable one of the bottom-up solutions, we reinforce our commitment to employee empowerment. And each small, plus-one change contributes to our desired culture of innovation.
We're seeing a lot of benefits to this initiative, both internally and in terms of how our customers feel about the support they receive from our team. In the last year, results from 15,000+ customer surveys of completed support cases showed the highest cumulative customer satisfaction score our team has ever achieved. One customer said recently, "The level of support I received made me feel as if I were CA Technologies only customer." Isn't that the kind of reaction you'd want to get from your customers?
It's time to unleash the innovative power of your team! What will you do to empower your employees and make a difference with your customers?
(I encourage you to read more about CA Support's approach in my conversation with the Argyle Journal by the Argyle Executive Forum.)